You’ve probably heard the term tempered glass before, especially when talking about cell phones. But, cell phone screen protectors is not the only use for tempered glass. A lot of the glass around you is tempered.
So, what is tempering?
Tempering makes glass much stronger than it would be without tempering.
What happens is that after the glasses made, it is put through a treatment that applies pressure to the outside surface while leaving the inside free to move. It is heated, then rapidly cooled to achieve this effect. This causes compression on the outside and tension on the inside.
This mixture of forces allows the glass to become stronger. Even if it IS broken, it will shatter into tiny little pieces that are less harmful than the other option: big glass shards.
These qualities generally make it safer. This is why you will find it on phone screens, screen protectors, shower enclosures, doors, and even storefronts. We always recommend that our customers use tempered glass, but it is a little more expensive than using regular glass. In parts of the home, though, we are required to use tempered glass. For example, if a window is too close to the ground or next to a door. Other more obvious places would be the shower enclosure or bathroom.
The TL;DR Version: Tempered glass is made by applying compression to the outside of the glass and allow tension to build-up on the inside of the glass. This makes it for it be stronger, safer and, unfortunately, more expensive.