Laminated glass typically consists of 2 sheets of glass with an interlayer between them. This configuration makes the glass stronger but if it does get broken, the pieces of glass stay together making it safer than normal glass.
These safety and strength qualities make it the idea material for glazing vulnerable areas such as car windscreens, skylight windows and areas likely to withstand hurricane winds.
If the glass breaks it normally holds together on the frame whilst the glass cracks. This cracking can be a slow process if the initial damage to the window was minimal. The glass can also help to prevent ingress of objects. Anyone near the breakage is protected from the glass shattering and causing injury.
The interlayer is usually made from polyvinyl butyral or PVB. Normal float glass is used, often the thickness of each glass layer is 3mm. The PVB layer is .38mm. The glass is therefore sometimes known as 6.38 laminated glass.
Instead of normal glass, toughened glass and polycarbonate can also used to increase strength - for bullet proof glass, for instance. The configuration can increase the thickness of the glass to as much as 10mm.
Apart from strength and safety, laminated glass has improved noise reduction qualities because the PVB dampens sounds. The glass also filters out 99% of harmful UV sunlight.
The traditional method of cutting the glass is to firstly cut the glass layers and then pour a flammable liquid (typically methylated spirits) on to the PVB layer and set it alight.
As this can be dangerous, there are a number of safer options now available. A better alternative is to use specially designed laminated cutting tables or use vertically inclined saws.