Glass is being used in our regular lives for quite some time now. Since the product has the capability to both refract and reflect light, it possesses a natural shiny or glazy finish.
The material is quite versatile. Using proper technique, you can mold it into any shape, and use it for all sorts of purposes.
One of the most common types of glasses is the annealed type. This type of glass can be easily identified by its smooth and clear surface.
Any job that requires a high level of optical clarity, calls for the use of an annual glass.
So, what is annealed glass used for exactly?
With 87% light incident transmission, annealed glass is used for a variety of projects. Let’s see what some of these uses are.
What Is An Annealed Glass?
If you haven’t heard about annealed glass, you might have heard about clear or float glass. They’re the same thing.
One of the main factors that make this sort of glass so unique, is how it’s prepared. After the heating process, the glass is not quenched. Instead, it is left to cool down slowly.
It’s allowed to cool down in something called the annealing lehr. This is where molten glass is cooled down using a regulated process. Keeping the cooling under control lowers internal stress. After this process, when the glass has cooled down, annealed glass is ready to be used.
Some manufacturers process this annealed glass even further and make laminated glass, toughened glass, or even tempered glass. This is sort of like the base of different kinds of glasses.
If needed, you can also add a layer of metal oxide, and make tinted glass with annealed glass. Tinted glass can be very useful if you want protection against solar glare.
Different Kinds Of Annealed Glass
Annealed glass can be of different types too. Here are some of the variants that you can purchase.
1. Frosted Glass
This type of glass is made by acid etching or sandblasting. It’s a kind of annealed glass that is more on the translucent side. The frosted glass has a rougher surface and is pitted. Therefore, the finish is more on the foggy side.
2. Tinted Glass
Tinted glass can be a great option for you if you’re looking for a reduction in light transmission properties.
This type of annealed glass is usually used in cars or at homes for privacy. The extra coating or film that is added to the glass changes the color of the exterior. The properties work together so that people from outside cannot see through the glass.
3. Clear Glass
Clear glass is the most common type of annealed glass. It is completely transparent and extremely clear, which makes it an ideal choice for most kinds of glass projects.
What Is Annealed Glass Used For?
As we’ve mentioned before, annealed glass is used for a lot of different projects. To help you know the uses better, here are a few examples.
1. External Wall
Basically, annealed glass is widely used around the house for interior and exterior decorations.
You might have seen annealed glass being used in external walls. Decorators usually use this type of glass for sliding walls so that it can add brightness to your house.
The glass allows natural daylight to enter through. Annealed glass, although in minimal amount, also helps improve ventilation.
For added comfort, you can use tinted annealed glass. This sort of glass can absorb about 45% of heat from the sunlight to keep your house a bit cooler.
Annealed glass is also used for connecting outside patios, or gardens to the interior space.
2. Reducing Light Transmission
Annealed glass is a great option for reducing light transmission in rooms. In simpler words, the glass can be great for diffusing lights.
Not everyone is a fan of bright sunshine entering their bedrooms. If you are someone who prefers a dimmer room, you can use annealed glass that is slightly tinted in your windows.
You can also alter the level of tint, to adjust the amount of light entering the room. Adding tint to the glass can further prevent harmful UV rays from entering your house.
Annealed glass is a great glass type to choose for giving your bedroom a cozy vibe. You can use it in the living space or the hallway, or just anywhere where you want a warm and peaceful ambiance.
Besides being able to adjust the level of tint, you can also choose your desired thickness, size, and even color.
3. Table Tops
We’re sure you’ve seen the use of glass on top of furniture. Be it coffee tables, dining tables, or even a reading table, a glass top can add a nice sparkling luster to your furniture.
Annealed glass is a great option for making these tabletops. The glass can be altered to be more lustrous and shiny. Therefore, it can add a nice glazy top to any furniture.
Clear glass tabletops are a modern concept, which helps open up your room. Also, glass table tops never go out of style.
4. Bathroom Windows
Glass is a material that can be used in decors that are both warm-toned and cool-toned. That is why the product is so well used in any kind of interior decor.
Adding a frosted annealed glass in your bathroom can help make the interior decor look a lot classier, chic, and elegant. Frosted annealed glasses for bathroom windows are the ideal option since they help add a little bit of privacy as well.
The rough exterior of frosted annealed glass gets rid of the see-through feature of the product. With an obscured view, frosted annealed glass can also prevent light from passing through, giving you a comfier atmosphere.
5. Shower Screens
You can use annealed glass for shower screens too. This glass can be either frosted or clear, depending on your choice. Many commercial hotels use clear annealed glass as their shower screens. Common residential homes can also use the material for the same purpose. The glass isn’t that expensive.
A lot of the time, you will see that trophies, or pictures, or medals are encased in glass showcases. For these objects to be viewed properly through the glass, you need a material that is crystal clear.
Annealed glass is a great option for that. Many museums also use this glass to showcase their art and small sculptures. Because the museum glass can offer high-quality clarity compare to conservation glass and has incredible luster, it is usually the ideal choice for making showcases.
Anything starting from a normal household, museum, business, and school can benefit from using annealed glass on their showcases.
Glass facades can be a great way to add a touch of modern architecture to your house. If you want better light flow and ventilation, adding an annealed glass façade can be a great option.
Timbered facades are a thing of the past now. A lot of people are using glass to construct their facade nowadays. That’s because the material can be strong if made correctly, so it suits the purpose perfectly.
What Is The Advantage Of Using Annealed Glass?
Annealed glass is a lot cheaper than regular or tempered glass. Most of the time, this sort of glass does not need any further manufacturing processes.
If you are using tinted, or frosted annealed glass, the price is of course a bit higher. But it’s still cheaper than tempered glass.
Another reason why this is a very commonly used glass is that it offers a lot of flexibility and diversity. Meaning you can use it for almost any kind of glass project, and you can carve it into any shape.
Ease of use, versatility, and affordability are a few of the main reasons why annealed glass is so popular.
What Is The Difference Between Annealed And Heat Treated Glass?
Heat-treated glass is much stronger than annealed glass. The process of making both the glasses is similar, but they have a few differences.
Heat-treated glasses are let to cool down much slower. And therefore the compression in the glass is a lot higher than in annealed glass. This compression is what makes heat-strengthened glasses so durable.
Compared to heat-treated glass, annealed glass is a bit weaker. However, heat-treated glass can be much more expensive than annealed glass.
Tips And Cautions When Using Annealed Glass
Here are some handy tips that will help you choose the right kind of annealed glass for your task at hand.
1. Choose Frosted Glass For Privacy
If you want to add privacy to a room, and want to select annealed glass for your windows, it’s better if you go with the frosted kind.
Frosted glass does not let outsiders peek through the windows. You cannot see anything from the outside. That is why this is the ideal choice for making bathroom windows.
If you can’t get your hands on a frosted annealed glass, you can use the tinted kind for obscured view.
2. Don’t Use Annealed Glass On Doors
Annealed glass, when broken, shatters into large chunks of glass. On the other hand, tempered glass shatters into tinier pieces.
That is why tempered glass is a bit safer than annealed glass. If you are going to make a door that is going to be slammed quite often, it’s better to go for tempered glass.
When you use annealed glass for doors, you have to be very careful. If the door is slammed too hard, the glass might shatter into large chunks. This can be a safety hazard.
3. Cut Annealed Glass Safely
Annealed glass, like any other glass, can be cut and drilled into. But while making these cuts, you need to be very careful. Thats the reason you need to use a good qality glass cutter for cut glass.
As we have mentioned in the previous step, annealed glass shatters into large pieces. Therefore, you need to take all the necessary safety precautions while cutting into these glasses.
There are special tools that you should use if you want to drill glass or cut into the glass. If you’re drilling holes, make sure you don’t drill too many of them around the same radius. This might make the glass weaker.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to know if a glass is annealed?
An easy way to tell if a glass is annealed is to check the edges. Tempered glass has very smooth edges. On the other hand, annealed glass has rougher and pointier edges.
Be careful not to cut your hands while checking if the glasses are annealed.
2. What is the difference between tempered and annealed glass making process?
Annealed glass is different in the sense that it is left to cool down. The glass is much softer. Any sort of internal stress gets relieved from the glass. Therefore, the glass has a clear finish. But annealed glass breaks into larger shards that can cause serious injuries.
Tempered glass is made by thermal tempering. It is heated fast and then cooled quickly, contrary to annealed glass. The process makes the outer surface put into compression and inner surface put into tension.
Tempered glass is much stronger and breaks into smaller, less hazardous pieces. It also has higher heat resistance (200-300 degrees).
3. Why is annealed glass processed?
The purpose of processing is to relieve internal stress. Without doing this, the annealed glass would be more prone to shattering and cracking.
That is why processing or cooling is such a vital step in making durable annealed glass.
4. Can annealed glass be cut?
One of the main reasons why annealed glass is so popular is its flexibility. Meaning it can be cut and reshaped quite easily.
To cut annealed glass, you score it with a glass cutter and snap it. The process is quite similar to how you would cut glass tiles or glass mirrors. You can also use a glass cutting blade on a tile saw if you don’t have a glass cutter.
So, to people who were wondering what is annealed glass used for, here are the answers. Annealed glass can be used for a lot of things. The versatile product is commonly used for making windows, showcases, or even glass tops.
The glass is a flexible, and affordable material that can add brightness to your house. It can also help dim down the room. It’s totally up to you how you use it.
The frosted annealed glasses are great for adding privacy, while the tinted ones can be added to windows to block harmful UV rays. Overall, it’s quite a versatile material!