Consumer Impact Resistant Window Information
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Impact resistant glass is essentially glass that has been reinforced by glazing or a laminating material. This makes it less likely to shatter. Much like bullet proof glass, which stays together when damaged because of wire mesh within the glass, impact resistant glass will break but stay attached to itself because of another material. However, there is more to its construction than simply the glass. Impact resistant windows are also required to have a particularly strong, reinforced frame.
The development of impact resistant glass began with automobiles. Safety glass has always been a goal of the automotive industry, where non-fatal crashes can become fatal simply because of lacerations from broken windshields. In use in cars for many years, impact resistant glass came into use in home construction in the past twenty years. They now come in two different varieties, with different benefits and properties.
This type of glass is actually two pieces of the material with an inner shatterproof membrane. It can be broken, but the transparent membrane will hold together and keep the glass in place in a window frame. It protects from both debris carried by the wind and intruders, who will have a difficult time breaking through.
If you are familiar with Low-e or other glazed glass, this will be familiar to you. Glazing or laminating a window pane is simply covering it in a nearly-transparent layer of some material. Many commercial applications of this include blocking UV radiation and protecting the heating costs of your home by keeping warm air inside. It is transparent and won’t reduce the visibility of your windows, unless you would like tinted windows. For impact resistant windows, the glaze or laminate is different (thicker and more durable). While not as strong or durable as inner membrane windows, it will be cheaper and lighter. The strength of an impact resistant window also relies on the frame of the window.