Glass and Glazing Glossary of Terms

Download Glossary of Terms – PDF

Annealing – A process of slowly cooling hot glass to relieve internal stresses and strengthen it.

Anti-Reflective Glass – A dielectric, thin-film coating applied to an optical surface in order to reduce the optical reflectivity in a certain wavelength range.

Ariss – The small, angled edge of the glass, which can be ground or polished.

Auto Clave – A machine that employs high-pressure and heat. In the glass industry, it is used to create a laminated glass product by producing a bond between glass and a PVB, urethane or other sheet interlayers.

Back-Painted – Glass that has been painted a flat color on one side of the surface.

Beveling – Edge finishing flat glass with a beveled angle.

Boom Trucks – A truck specialized to transport glass, up to jumbo sizes.

Ceramic Frit – A ceramic composition fused to glass through tempering.

Clear Glass – Standard transparent glass.

CNC Cutting Line – A process used in the manufacturing sector that involves the use of computers to control the line of cutting and improve precision.

Cranes – Machinery used to lift and transport glass or other materials.

Cutting – The process of scoring glass with a tungsten carbide or other hard alloy wheel and breaking it along the score.

Cut Sizes – Glass cut to a specific length and width.

Dolly – Wheeled cart used to transport glass or other materials.

Drilling – Cut notches, make holes or shapes in glass, usually done with a CNC computer to automate the process.

Edging – Machine grinding the edges of glass to a desired shape.

Edge Polishing – To machine the edge of the glass to produce a high polish with a flat edge and two arisses.

Fabrication – Manufacturing process in which an item is made (fabricated) from raw or semi-finished materials instead of being assembled from scratch.

Fire Protection Rating – The duration for which a passive fire protection system can withstand a standard fire resistance test, such as 60 minutes, 90 minutes, etc.

Fire Resistance – A material that prevents or hinders the passage of excessive heat, hot gases or flames under conditions of use.

Flat Glass – A general term to describe float glass or sheet glass.

Flooring – Slip resistant glass that has a rubber-like patterned texture on one side.

Glass – A hard, brittle substance, typically transparent or translucent, made by fusing sand with soda, lime, and sometimes other ingredients and cooling rapidly.

Glass Entrances – Entrance ways of any size for any building.

Glass Washing Machines – Used to clean glass before tempering or final inspection.

Hardware – Hardware used for hinges, rails, shower enclosures or doors to attach or allow access.

Heat Absorbing – Glass that can absorb heat or solar energy.

Heat Resisting – Glass that is heat-treated or leached to remove alkali so that it withstands high heat and sudden cooling without shattering.

Heat Strengthened – Glass that has been processed through a tempering furnace to alter its strength characteristics; usually flat or bent glass that has been heat-treated to have a surface compression between 3,500 and 7,500 psi (24 to 52 MPa), typically 2X stronger than annealed glass.

Jumbo Glass – Standard 130” X 240” sheet.

Laminated Glass – A type of safety glass that holds together when shattered; pieces are held in place by an interlayer, typically of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), between two or more layers of glass.

Low-Iron Glass – Glass with a low iron content that has a higher visible transmittance and thus a greater ability to collect solar energy, offered in float or satin etch glass.

Magnetic Glass – Glass with a steel sheet attached to the back of a flat glass surface making it magnetic.

Mirrored Glass – Glass that has a reflective surface on one side.

Miter – A joint made between two pieces of glass at an angle of 90°, such that the line of junction bisects this angle.

Monolithic – Another name for annealed glass.

Patterned Glass – A type of glass used to control light, obscure visual detail for privacy, or to provide decorative effects.

Polishing – Grinding each edge of the glass to 45 degrees.

Reflective Glass – Glass that has been treated with a metallic coating that allows it to reflect heat.

Satin Etch – Glass that has been chemically treated to give it a satin or frosted finish, on one or two sides.

Score – Make a split in the surface of the glass which encourages the glass to break along the score.

Seam – To grind or sand the sharp edges of a piece of glass, usually with an abrasive belt, wet or dry.

Shower Enclosures – Glass walls for any type of shower to create privacy or openness.

Silkscreen – Transferring an image to the glass by pressing ink through a screen and then processing it through a horizontal tempering furnace.

Spandrel Glass – An opaque solution designed to hide features between the floors of a building, such as mechanical equipment, concrete slab, vents and wires.

Switchable Glass – Glass or glazing whose light transmission properties are altered when voltage, light or heat is applied.

Tempered Glass – A process of controlled thermal or chemical treatments that put outer surfaces into compression and inner surfaces into tension and makes the glass four to five times stronger and safer than annealed or untreated glass. As a result, tempered glass is less likely to experience a thermal break and, if it does break, it breaks into many small pieces, thereby reducing the chance of injury.

Tinted Glass – Coloring glass during the manufacturing process to reduce the transmission of light and solar energy.

Vacuum Cups – Suction cups used with cranes to lift glass by producing an airtight suction.

Wall Systems – A set of glass shelves often with cabinets or bureaus that can be variously arranged along a wall.