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What Kind of Glass Can Be Walked On?

What Kind of Glass Can Be Walked On?

Have you ever wondered what walking on glass is like? You may have seen it in movies or on TV and thought it looked pretty cool. But before you try it yourself, it’s important to know the facts about different types of glass and their limitations. 

Your safety and well-being are important, so we’ve put together this blog to help you understand why you can’t walk on certain types of glass, such as heat-strengthened and wire glass. 

We’ll explain the properties of different types of glass and their strengths and weaknesses, so you can make informed decisions when choosing the right glass for your needs. 

So, let’s dive in and learn about the fascinating world of glass!

Glass You Can Walk On

When it comes to walking on glass, three types of glass are safe to walk on: tempered, laminated, and structural. Let’s take a closer look. 

  • Tempered Glass. Tempered glass is a type of safety glass four to five times stronger than regular glass of the same thickness. The tempering process involves heating the glass to a high temperature and cooling it rapidly with a blast of cold air. This causes the glass to cool and harden quickly, making it more breakage-resistant. Tempered glass is glass you can walk on because it is specifically designed to be durable and withstand heavy weight loads. It is commonly used where there is a high risk of breakage or where safety is a concern. Think skylights, balconies, and glass floors. Tempered glass is an excellent choice if you are looking for a strong and durable option for a glass surface that can be walked on.
  • Laminated Glass. Laminated glass is made of two or more layers of glass bonded together with a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer. This interlayer holds the glass together even when shattered, making it a popular choice for applications where safety is a concern. Laminated glass is also used where soundproofing and UV protection are essential. You can walk on laminated glass because of its unique construction, which makes it more resistant to breakage than regular glass. The interlayer holds the glass together, even if it cracks or breaks, preventing it from shattering and causing injury. This makes it an excellent choice for applications where safety is a concern, such as in glass floors, stairs, and walkways.
  • Structural Glass. Structural glass is specifically designed to support weight and withstand heavy loads. It is commonly used in modern architecture to create impressive and innovative designs. 
    Structural glass is typically made of several layers of tempered or laminated glass bonded with a specialized adhesive. The glass panels are then attached to a supporting structure (like a steel frame) to create a strong and stable structure. You can walk on structural glass because it is engineered to support weight and withstand heavy loads. The glass panels are designed to work together with the supporting structure to create a safe and stable surface. Structural glass is commonly used in applications like glass bridges, walkways, and floors, requiring a strong and durable surface. Structural glass is an excellent choice if you are looking for a glass surface that can support weight and withstand heavy loads.

Glass You Can’t Walk On

Just like there’s glass you can walk on, there’s glass you can’t without risking serious injury. Annealed, heat-strengthened, and wire glass is not safe for walking on. 

  • Annealed Glass. Annealed glass, also known as float glass or standard glass, is the most basic form of glass produced by slowly cooling molten glass to relieve internal stresses. Annealed glass is commonly used in windows, doors, and other applications where safety is not a major concern. 
    However, it is unsuitable for applications where strength and safety are important. You cannot walk on annealed glass because it is not strong enough to support weight and is prone to breakage. If annealed glass is subjected to stress or impact, it can break into sharp, jagged pieces that can cause serious injury. For this reason, annealed glass is not recommended for applications where safety is a concern, such as in glass floors or walkways. Instead, tempered or laminated glass should be used, as they are much stronger and safer.
  • Heat-Strengthened Glass. Heat-strengthened glass is a type of safety glass that is cooled faster than regular annealed glass. The cooling process is slower than tempered glass, so the compression strength is lower. Heat-strengthened glass is approximately twice as strong as annealed or untreated glass. However, tempered glass is stronger. This type of glass is often used in architectural applications where safety glass isn’t needed, such as spandrel glass, which is the opaque glass used in curtain walls. Heat-strengthened glass is not designed to withstand the same level of impact as tempered glass and can break under weight or pressure. As a result, you cannot walk on heat-strengthened glass.
  • Wire Glass. Wire glass is a type of safety glass manufactured by embedding a wire mesh or grid within the glass during the manufacturing process. The wire mesh helps hold the glass together if it breaks, preventing it from shattering into sharp, dangerous pieces. Wire glass is often used in industrial and commercial settings, such as factories or schools, where a higher level of safety is required. However, you cannot walk on wire glass because the wire mesh embedded within the glass creates a non-uniform surface unsuitable for walking. So walking on glass would not work here. Wire glass is not as strong as tempered glass and can break under weight or impact. Therefore, it is not recommended for use in walkways, floors, or any other application where people will walk on it. Instead, tempered or laminated glass should be used as they are stronger and safer.

Contact Murray Glass for All Your Glass Needs

If you’re looking for glass you can walk on or have any other glass needs, Murray Glass is here to help. Our team of experts can help you choose the right glass for your project, whether for commercial or residential use. We offer a wide range of glass options, from tempered glass to laminated glass, and we can customize it to fit your specific needs. 

So, if you’re ready to take the next step in your glass project, contact us today. We’re here to answer all your questions and help you get the glass you need to make your vision a reality. Call us at 801.262.3364, or contact us through the form on our website

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