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Do Glass Shelves Need To Be Tempered?



Sep. 07, 2023
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If you are looking for storage that makes a clean, clear style statement, youre probably considering glass shelves.


As stylish as they are practical, glass shelving units can be as much of a design decision as a storage solution. They maximise the space and light in a room, while still giving a sturdy, supportive surface to show off your belongings.


Unfortunately, wood often seems the safer, simpler option but this is rarely actually the case. So, weve put together a handy guide to glass shelving units, tackling some of the most common queries people ask.


Are glass shelves tempered?

When creating bespoke glass shelves, it is always best to use glass that has been toughened or tempered.


In order to temper glass, it is heated to an intense heat then rapidly cooled by subjecting it to blasts of cold air. This process puts the inner layers of the glass under a higher level of stress than the outer layers. This makes it a lot stronger: in fact, tempered glass can be up to 4x as tough as untreated glass.


Tempered glass is also safer, because it breaks differently. It shatters completely into crumb like pieces with no sharp edges or shards.


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You are not legally required to use tempered glass when making shelves. However, here at KLG glass we use tempered glass for all our glass shelves because it is so much stronger and so much safer to do so.


How is annealed glass made?

Most architectural glass is manufactured by melting silica sand, soda ash, dolomite, limestone, and sodium sulfate to 1480 degrees C, and then floating it on a pool of molten tin.  (this is why it is referred to as FLOAT”  glass and not the old term PLATE).  The glass passes, on a conveyor, through an annealing lehr a furnace that controls the cooling process. The flat, cooled, solidified material at the end of the process is annealed glass. This is cut into sheets and shipped to other factories where secondary processes, like polishing, drilling, laminating and tempering, are applied.


How does annealed glass become tempered?

tempering plant

After the glass is cut to size it is passed, on rollers, through a tempering oven which heats it to a temperature of 620 degrees C.


Note that this diagram above is a repeating animated gif the glass only goes through the tempering process once!



Shahe Huide Glass products Co., Ltd, established in 2011, is a professional technology-based enterprise, engaged in the manufacturing, R&D, and sales of tempered glass products for all household appliances and furniture. Our main factory (HQ) is located in Shahe city, hebei province, china, which is the biggest manufacturing center for glass products in China, and is called Chinese Glass City. In June, 2021, another factory, Suqian Huide Glass Technology Co., Ltd was built in Jiangsu province, with investment over 4 million dollars to expand our manufacturing capacity and offer better services to our customers in south of China. With the convenient transportation, we deliver our products to not only domestic markets and also plenty foreign countries, like Europe, America, West Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle-east area, Japan, Korean, etc. Until the end of 2021, Huide Glass has staff totally 198, including 17 technical engineers and administrative staff. For production lines, Huide has 7 units of full-automatic cutting machines, 8 lines for edge grinding, 8 unites of equipment for CNC accurate grinding center, 3 glass tempering furnaces( one is North Glass Line, one is Yihai Line, the other is continuous tempering furnace South-tech). Huide can annually manufacture quality tempered glass over 3 million square meters, including refrigerator glass shelving, refrigerator door glass panel, washing machine lid, washing machine glass cover, wine cabinet door panels, display cabinet door panel, advertising billboard tempered glass panel, control glass panel, etc.

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