In case you were asking and wondering how to cut laminated glass, and you can’t find the accurate and precise resource for it, then, we can safely say that you’ve landed on the best and perfect guide! There are a lot of resources out there, but most of them differ in methodology or technique, causing confusion.
So, in this guide, we here at GLASHern decided that we’ll help you out by giving you the general pathway of how laminated glass products are cut, formed, shaped, and finalized.
Before we get to that, though, it’s imperative to learn and find out more information about laminated glass in general.
What is Laminated Glass?
First things first, let us unravel and find out the real meaning on what laminated glass is. Laminated glass, a type of safety glass, is made by bonding two or more layers of glass with one or more thin polymer interlayers. This process uses heat and pressure, creating a strong, transparent layer with a ton of safety features, which we’ll discuss next.
The use of laminated glass is seen in many different applications, including architecture, glazing, and automobile safety. Furthermore, these interlayers are capable of blocking nearly all UV radiation, providing UV protection.
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What Are the Safety Features of Laminated Glass?
Talking about safety features, the most-known attribute of laminated glass is its structural integrity, or its ability to keep intact and be shatter-free.
When struck, laminated glass may crack, but the fragments tend to adhere to the plastic interlayer, preventing them from scattering or shattering, which is the common cause of injury with glass.
This is what makes laminated glass the perfect choice for uses and applications where safety is of utter importance. As mentioned above, the interlayer structure helps out in providing UV protection, as well as sound insulation, further enhancing its safety and utility.
How Strong is Laminated Glass?
Let’s put it into perspective. Regular float glass or soda-lime glass is just a single-layer glass. So, when it breaks, the core or main body will break and shatter. The strength and main reason why laminated glass is strong is because it is multilayered and interlayered.
In simpler terms, there are multiple glass layers, where polyvinyl butyral (PVB) is what’s used as the interlayer. Therefore, it is responsible for holding up and resisting impact, standing the force of rocks, even bullets without it shattering.
Think about it like this: It’s 100 times stiffer and harder than regular or standard glass and about five times stronger than it.
Can You Cut a Hole in Laminated Glass?
Yes, it is possible to cut a hole in laminated glass. In fact, you can cut and drill holes that vary in forms, shapes, and sizes. In some cases, you’ll also be able to cut and bore holes of annealed glass units, too, given that the tool you’ll use is capable of cutting and piercing through strong material.
Now, if you’re asking about which tool is used in cutting laminated glass, it actually depends. There are quite a few tools you can use to cut and bore holes in laminated glass, but there are some tools that are more commonly used than others, which we’ll discuss below.
What Tool is Used to Cut Laminated Glass?
Laminated glass or also referred to as laminated safety glass (LSG), is one of the few-best and strongest types of glass out there in the market. Therefore, cutting it might actually be a challenge, especially for operators and workers with no experience.
According to LiSEC, one of the world’s leading places for glass processing, the three-most important tools in cutting laminated glass are: crusher roller, cutting wheel, and the foil cutting blade. One thing to note about these three components is that, it’s not just enough for them to be in the most optimal condition, but they must be specifically matching with one another when they function.
How to Cut Laminated Glass? Step-By-Step Guide
The process of cutting laminated glass differs from one manufacturer to another. So, if you find this a different path or route, don’t be confused because this might just be a different angle taken. Besides, this is just a generic procedure on how it’s done–some sort of a framework or a skeletal structure.
Step #1: Clean the Glass
The first step is to clean the glass. Regardless of the glass types and materials that make up the interlayer, you’ll need to clean and make sure that the glass is free from unwanted substances or impurities.
You want to make sure that you eliminate dust or whatever type of residue. This will make the glass more physically visible.
Step #2: Do the Scores
Then, depending on the cut you want to do, you’ll need to score the glass. Scoring is like marking it but with force so that a fracture is put onto the surface of the glass. When it’s cleaned, put a mark on the glass unit before proceeding to scoring them.
Score one side first and when done, turn it over and score the other side. The 2-sided score is what’s responsible for the cutting. Without scores, it will be difficult and almost impossible for glass to be cut.
NOTE: In case you didn’t know, scoring prepares the glass for cutting. Unlike cutting wood where you only need force, cutting laminated glass requires you to score them first so that they don’t shatter.
Step #3: Snap the Scores
After two sides have been scored, the next step would be to snap the glass according to the made scores. If scored properly, the pieces should snap and should be cut accurately. With laminated glass, you can’t just snap it using both your hands.
To cut it precisely on the scores, you’ll need to:
- Place the glass on the edge of your workbench or worktable.
- Use a ballpeen hammer to exert a little shock or force on the scored side.
- Apply the force and pressure evenly beyond the scored area or the area that’s not leaning on the bench.
- Repeat the process on the side that has the second score.
The second way of doing it is by using a laminated glass cutter. Yes, you read that right! There are specialized tools that manufacturers and suppliers use to easily and quickly cut laminated safety glass. All they have to do is load the laminated glass on the machine, set it to the correct parameters and settings, and let the machine cut the glass.
Here’s a precise go at the process of how you can cut laminated glass:
Why Learn How to Cut Laminated Glass?
You might be asking yourself, why is it so essential to learn how to accurately and properly cut laminated glass? Well, for a few reasons.
One is for you to gain the right amount of knowledge in glass processing. Cutting laminated glass is one of the first-few steps in learning and becoming an expert in the field.
Second is for you to gain better understanding of the process and to have different expectations. Most businesses and companies think that cutting and forming laminated glass is as easy as cutting standard single-layered glass, it’s not.
Knowing the process will allow you to understand and help you better in expecting results. You will arrive at more realistic expectations with the cut laminated glass.
Check this video out to check the accuracy of how laminated glass is cut.
Can Water Be Used to Cut Laminated Glass?
Yes, water can be used to cut or pierce through laminated glass. Water, especially if ejected in ultra-high speeds, is sharper and more lethal than your typical cutter. Typical water jet cutters have forces typically between 50,000 and 90,000 PSI.
This strength and pressure make it possible for waterjet cutters to pierce and slice through almost everything, even laminated safety glass units.
Pros of Using Laminated Glass
So why are laminated glass units purchased and bought? What makes them a good fit for glass applications? There are quite a few advantages and pros of using laminated safety glass, and here are some of them.
Laminated glass can’t be cut from outside, reducing burglary risk and other factors and situations that might hit it externally. Like snow, for example, shards wouldn’t be able to crack and piece through it like how it would if it was standard glass.
Because of its thick layer, it can significantly reduce the noise entering or leaving the location where the laminated glass is installed. It’s an effective tool in acoustics and in situations that need to control the sound.
Laminated glass blocks most UV light, reducing heat from sunlight and ultimately cutting air conditioning costs. Because of the fact that it’s made up of multiple layers of laminated glass and/or plastic, it has a 98% to 99% chance to block ultraviolet light.
Again, considering its thickness, laminated glass would usually last longer than regular glass. Whether it’s applied for windows, dividers, panels, or even in some decorative art, thus saving you money on replacements and renovations.
Laminated glass is so strong, tough, and durable, that it’s a common option for businesses and companies especially in applications where they need glass. One perfect example would be for commercial establishments, retail display cases, desks, panels, and dividers are among the common applications of LSG.
Last but most definitely not least is safety. When we say safety, we mean everything from the phase of manufacturing up until usage. Since it’s comprised of multiple layers, the glass unit wouldn’t crack and shatter, it will remain as is, ensuring the safety of the operator or whoever is near the glass.
Now that we know and are aware of the different advantages and benefits of laminated glass, are there drawbacks or disadvantages to it?
Cons of Using Laminated Glass
Like any other, laminated glass isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. There are a couple of cons and disadvantages related to using it, too.
Laminated glass units are typically more expensive and costlier than the regular and standard glass. Why? Because it’s stronger, longer-lasting, more durable, and a lot more functional than your usual glass. This is probably one of the most notable disadvantages or cons of laminated glass.
In addition to that, laminated glass is heavier than standard glass. Due to the multiple layers of glass added, they bear more weight, making them more difficult and challenging to move and transport from one point to another.
Last is its recyclability. Laminated glass is difficult, sometimes even pose as impossible to recycle because of the plastic layer. Unless you’re able to separate them cleanly and neatly, you’ll successfully be able to recycle them.
What Are the Applications of Laminated Glass?
There are a lot of applications of laminated glass, especially if you’re dealing with custom laminated glass. Among these are the most common, which include:
- Automotive Industry: Car windshields and windows, as well as replacement glass for certain components.
- Architecture and Structural Engineering: Glass windows, dividers, glass panels, stairs, railings, doors, etc.
- Commercial spaces: Retail shelves, racks, and retail enclosures.
- Safety and Security: Absorbent glass windows and insulated glass units.
- Museums and Banks: Shatterproof and retractable glass for display and safety.
NOTE: These are just the most common applications you can use laminated glass for! There are a lot more that are industry-specific, take bulletproof glass, for example!
Laminated Glass Pricing: Is Laminated Glass Expensive?
I know how controversial and interesting laminated glass is appearing now to you. So, how much are they priced in today’s current market?
The price of laminated glass actually depends on certain factors. The most important being: the manufacturer, raw material used, thickness, and properties.
Of course, different manufacturers would have different rates and prices for their laminated glass. If we look at the Asian market, you’ll see that the average piece of laminated glass costs anywhere between $0.90 and $90.00, depending on the thickness, quality, and their overall functionality!
If you’re looking for a cheap and reliable laminated glass from a manufacturer that wouldn’t give you a headache, then you’re a few steps shy from experiencing that with us here at GLASHern. Garnering 14+ years in the business and hundreds of clients, we can say that we have been one of the best and most successful in producing custom laminated glass.
We’ve commissioned the production of high-class laminated glass from OEM materials and made it worth less than what it actually is.
Benefits of Working With GLASHern
Working with GLASHern has a ton of benefits, among the most common would be:
- We have a Research & Development (R&D) team that can help you craft and innovate
- Our lead time is fast and is often within the requirements of the customer
- We’re employed with some of the best and most trusted engineers and glassmaking experts in the industry
- We have an excellent customer service department
- All our products are OEM and are made for you!
If you’re still stuck thinking whether GLASHern is a good manufacturer for you or not, this should answer that! You wouldn’t be able to find a manufacturer as skilled, dedicated, and as committed as us here at GLASHern!
Get world-class quality laminated glass for rates and prices you won’t find elsewhere! Other than our laminated glass, we’re also adept and skilled in getting you high-quality Gorilla Glass, quartz glass, borosilicate glass, anti-reflective glass, and many more!