Could you survive the glass bridge in Squid Game? Can you tell the difference between annealed and tempered glass? We can and we’ll show you how.
FIRST AND FOREMOST, IF YOU’VE NOT SEEN SQUID GAME OR THIS EPISODE, STOP READING RIGHT NOW.
Let’s say you were placed in a situation where you had to cross a bridge made of annealed and tempered glass. Step on the wrong glass, you fall and probably die. We recently saw a group of not-so-lucky contestants in “Squid Game” try to decipher the difference between annealed and tempered glass. Most chose poorly and fell a few stories to their demise.
At this point, you can either test your luck and make a run for it or read this article and learn the physical differences between the two types of glass and make it across the bridge safely. Or, more realistically, you can flex your knowledge when you rewatch “Squid Game” with friends and assure them you could cross the bridge with little no issue.
What’s the Difference Between Annealed and Tempered Glass?
So first, it’s good to have a general idea of the differences between annealed and tempered glass. This will help you know what to look for.
In its liquid form, annealed glass is simply glass floated on top of melted tin, which makes the floating glass panel smooth. Then the glass is very slowly cooled in a process called annealing.
Tempered glass starts as annealed glass but is then heated up to 1300f (700c) before quickly being cooled by blasts of air as it rolls through the tempering furnace. Being rolled through the tempering furnace is a significant point of note here.
The Differences Between Annealed and Tempered Glass is Clear
Now you know about both types of glass and a super quick crash into how they’re made. Let’s learn about some visual and tactile differences between the two glass types to aid you in navigating the glass bridge.
Labels Will Tell You All You Need to Know
Tempered glass manufacturers are required to stamp tempered glass panels with “Tempered” or “Temp”. If you see that, usually on the corner of the panel, you can stop right there and feel confident that this glass panel is indeed tempered.
But there is a catch. If the glass panel is fresh off the line and newly delivered, finding this stamp is pretty straightforward. Now, if it’s an old piece of glass, the mark could have rubbed off or faded away. A window frame or channel could also hide it. If that’s the case, continue reading about our other ways of finding the differences between annealed and tempered glass.
Ever been driving down the road with your awesome polarized sunglasses, and all the cars have trippy rainbow windows and windshields? Yeah, that’s the effect of tempered glass. Tempered glass will give off stripy rainbow colors when viewed through polarized sunglasses. The only catch is that if the tempered glass is etched, the effect may not be as visible, if at all.
Markings and Blemishes
Look over your glass panel closely for any warps, imperfections, or dimples. If you see anything glaring in that situation, you’re probably looking at tempered glass. Since tempered glass goes under extreme heat and cooling in a short period, the machinery usually leaves marks and indents in the glass panel. This is known as Roller Wave Distortion. Which also sound like an awesome band name. Usually only to be seen on close inspection, you may also see surface scratches left during manufacturing.
Annealed glass usually has rough edges due to the sprockets used to guide the panel while it floats across the tin during the floating process. Tempered glass, on the other hand, usually has processed edges that are very smooth and beveled. Remember, you cannot cut tempered glass, so no tricks here. So, unless both the annealed and tempered glass have perfectly polished edges, this is an excellent way to tell the difference between the two glass types.
Firstly, don’t believe everything you see on TV.
One absolute major error in this whole episode and common misconception throughout media is that tempered glass, while it is safety glass, does not behave, perform, or offer the strength and capabilities of laminated glass.
I would not trust annealed or tempered glass to hold the weight of a full-grown adult, and especially not two. Laminated glass, absolutely. Without a doubt, laminated glass could hold multiple people. In fact, laminated glass bridges are found all over the world. Same for laminated glass stairs. But laminated glass is easy to spot due to the visible seam between the multiple pieces of glass. But that would ruin the game.Another fact to remember is that tempered glass has its weak point along its edges. So, placing the glass along railing supporting the tempered glass along the sides would apply pressure to the edges as the glass flexed and would have a good chance of shattering the panel.
Take This. It’s Not Safe to Go Alone
I hope this article has helped you learn the difference between annealed and tempered glass. If you ever do find yourself in such a precarious predicament, you should fare well.