At formal events and high-end parties, glass drinkware is usually preferred because glass is often considered a status symbol, much like real crystal glasses.
The trend these days is for establishments to look for options that reduce glass replacement costs, OH&S and patron-damage issues. This is being addressed through the development of toughened glassware and double-fired glass rims for added chip resistance and dishwasher use.
The toughening process makes the glass four to six times stronger than regular glass and able to resist thermal shock and mechanical shock.
Additionally, if the glass does break, rather than producing long glass shards, it crumbles into smaller fragments similar to a windscreen break. So there is less likelihood of severe injury or deep lacerations.
Toughened glass handles hot and cold very well. A hot glass straight out of the dishwasher can be filled with a cold beer and will not fracture and vice versa.
Fully toughened is not to be confused with ‘rim toughened/tempered’ – which is when the ‘toughened’ treatment is applied just to the rim of the glass.
New lead-free crystal glassware has outstanding transparency and a 30 per cent higher resistance to breakage while retaining the traditional clarity and aural ‘ring’ qualities. Glassmaker Luigi Bormioli has perfected the process of producing ‘lead-free’ crystal stemware and tumblers while retaining the traditional clarity and aural ‘ring’ qualities of crystal previously manufactured (mouth-blown) with lead oxide content. Its glasses also have a fine rim, which is double-fired for added chip resistance and are eminently dishwasher suitable.
In 2007, it developed the SON.hyx formulation, an ultra-clear lead-free crystal glass made from pure raw materials for outstanding transparency and a 30 per cent higher resistance to breakage from everyday use.
Last year it developed the Sparkx formulation that is more durable than normal glass, with 30 per cent more resistance to mechanical shocks, and is also more eco-friendly, with no lead and other heavy metals in its make up. The Sparkx formula produces particularly sparkling, transparent glassware that stays that way even after 2000 rounds in a commercial dishwasher.
Sparkx is classified in the glass industry as ‘ultraclear’, meaning glassware made from it is essentially colourless and free from materials that produce unwanted colour tinges such as green and blue.
Last year, Luigi Bormioli perfected its titanium reinforcement technology that uses molecules of titanium to reinforce the stems of glassware. When combined with the strength of SON.hyx, it provides a 140 per cent increase in resistance to stem breakage – and reduces abrasion, chips and stem twist damage (which is common when glassware is dried by hand).
Its drop-stop coating stops wine from dripping by almost eliminating surface tension. Just as the carafe is tipped back towards standing position, the wine flow’s own inertia redirects any drips back into the bottle.
The coating is completely inert, does not affect the organoleptic properties of the wine and is resistant to washing, wear and tear.