Stronger than steel


Glass is thought of as a fragile material, but actually it is very strong. If it is pulled lengthways, a flawless fibre of glass is five times stronger than the best steel. Glass fibres set in plastic produce a tough and resilient material suitable for boats or car bodies called glass-fibre reinforced plastic, or GRP.

Extra-strong glass is produced by heat toughening or by lamination. In toughening, the glass is heated to just below its melting point, then suddenly chilled with jets of air. This makes the surface of the glass cool and shrink before the inner part. As a result, the surface is compressed inwards. This built-in compression has to be overcome before the toughened glass will break. So toughened glass can be bent more, or struck harder, before it breaks. When it does, it disintegrates into tiny fragments, rather than the dangerous shards of ordinary glass.

Window Cleaning in Brighton for Offices and Commercial Properties

Although the plastic layer may be very thin, it is tough. Impacts may shatter the glass, but it will remain sticking to the plastic and does not form splinters, which makes it particularly suitable for the windscreens of cars.
Aircraft windscreens must be able to withstand high pressure, extreme temperatures and impacts from flying birds.

Laminated glass is a sandwich of two layers of glass and one of plastic.

Three or four layers of glass are interleaved with layers of vinyl, then bonded together. This produces a windscreen which is able to withstand the impact of a large bird while the aeroplane is flying at up to 400mph (650km/h). The same glass also gives the pilots of military aircraft protection against bullets.
Bullet-resistant glass

The windows of a diplomat's car are made from glass strengthened with layers of toughened plastic. The window absorbs the energy of the bullet, and the plastic prevents any glass splinters.






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