Window Tinting Definitions
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Tempered glass is fabricated by subjecting annealed glass to a special heat-treating process. The most commonly used process is to heat the glass uniformly to approximately 1150° F and then rapidly cool it by blowing air uniformly onto both surfaces simultaneously. The cooling process locks the outer surfaces of the glass in a state of high compression and the central portion, or core, in compensating tension. The color, clarity, chemical composition, and light transmission characteristics remain unchanged. Likewise, compression strength, hardness, specific gravity, expansion coefficient, softening point, thermal conductivity, thermal transmittance, and stiffness are unchanged. The only physical property that changes is tensile or bending strength. Under uniform loading, tempered glass is about four times stronger than annealed glass of the same size and thickness, and is thus more resistant to thermally induced stresses, cyclic wind loading and hail stone impacts. When broken, tempered glass breaks into a multitude of small fragments of more-or-less cubical shape. Therefore, it qualifies as a safety glazing material under the criteria of Federal Standard 16 CFR 1201 and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z97.1-1984, when so labeled and certified. Spots or blotches may be visible on tempered glass, especially when viewed through polarizing lenses or in certain types of reflected light. The intensity will vary with lighting conditions and viewing angle. This is caused by the strain pattern induced during the cooling stage and is not inherently a cause for rejection.
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