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A Glossary of Glass Industry Terms by Oak Mountain Glass

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Oak Mountain Glass is a full-service commercial and residential glass company located in Pelham, Alabama. We’re more than just a glass repair company though. We’re artisans who take pride in our extensive knowledge of glass works.

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A Glass And Window Repair Glossary by Oak Mountain Glass

The glass industry has its own set of terms that can be perplexing when encountered for the first time. To alleviate any confusion, presented below are definitions of common glass terminology that may prove beneficial for homeowners and businesses. We’re Oak Mountain Glass, and we specialize in glass repair, replacement, installation, and more.

Aluminum Window Frame

Aluminum window frames are made of a lightweight material that’s incredibly durable and corrosion-resistant. This type of frame is an excellent choice for those looking to save energy while providing strength against severe weather conditions.

Argon Gas

Argon is a gas that’s non-toxic, non-flammable, and odorless. It is often used in double and triple-pane glass windows to act as a barrier between the panes of glass. This prevents heat transfer from occurring and helps with insulation.

Beveled Glass

Beveled glass is typically crafted by taking a quarter-inch thick clear glass and skillfully crafting a one-inch bevel on one side along the entire edge. These bevels serve as prisms that capture the sunlight, resulting in a captivating display of diffracted colors. This not only accentuates the intricate glasswork but also introduces a vibrant spectrum of hues that are normally absent in standard clear float glass.

Coated Glass

The insulation of glazing can be improved by using a film or coating on its surface. This film is usually made of polyester or metal and can give the window a reflective appearance or a one-way mirror effect. These coatings can also help reduce fabric fading and improve safety if the glass breaks. When it comes to glass performance, there are two measurements: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), which shows how much solar thermal radiation is transmitted through the glass, and Visible Transmittance, which describes how much visible light passes through the glass from the exterior to the interior surfaces. Different coatings can independently alter both of these properties.


Double-glazing is a common term used to describe glass that has been sealed with two panes of glass, separated by a spacer. This creates an airtight chamber between the two panes which is then filled with an inert gas such as argon or krypton for insulation. The result is a window that can provide excellent insulation against outside temperatures and noise, making it a popular choice for homes and commercial buildings alike.

Double Pane Glass

Double pane glass, also known as insulated glass, consists of two individual glass panels that are separated by a sealed air space. This unique design provides numerous benefits, including superior heat insulation and noise reduction. By effectively reducing heat transfer and minimizing sound transmission, double pane glass windows have become a highly sought-after option for enhancing energy efficiency and creating a peaceful indoor environment.


Glazing is a highly effective process that involves the application of specialized sealants to a frame. This not only enhances its insulation properties but also acts as a barrier against condensation on the windows, thereby ensuring a comfortable indoor environment. Moreover, glazing offers additional benefits such as enhanced soundproofing, creating a quieter living space. When combined with other materials, it further reinforces the frame, adding strength and durability to the overall structure.

Heat-Absorbing Glass

Heat-absorbing glass is designed to absorb a portion of the solar energy that strikes it before it passes through the insulating layer of an IGU. This type of glass tends to have a blue color due to the metal oxide particles suspended in the glass matrix. Heat-absorbing glass can also be treated with a low-emissivity coating to reduce its thermal transmission and make it more energy efficient.

Insulated Glass

An Insulated Glazing Unit, also known as IGU, consists of glass and is commonly referred to as insulated glass. However, it is important to note that the glass itself does not possess any insulative properties. The actual insulation is provided by the air space between the layers of glass, which aids in regulating heat. To minimize heat transfer through convection currents, it is crucial to maintain still air within the insulating gap. This is why triple glazing is utilized in certain cases, as it further enhances insulation.

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass consists of two or more layers of glass that are adhered together to form a single sheet. This type of glass is incredibly strong and safe, as it will not shatter into sharp pieces if broken. Moreover, laminated glass offers optimal soundproofing properties and energy efficiency, making it an excellent choice for windows in both residential and commercial buildings.

Low-E Glass

Low-E glass, otherwise known as low-emissivity glass, is a type of insulated window glass that helps reduce the amount of energy loss through windows by blocking UV rays. This reduces heat transfer and ensures optimal thermal insulation.

Restoration Glass

The Southern region is teeming with stunning historic homes and commercial buildings, each with a story waiting to be revived by passionate preservationists. At Oak Mountain Glass, we specialize in restoration projects, ensuring that the glass used mirrors the original stock flawlessly. Our expert team excels at matching existing glass and even locating antique window patterns that are no longer found in the modern market. Experience the timeless charm of the past, brought back to life with our dedication to craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that is often used in commercial buildings, due to its high durability and strength. It is created by subjecting the glass to intense thermal treatment, which results in an altered physical structure. This results in a much harder surface that is four to five times stronger than regular glass and will not shatter into dangerous shards if broken. Tempered glass is also highly thermal resistant and can be used for soundproofing purposes.

Thermal performance

The maximum insulating efficiency of a standard IGU is determined by the thickness of the space containing the gas or vacuum. Insufficient space between the glass panes results in conductive heat loss, while excessive space leads to convection current losses. Most sealed units achieve optimal insulation using a gas space between 5/8 to 3/4” (16–19 mm) at the center of the IGU. The overall thickness of the IGU ranges from 7/8 to 1” for 3 mm glass (22–25 mm) to 1½” (28–31 mm) for 1/4” plate glass. IGU thickness is a compromise between maximizing insulation and the framing system’s capacity. Triple glazing presents challenges due to increased weight and size. Vacuum Insulated Glass (VIG), or evacuated glazing, can effectively reduce heat loss through convection and conduction. VIG units have most of the air removed, creating a near-vacuum. However, rigid seal glazing is limited to applications with temperature differentials below 35 °C (63 °F). Vacuum technology is also utilized in non-transparent insulation products known as vacuum-insulated panels.

Tinted Glass

Clear glass is the most commonly used component in Insulated Glass Units (IGUs), but tinted glass can also be employed for purposes such as reducing solar heat gain or as an architectural feature. The predominant tint colors available are bronze, gray, and green. The level of tinting varies based on the glass composition and coating thickness. Typically, tinted glass is positioned on the exterior of the IGU. Heat treatment is often necessary to minimize potential thermal stress and breakage, and it tends to re-radiate absorbed heat.

UV Protection Glass

Glass can be treated to reduce the amount of ultraviolet (UV) light that passes through it, which preserves interior furnishings and artwork from fading or discoloration. The most effective UV protection is achieved using a low-emissivity coating that reflects the majority of incoming UV radiation while still allowing visible light to pass through without significant attenuation. Low-e coatings are available in either hard or soft coatings, and both need to be applied on the interior side of the IGU to provide optimal protection.

One of our specialties is custom work, where we excel in catering to your unique needs. Our skilled team is capable of handling a wide range of projects, from crafting exquisite decorative glass tabletops to ensuring bullet-resistant installations on commercial or government buildings. With our attention to detail and commitment to quality, you can trust us to deliver exceptional results that exceed your expectations.

At our company, we take immense pride in delivering exceptional service and ensuring the highest level of craftsmanship. Our dedicated and amiable crews are fully equipped to handle any task, regardless of its size or complexity. Whether you require a repair for a cracked storefront window or a complete replacement for a shattered pane at your residence, you can trust us to restore it to its former glory.

We understand that your time is valuable, which is why we offer free quotes to help you make an informed decision. Give us a call today at 205.624.4144, and let us take care of all your glass repair and replacement needs.

Give us a call for a free quote today: 205.624.4144

Owner Isaac Smith measuring for replacement storefront glass

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