Toughening plant

Toughened Glass

Toughened glass is a type of safety glass processed by controlled thermal treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. Tempering puts the outer surfaces into compression and the inner surfaces into tension. Such stresses cause the glass, when broken, to break into small, relatively harmless pieces, instead of into jagged shards as annealed glass can create.

As a result of its safety and strength toughened glass is used in a variety of demanding applications.

tough 1Toughened glass is made from annealed glass via a thermal tempering process. The glass is placed onto a roller table, taking it through a furnace which heats it above its transition temperature of 564ºc. The glass is then quenched and rapidly cooled with forced air.


Northern Express Glass Ltd have a dedicated toughening line, with a top of the range Glaston FC500 furnace, arising machine, and three lisec IG Lines, enabling the manufacture of over 10,000 pieces of toughened glass per week. Toughened glass is available in a number of thicknesses and glass types

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that holds together when broken. In the event of breaking it is held in place by an interlayer, typically made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB), between its two or more layers of glass. The interlayer keeps the layers of glass bonded even when broken, and its high strength prevents the glass from breaking up into large sharp pieces. This produces a characteristic “spider web” effect cracking pattern when the impact is not enough to completely pierce the glass.

Laminated glass is normally used where there is a possibility of human contact or where the glass could fall if shattered.

Laminated glass can also be used to increase the sound insulation rating of a window, where it significantly improves sound attenuation compared to unlaminated glass panes of the same thickness. For this purpose, a special “acoustic PVB” is used for the interlayer. An additional property of laminated glass for windows is that a PVB interlayer can block ultraviolet radiation.

Northern Express Glass Ltd stock laminated glass in a variety of thicknesses, and types, including Acoustic laminated, which is all cut to size on a top of the range Hegla Ecolam  cutting table. For further information please contact our sales team on 01253 858333.

Laminated Glass Cutting

Obscure Glass

For privacy, style or simply to allow more light into an internal room, obscure glass can give you a fantastic array of attractive options.

At Northern Express Glass Ltd our obscure glass of choice is the Pilkington Texture Range, which offers no fewer than 18 different designs, from traditional to contemporary, no-one offers a wider choice of original designs.

obscure 1The advantages of Pilkington Texture Glass are easy to see; it allows maximum light in, whilst maintaining your chosen level of privacy or obscuration, and also forms an attractive decorative feature itself.

With a variety of designs and the Pilkington Oriel etched collection, offering even more possibilities – all with the quality you would expect from one of the most recognised glass brands – there really is no better choice for your home.

Download the Pilkington Pattern Brochure here: Obscure Brochure


As an IGU is sealed, the space between the glass is filled with dehydrated air in order to improve the insulation properties of the unit. Whilst air is considered a good insulator there are superior options available.

For optimum thermal insulation, Northern Express Glass Ltd use argon gas to fill the cavity of their insulated glass units. Argon gas is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that provides optimum thermal insulation whilst being both non-toxic and inert. The use of argon gas in the units allows them to achieve a higher energy rating compared to units using dehydrated air.

All IGU’s manufactured by Northern Express Glass Ltd hold EN1279 Part 3 Pass Certificates, which means that they comply with the legal requirements for the testing of rates at which gas leaks from a unit.

Over time the concentration of gas present within an IGU decreases as it escapes, once the concentration falls below 80% the insulation properties are lost. Even after 20 years, a unit manufactured by Northern Express Glass Ltd will still retain 80% of the argon gas it was filled with.

Laminated Glass Cutting

Warm Edge Spacer

Most heat loss from windows occurs at the sealed unit edge where the spacer bar touches the two panes of glass and creates a thermal bridge. Heat has a direct passage from inside to outside which may cause condensation to form.

spacerNorthern Express Glass Ltd use a technologically advanced warm edge spacer system made from a highly insulating composite plastic that reduces the thermal bridge between the two panes of glass, thereby reducing condensation and cold spots.





This bar differs little in appearance from conventional spacer bars and complies with EN1279 Parts 2 and 3.