Safety Glass

High quality and durable safety glass

Expertly fitted safety glass by Sheerwater Glass

The manufacture and use of Safety glass is regulated in the United Kingdom and according to Government planning regulations, Safety glass must be used if there is any circumstance where the damage or breakage of the glass could cause injury or pose a threat of danger to human beings. We know this as “Protection against Impact”.

The following factors are to be considered when deciding upon the type of glass required in any application, both domestic and commercial:

  • Location (Critical Locations)
  • Risk (Reducing the Risk)
  • Safe Breakage (What happens if the glass breaks or shatters)
  • Robustness (The integrity of the glass)

See the features of our safety glass range below, or contact our team with any queries you may have.


  • Contemporary style, with no compromise on function
  • Strong, toughened and durable
  • Expertly fitted

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  • Free consultation and quote
  • Scored 9.8 on Checkatrade
  • Established 1972

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Sheerwater Glass Windows Glass Shop Safety Glass

Fensa Registered Company

FENSA is an acronym for the ‘Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme’. Set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation, it allows double glazing companies to self-certify compliance with Building Regulations. There are several reasons why you should check for the FENSA logo when looking to have new windows and doors fitted in your home.

BSI Kitemark - Window Installation

Sheerwater Glass is one of only a handful of companies that has achieved the industry’s highest standard, BS 8213 for the survey and installation of windows and external door sets.

QA National Warranties

The insurance intermediary company QANW is responsible for protecting consumers through insurance policies. QANW has been in the business for over 25 years and has formed close associations with various building contractors and trade associations throughout the UK.

City & Guilds - Level 3 Qualified

The educational organisation City & Guilds are known for their vast levels of assessment, offering employees and workforces with the skills they require for many years. This seal of approval provided through their accreditation gives customers the confidence they require. Two of our employees, one in management and the other in our service department are qualified to City & Guilds level 3. This level of accreditation is highly sought after, with City & Guilds working with some of the leading brands of various sectors to offer the highest standard of training. The accreditation offered by City & Guilds is valued significantly, showcasing a business’s expertise, dedication and knowledge. In achieving this level of qualification, customers can feel assured that they are receiving the highest standard of work and customer service. City & Guilds and the City & Guilds logo are trademarks of the City and Guilds of London Institute and used under licence.

Checkatrade - Proud Members

Finding a tradesman is not always an easy task, especially when you’re unsure whether he or she is trustworthy. After all, you’ll be inviting this person into your private home, so you need make sure that they are reliable.

GQA Qualified

GQA Qualifications is an Awarding Organisation for specialist sectors and occupational roles. Qualifications cover the Glass, Construction, Coating and Print industries.

PASMA Tower Trained

Our team are fully trained in the assembling, dismantling, moving and inspecting mobile access towers and working at height.

BFRC Rated

Our products are BFRC rated, an independent verification of the energy efficiency of our windows and doors. BFRC rated energy efficient windows and energy efficient doors carry a ‘rainbow’ label.

  • EXCLUSIVE

    Expertly Fitted

    Our highly skilled team will arrive equipped with specialist equipment to measure, supply and fit your brand new safety glass to the highest possible standard.

  • practical

    Superb Quality

    Strong, toughened and durable; our safety glass guarantees your home improvements will be safe, long-lasting and extremely low maintenance.

  • shield

    Contemporary Style

    With no compromise on aesthetics or function, safety glass can be tailored to your preferences. Our sleek, contemporary safety glass can provide your home with instant glamour.

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Production of Safety Glass – Where does it all start?

annealed-float-glassIn order to produce clear flat glass, raw materials (soda ash, sand, dolomite, iron oxide, limestone and salt cake) undergo a manufacturing process called the Float Process, also known as the Pilkington process.

This process involves the mixing and melting of these materials at extreme high temperatures and then transferring the molten mixture into a molten tin bath where it “floats” on top of the molten tin perfectly flat.  From here the glass mixture goes through a slow temperature cooling process known as Annealing. Although most glass manufactured today is known as float glass or annealed glass, it is the combination of both of these processes that produce common clear flat glass.

At Sheerwater Glass we refer to this as Annealed Float Glass, however it cannot be considered as Safety glass once manufactured.  Only after Annealed Float Glass is produced can we further temper / toughen or strengthen it into the various types of safety glass we have today.

 Types of Safety Glass

Toughened glass – Also known as Tempered glass

It takes almost four times the amount of pressure to break Toughened or Tempered glass as it would take to break Annealed Float glass. However, the outcome would be completely different as the toughened glass would shatter into numerous small glass pieces (the size of very small stones) whilst float glass would not shatter but be left with large shards of sharp glass.

Temperature is once again the catalyst that is used to create this type of safety glass. By heating Annealed Float glass to temperatures nearing melting point and then rapidly cooling it, causes a great deal of stress or internal pressure on the glass integrity to occur and this in turn strengthens the glass once cooled. The stress that the glass undergoes through the rapid temperature change and the fact that the outer layer is cooled much quicker than the inner glass core layer, results in the entire integrity of the glass becoming brittle once enough force is applied to break it.
Read More about Sheerwater’s Toughened Glass

“Did you know? Toughened Glass can also be Laminated”

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass cannot shatter into segments of glass if broken or damaged and it will hold its shape often in a spider web type form should the latter ever occur due to the bonding layer between two or more sheets of typical annealed float glass. Either PVB Resin (Also known as Polyvinyl Butyral) or EVA polymer (known as Ethylene-vinyl acetate) are used as the interlinking bond between the glass sheets and both have extremely high strength, flexibility and elasticity.

The manufacturing process starts with cleaning and scrubbing of standard float glass sheets and once all the impurities are removed comes the application of PVB or EVA onto one or more glass sheets. A second (or more) perfectly clean float glass sheet is then pressed onto the resin / polymer coated side of the initial sheet. Removing any air between these layers is achieved through a specialised heating and pressing process and once this is complete the bond between these glass sheets is almost indestructible.

Laminated Glass blocks most UV rays from penetrating and also serves as a much better acoustic insulation barrier than normal glass of the same thickness, although an acoustic PVB compound should be used to further increase the sound insulation rating of windows.

Georgian Wire Polished Plate glass – Also known as Wire Mesh glass or Pilkington Pyroshied TM

A less popular but still commonly used in industrial or public buildings like schools and offices, this glass type is made with thin metallic wire threaded or embedded inside Plate glass. This type of glass is different to our normal annealed float glass used in the Toughened or Laminated Safety glass due to its initial manufacturing process which is achieved through slight chemical differences and though rolling and polishing the glass.

Once the wire has been embedded inside the glass, it ensures that any breakage that may occur would also hold its shape as the wire prevents the glass from falling out. Don’t be mistaken though, the wire mesh does not act as a strengthening component to the glass, it acts as a safety agent which holds the glass together in the case of breakage.

A massive benefit of wired glass is in its incombustibility properties, making this type of glass the best choice for fire resistance and use in areas that need to be protected or partitioned against the risk of fire or extreme heat.

 Type of Safety Glass used is dependant on location and risk

As we know, there are various types of Safety glass, each manufactured differently and each with a different outcome should the glass ever break. Depending on location, if glass was to ever sustain damage or break then it is vital that the manner in which it does would pose the least amount of risk for its surrounding environment.

Such an example would be the difference between “Toughened” glass and “Laminated” glass. When it comes to toughened glass, a breakage would cause the entire glass panel to shatter into very small granular segments, thus alleviating the risk of large sharp glass segments. In this circumstance Toughened glass is used when it is situated more than 800mm from ground level and in various applications such as passenger windows, glass table tops, shower doors, near beds or stairwells and any area where the risk of glass breakage would leave dangerous shards of glass in close proximity to humans or animals.

Laminated glass on the other hand will not separate into small pieces because it is made from two or more panels of glass that are bonded together. Thus the integrity of the glass will remain intact after breakage or damage occurs. We also know this as the “Spider Web” cracking form, this type of glass is generally used where the shattering of glass could impact humans or animals. A few examples of the location for Laminated glass are shop front windows, skylight glazing and vehicle windshields.

glazing-regulations-doc-n

The Secretary of State’s requirements are available in the Protection against impact and the manifestation of Glazing Approved Document N found here

 

At Sheerwater Glass, we regularly supply and fit Safety glass in a variety of household, commercial and decorative applications. All of our Windows, Doors and Glazing Products can be manufactured with or without Safety glass and our team of Glazing specialists are here to help with any guidance you may need about the installation of safety glass.