Glass/Acrylic Thickness Calculations

Mezuri

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Aug 26, 2013
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Hey I'm not a very smart fella when it comes to calculators and a like.
I'm much more hands on and am rather crafty. Now I'm looking into a 5ft x 2ft x 30 inch tall what thickness glass/acrylic do you think I should use?
Sorry to revive a thread and/or be a pain in the butt
 

Eddie_87

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Sep 22, 2013
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Hi Pharaoh

I am planning to construct an 8' x 4' x 3'. Provided that I use bricks layered with waterproof coats for the back, sides and floor, how thick should i go for the front viewing panel if I choose cell-cast acrylic? And yes, the top will be heavily supported as well.

Thanks in advance!
 

Pharaoh

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Its basically a paludorium with half water. I am currently designing a metal frame for it and going through fea for the same , 15mm is not really the important thing here , the question is should we design a tank for just the water column height or for the glass panel hieght.
Eventually i might even go for acrylic of a suitable thickness.
Hope this helps. Will post a pic when the 3d model takes shape.

Oh btw this is a one side view frp tank 20 x5 x6 ft with only the front being glass .it might have either 4 windows if its glass or 2 if its acrylic.

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Numbers wise, you would go with water level hieght. But, if the height of the tank goes too far while being unsupported, you could run some risk. i would suggest going up a size in glass and betting on the safe side.

Hello guys, I am planning to build a new tempo tank until my main project is finished. I am wondering on which thickness of glass I should use to save some cash:). The dimension/s that I was planning on is a small one, a 4'x30"x18" glass tank.

I found this calculator, http://www.garf.org/tank/BuildTank.asp , I don't know if I should trust this 100%. I'm looking to save a few bucks, here and there until budget permits, so I am planning on using 1/4" thick glass(same with the braces inside the tank and the top part).

Question now is that, will it break? Will this be too much of a risk? Should I opt for 3/8" or better yet, 1/2"?
The number comes out to just over 1/4. You'd be best to use 3/8" and call it good.

HI i've found a sheet of tempered glass 72"x36"-3/8" Thick. Would this be strong enough for a 75"x34"x37" high plywood tank viewing window? The glass would be framed in by 1 1/2" and the viewable glass would be 4" of bottom of tank and the waterline on top would be even with the top of viewable glass so 33" of glass exposed. What do you all think? Is it safe? Thanks
I wouldn't trust 3/8" at all. You will need to go thicker.

Hey I'm not a very smart fella when it comes to calculators and a like.
I'm much more hands on and am rather crafty. Now I'm looking into a 5ft x 2ft x 30 inch tall what thickness glass/acrylic do you think I should use?
Sorry to revive a thread and/or be a pain in the butt
Glass: 5/8"
Acrylic: 1.0"


Hi Pharaoh

I am planning to construct an 8' x 4' x 3'. Provided that I use bricks layered with waterproof coats for the back, sides and floor, how thick should i go for the front viewing panel if I choose cell-cast acrylic? And yes, the top will be heavily supported as well.

Thanks in advance!
For acrylic, go with 1.5".


Also, if you post here and don't get a quick response, shoot me a PM.
 

Ocean Railroader

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How thick would the acrylic need to be be for a foot deep foot wide eight food long fish tank or it might be a eight inch by eight inch tank that is eight to four feet long that is sort of like having three 20 gallon tanks lined up next to one another in that I'm planning on building one of them as a demonstration for a new fish tank idea called the the fish tank water trough that would act sort of like what hamster tubes do between hamster cages.

The idea is that I would have to fiberglass or acrylic tanks fitting with eight inch to six inch PVC pipe fittings for the water trough to link into.
 

gzeiger

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Mar 25, 2009
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Are these calculators based on tempered or annealed glass? Is it safe to handle tempered glass in very large pieces? Some sites caution that a small blow to an edge or corner can shatter larger tempered panes.
 

Pharaoh

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I would say it was more of an "Acrylic" answer.

*Cue the rimshot!

How thick would the acrylic need to be be for a foot deep foot wide eight food long fish tank or it might be a eight inch by eight inch tank that is eight to four feet long that is sort of like having three 20 gallon tanks lined up next to one another in that I'm planning on building one of them as a demonstration for a new fish tank idea called the the fish tank water trough that would act sort of like what hamster tubes do between hamster cages.

The idea is that I would have to fiberglass or acrylic tanks fitting with eight inch to six inch PVC pipe fittings for the water trough to link into.
96" x 12" would be around .27" acrylic (3/8" closest common size) or about 10mm

48" x 8" would be around .15" (1/4' closest common size) or about 7mm

Are these calculators based on tempered or annealed glass? Is it safe to handle tempered glass in very large pieces? Some sites caution that a small blow to an edge or corner can shatter larger tempered panes.
Generally annealed, but toughened glass has pretty much the same characteristics with the added benefit of being more resident to blunt trauma. It actually take quite a bit of effort to shatter a pane of tempered glass. Somewhere I have a video of me hitting a 7' x 5' piece of glass on the edge with a sledge hammer. It took 6 or 7 good whacks with the hammer to get it to shatter. It isn't nearly as delicate as people make it out to be. Of course, based on the specific glass and the specific tempering process, it's shatter resistance could be much higher or much lower.
 

gzeiger

Gambusia
Mar 25, 2009
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The thickness calculation should be different for tempered glass though, right? I'm fairly isolated here and my window size will basically be determined by what I can lift. If I could use 1/2" instead of 3/4" glass, then I could have two bigger windows instead of three smaller ones.
 

Pharaoh

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The thickness calculation should be different for tempered glass though, right? I'm fairly isolated here and my window size will basically be determined by what I can lift. If I could use 1/2" instead of 3/4" glass, then I could have two bigger windows instead of three smaller ones.
The issue with tempered glass is the variability in the process. Are you buying physically tempered glass or are you buying chemically tempered glass? Even then, you need to get into the actual makeup of the glass to understand if the density, elasticity, and/or the yield strength changes based on the tempering method. Yes, it is technically stronger, but in a way that I am willing to suggest and subject you to potential failure? No.

These guidelines and calculators are based on safe bet scenarios. As a general forum providing advice and guidelines based on a lot of unknown factors, it's wise to be on the conservative side. Sure, you can skimp, but it is at your own risk. You have to make that call.
 

Freemananana

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Apr 16, 2015
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I got a 90g tall tank recently with 1/2" glass. Previous owner says it is tempered. I was going to use the front panel as a viewing panel in a plywood build. It measure 40"x31". The tank was 40"x31"x18" (LxHxW). When building the front viewing pane for a plywood tank, there is a couple inches of depth added to the tank. Would this glass be okay with the added weight? Tank plan is going to be 44"x33"x30" (LxHxW), basically just a deeper tank. Do you think I will run into any problem? I've read a lot on 'proper' bracing, which is different from everyone you ask.

I'm curious as to the limits of this 1/2" glass. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
 
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