Safety Glazing for
Custom Applications

Toughened Glass for
Protection and Safety

Tempered glass is necessary in situations where safety glazing is required by building codes or toughened glass is needed for high load applications.

Cardinal’s CT glass operations provide consistent high quality tempered glass that can be made in nearly any configuration. More importantly our process capabilities allow for short lead times and quick delivery demanded by today’s custom design market.


In the tempering process, glass is heated to approximately 1200° F (650° C) and then rapidly cooled with air. This locks the outer surface of the glass in compression which dramatically increases glass strength.

Fully tempered glass is four times stronger than a piece of annealed glass. When it breaks, it separates into small pieces as a break-safe pattern, reducing likelihood of injury.

Annealed glass break pattern
(not safety certified)

Tempered glass break pattern
(meets safety criteria)

Cardinal’s tempered glass meets important safety codes.

ANSI Z-97.1-2009

CPSC 16 CFR 1201 categories I and II

Glass Compression and
Tension Zones

Glass tempering makes the exterior surface go into compression and the interior into tension. Fully tempered glass has a surface compression of 10,000 psi.

Heat-Strengthened Glass

Unlike tempering, heat strengthening is an intermediate level of compression that doubles the strength and can provide flatter glass with better aesthetics.

Heat strengthening is not considered safety glazing as it will break into large shards like ordinary annealed glass.

Cardinal’s Manufacturing

All of Cardinal’s fabrication centers are equipped for glass tempering needs. Cardinal also operates stand-alone tempering centers to further expand our service levels:

  • 10 Cardinal CT locations for custom tempering operations
  • 3 Cardinal TG facilities for high volume tempering

This massive capacity means that we’re capable of fulfilling any size tempered glass order at any time.

Advantages of Cardinal’s
Tempered Glass

There are multiple reasons to choose Cardinal’s custom tempering services:

Quality Assurance

Our Intelligent Quality program ensures that each tempered pane is free of defects, distortion, and color abnormalities.

Manufacturing Flexibility

Our tempering lines are in various geographic centers in the United States, meaning shorter lead times for product fulfillment.

Complete Turn-key Operation

A broad line of glass products, coatings, lamination, and insulating glass means you are guaranteed superior products from one supplier.

For more information about incorporating custom tempered glass into your window or door designs, please contact one of Cardinal CT’s fabrication centers.

Additional Resources