Float glass is produced by melting sand, soda-ash, limestone and dolomite in a furnace, and sometimes also mixing in recycled glass. The furnace outputs a continuous ribbon of molten glass that is floated onto a large bed of molten tin. This mixture slowly solidifies to a thickness controlled by the speed it is drawn over the molten tin. It is then annealed – control cooled – to ensure flatness.
Toned float glass is produced by adding a colourant, usually powdered oxides, into the furnace. It is primarily designed to reduce solar heat gain and glare, which from an occupant's point of view increases the comfort level and can reduce cooling costs.
Low iron float glass is ultra-clear and provides a higher degree of transparency than clear float glass. This optimum clarity is achieved by removing most of the iron oxide content used to produce glass. The improved clarity of low iron glass compared with clear float glass is barely discernable unless the two types of glass are viewed against a coloured background.

Low-E glass, or low emissivity glass has a microscopic thin coating applied to one side, which has a low rate of emission – that is, it has a lower rate of allowing heat to pass through the glass. In other words, if there is a heat source inside your house (or outside), the glass coating bounces the heat from that object back away from the glass. So, in the winter months, if you have Low-E glass in your home, much of the warmth (heat) given off by heaters, cooking appliances and all the objects which they have heated, is bounced back into the room. In the summer, the same thing happens but in reverse. The sun heats things up (the air, sidewalks, driveways, next door neighbours bricks, etc.) outside of your house. This heat radiates from those objects and tries to get into your house. With Low-E glass much of this heat bounces off the glass and stays outside. When combined as part of an IGU, you achieve enhanced energy efficiency by the Low-E glass reflecting the heat back, while the air space slows down the transfer.
There are two types of coated glass: online coated (hard coat) and offline coated (soft coat). As you might imagine, they have different properties. In fact, they actually look different.

is manufactured by pouring a thin layer of metallic oxide onto a sheet of glass while the glass is still on the float line, just after it has been formed into a thickness ribbon. The metallic oxide layer actually becomes welded to the glass surface. This process makes it very difficult or hard to scratch or remove the coating therefore why it is referred to as hard coat. Often this glass has a bluish tint to it. Low E and Self Cleaning coatings fall under this category.

involves the application of silver, zinc or tin (or a combination of) to glass that has already been formed and taken off the float line. The coating is softer than online coated glass therefore why it is referred to as soft coat. Furthermore, if silver is used (and it often is) the offline coating can oxidise if exposed to normal air. For this reason, offline coated glass must be used in an insulated glass unit (IGU). Sealing the coating in between two pieces of glass protects it from outside air and sources of abrasion. Soft coats have been developed with both Low E (insulation) properties as well as solar control.

Laminated glass is safety glass that has been manufactured by adhering two or more sheets of glass with a flexible interlayer. This interlayer, usually 0.38mm thick and manufactured from poly vinyl butyral (PVB), prevents the glass from disintegrating when broken.

Toughened glass is produced by passing cut-to-size annealed float glass through a heat furnace. This process introduces stress into the glass and produces a glass 4-5 times stronger than ordinary float glass. Toughened glass can still be broken, however if this does happen it shatters into small fragments, minimising the risk of injury caused by glass splinters.

Insulating glass units (also referred to as double glazed units) consist of two panes of glass separated by a spacer around the edges and sealed to the perimeter in factory controlled conditions. The spacer contains a desiccant which eliminates moisture vapour in the cavity. Insulating glass units are available in many glass combinations, and the air gap between the glass panes can be filled with a range of gases. For more information please click here.