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  • case hardening

A surface heat-treating process that produces a highly stressed surface. In case-hardening of glass, a plate of glass is heated almost to the softening point and then cooled quickly in a blast of cold air. This process causes the surface to harden before the interior, producing an internal tensile strain that makes the glass less likely to break on impact. The process is ideal for heat-absorbing plates because the internal strain is released when heat is absorbed in service, whereas normal glass develops internal expansion that may shatter the glass plate.
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