It’s one of those things that you might think about out of the blue – why exactly is glass used to make windows? Why not plastic or any other material? After all, glass is a material that is considered to be very fragile, and windows are meant to offer some degree of protection. Plus, in case of a storm or earthquake, shattered glass could cause serious injuries. Glass is also difficult to transport, as it can easily break in transit.
So why is it the preferred material for windows?
Here are a couple of reasons:
1. Glass is stronger than you might assume
Even though glass can shatter, it’s much stronger than you think. Of course, it can get slightly cracked or damaged, but that’s more of an inconvenience than a critical issue, plus it’s very easy to spot. A material like plastic could easily wear down or get warped and you would not be aware. It could potentially be rendered useless, and you wouldn’t know to replace it.
2. Glass is very resilient
Glass is weather resistant. The material can withstand the effects of wind, rain, and the sun without losing its appearance and integrity. Compared to materials such as plastic, glass is also more resistant to scratching and abrasion from sand, dirt, small rocks, and any other particles that may cause wear.
3. Glass is stiff
Glass is sturdy while still being thin. If you take a thin piece of plastic and stand it up, it will likely fold over. On the contrary, glass doesn’t bend at all. A plastic window would have to be significantly thicker to be as stiff, and that thickness would impact the overall quality of the window.
4. It’s a versatile material
Glass, unlike other materials, can absorb, transmit, or refract light. As a result, it can be both transparent and translucent.
5. It’s rust-resistant
You don’t have to worry about glass rusting – it won’t be degraded by chemicals and surrounding environmental effects.
6. It’s easy to clean
Glass has a smooth and glossy surface, and as a result, it’s dust-proof and easy to clean.
7. It’s economic
Another perk of having glass windows is energy conservation. Windows are important for insulation, especially double-paned windows. Other materials like plastic don’t have the same insulating properties and would therefore not be as efficient.
8. It’s safer from electric hazards
Glass is much safer from electric hazards. This is because it’s an excellent insulator, thus making it impossible to conduct electric current.
9. The ability of glass to break may not be such a bad thing
The fact that glass can break can be a good thing. In case you’re stuck in a house during a fire and you need to find a way out, it would be very difficult to break a plastic window. But, all you will need is a heavy object (like a chair) to shatter a glass window, consequently allowing you to get out.
To conclude, glass is a perfectly reasonable material to use for windows. That said, not all glass is the same. To get optimum function and comfort, choose to use high-quality glass for your windows.