For many applications such as buildings requiring large spans of glass, toughened glass is the only acceptable alternative. These glasses have exceptional strengths compared to standard annealed float glasses.
These improved properties are a result of the stress profile that is induced in the glass by the toughening heat treatment process. When performed correctly, the glass surface is in compression, while the centre is in tension. This stress profile in the glass is successful as most failures start at the surface from tensile loads. In toughened glass, the applied tensile load must overcome the compressive stress at the surface before the surface can go into tension and fail.
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