Toughened Glass Partitioning

Why toughened glass is the safest bet for public spaces

For decades, toughened glass has been the go-to choice for countless applications in public spaces – including everything from relatively private areas (like office buildings) to settings populated by thousands of people (like sports stadiums). With almost 20 years of experience to our name here at Altitude Glass, we’ve completed our fair share of toughened glass projects over the last two decades, giving us an in-depth understanding of how to use this versatile material – and why it’s such a popular choice for public spaces.

So, whether you’re a newcomer to the world of glass, or you just need a quick recap on the toughened glass essentials, here’s exactly what you need to know.

What is toughened glass?

Let’s kick off with a crucial explanation. Toughened glass, also known as tempered glass, is essentially a type of safety glass with properties that make it stronger, more durable, and more heat resistant. As an extra bonus, it also has a much greater load and breakage resistance than standard glazing, which means it takes significantly more force to accidentally break it. In fact, tempered glass is typically up to five times stronger than laminated glass of the same size and thickness.

Where is toughened glass used?

As far as public spaces are concerned, toughened glass is most often used in areas where regular glazing would struggle to withstand the mechanical stress or temperatures involved. It’s also a safe, reliable choice for high-traffic areas, where it might reasonably be expected to have to undergo a significantly greater amount of casual bumps and knocks than it would in other quieter areas.

Here are a couple of examples of where toughened glass is frequently used:

  • Retail: toughened glass is commonly found in shop windows on shopfronts, as well as balustrades, glazing and canopies in shopping centres
  • Automotive and transportation: countless car windscreens, side and rear windows, and sunroofs all make extensive use of toughened glass, as do trams, trains and buses in major UK towns and cities
  • Public facilities: sports stadiums, arenas and ice rinks use toughened glass to protect spectators, while hospitals and healthcare facilities employ it as a preventative measure to safeguard the wellbeing of patients and staff
  • Corporate and commercial: the durability and heat resistance of toughened glass means that it’s often used in the construction of large buildings like high rise office blocks

Why is toughened glass so popular for public spaces?

Toughened glass has a variety of properties that make it a prime choice for public spaces, especially in outdoor settings. Here are some of the most significant.


You don’t need to be an expert to know why this one is so crucial! One of the main reasons why toughened glass is a particularly safe choice all comes down to the way it shatters. Specifically – on the very rare occasions when it breaks, it shatters not into dangerous shards but instead into very small, blunt fragments, minimising the risk of injury.


Public spaces are often defined by their high levels of foot traffic, which can subject glass surfaces to increased risks of casual knocks and bumps, and even the occasional accidental heavy impact. This is where the exceptional durability of toughened glass comes into play, helping to reduce the risk of the glass breaking at all – particularly useful with doors and windows.


Because toughened glass is so much harder to break, it adds another layer of extra security in sensitive areas, as it’s more resistant to forced entry and vandalism. Not only does this help to protect people in the immediate area, but it gives property owners and managers some welcome peace of mind, too.


In some ways, this last point is a product of the rest – because of its safety and security value, many building regulations in the UK often mandate the use of toughened glass in certain applications, especially in areas where there is a risk of human impact, or if there are specific safety standards that need to be met.

That’s the basics of its public applications covered! Of course, if you’ve got any further questions about toughened glass, or you need any help or advice on how it might best fit your own purposes, you can always ask our team here at Altitude Glass. We have more almost 20 years of experience behind us in working with a varied range of residential and commercial clients, providing them with the best glass and accompanying ironmongery options to suit their needs!

Find out more about our products and sectors here, or just give us a call on 01254 812112 to get a free quote today. We’re always happy to help!

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