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Curved glass and curved elements can be an essential aspect for a design or project, they can provide a feel of openness to a space, providing natural organic shapes to a space or room. Using curved glass is a fantastic way to carry on that design feature in message to all external and internal faces of the design.
All curved glass units are made in kiln baths where the radius of the curve required is cut on water jets into metal templates, forming the shape of the glass curvature. The flat glass is placed over the metal mould and the kiln is heated very quickly, kiln goes from 1-1000 degrees in 7 minutes. Glass then forms to the space of the curve.
Curved glass can be made in one of three distinct ways, creating three main types of curved glass, each suited for different applications:
Annealed Glass Bends (non-impact resistant)
Laminated Curved Glass (impact resistant)
Toughened Curved Glass (impact resistant)
Toughened panes can then be brought together and laminated for a further degree of safety glass used in overhead panels. Toughened curved glass panels can also be heat soaked for a better resistance against Nickel Sulphide Inclusion.
Both toughened and laminated curved glass panels can be brought together to form a double or triple glazed curved glass unit for external uses as well as treating curved units with all manner or performance coatings for a more functional glass piece, such as Low-E coatings, solar control coatings, self-cleaning coatings etc.
The results of glass curving can range from cylindrical single curves, to complex non cylindrical items with tight radius curves and tangents. The maximum glass sizes, angles and radius curves depend on the thickness of glass to be used to allow for tight radius curves and a wide range of applications in architectural, commercial and residential installations.
For glass to be used for most residential or commercial projects it needs to have impact resistance (be a safety glass) and will need to be either toughened, laminated or toughened-laminated curved glass or curved double glazing.
Restrictions on size and shape are applicable, as with most glazed items and panels. The level of these restrictions depend on various factors such as the thickness of glass to be curved, whether it will be toughened or laminated, the radius size, the angle of the curve and whether the curved glass will be cylindrical or non-cylindrical.
The maximum size of glass to be curved is 6m x 3m. It is important to recall a few aspect of circle geometry in measuring the size of a curved glass panel that is wanted.
The distance around the outside of a circle is the circumference. The length of a line drawn completely through a circle is the diameter, while any line extending from the centre of a circle to the circumference is its radius.
The distance around a particular bend is known as its girth or arc. The chord of a bend is the distance from one point of the bend to the other. To measure the depth of the curve, you take half the distance of the chord and measure to the top of the curve.
The maximum angle of curved glass is 90 degrees and with small radius sizes can create very tight curvatures and U-bends for more decorative glass aspects. The same applies for curved double glazing.
How is tempered glass made?
Tempered glass is about four times stronger than "ordinary," or annealed, glass. And unlike annealed glass, which can shatter into jagged shards when broken, tempered glass fractures into small, relatively harmless pieces. As a result, tempered glass is used in those environments where human safety is an issue. Applications include side and rear windows in vehicles, entrance doors, shower and tub enclosures, racquetball courts, patio furniture, microwave ovens and skylights.
To prepare glass for the tempering process, it must first be cut to the desired size. (Strength reductions or product failure can occur if any fabrication operations, such as etching or edging, take place after heat treatment.) The glass is then examined for imperfections that could cause breakage at any step during tempering. An abrasivesuch as sandpapertakes sharp edges off the glass, which is subsequently washed.
Next, the glass begins a heat treatment process in which it travels through a tempering oven, either in a batch or continuous feed. The oven heats the glass to a temperature of more than 600 degrees Celsius. (The industry standard is 620 degrees Celsius.) The glass then undergoes a high-pressure cooling procedure called "quenching." During this process, which lasts just seconds, high-pressure air blasts the surface of the glass from an array of nozzles in varying positions. Quenching cools the outer surfaces of the glass much more quickly than the center. As the center of the glass cools, it tries to pull back from the outer surfaces. As a result, the center remains in tension, and the outer surfaces go into compression, which gives tempered glass its strength.
Glass in tension breaks about five times more easily than it does in compression. Annealed glass will break at 6,000 pounds per square inch (psi). Tempered glass, according to federal specifications, must have a surface compression of 10,000 psi or more; it generally breaks at approximately 24,000 psi.
Another approach to making tempered glass is chemical tempering, in which various chemicals exchange ions on the surface of the glass in order to create compression. But because this method costs far more than using tempering ovens and quenching, it is not widely used.
Laminated glass: all you need to know
Glass has evolved from its humble origins to encompass manifold functionalities, unheard of a couple of decades ago. Today, it is a celebrated building material among architects and interior designers, used in various structures such as skywalks, walkways, floorings, etc. Yet, one of the most common misconceptions among people regarding glass is that it breaks easily and when it does so, can lead to serious injuries. And for such concerns exists a product tough enough to resist heavy impact – laminated glass.
If you’re looking for a suitable safety and security glass for the windows of your home, laminated glass may be your best choice. Laminated glass is a layered type of glass with a laminated sheet resting between 2 layers of glass. This laminated sheet is usually made of polyvinyl butyral or PVB and acts as a sort of adhesive to reduce danger in case the glass gets broken. The number of layers can extend up to 9 as well, keeping in mind that every 2 sheets of glass will have a film of PVB between them.
How is Laminated Glass Made?
Laminated glass is manufactured by adhering two or more layers of glass together with a flexible PVB interlayer. This takes place through a heat and pressure process in which the chemical bond formed between the glass and PVB interlayer does not merely join them but ‘conjoins’ them to create an entirely new material.
What are the Advantages of Laminated Glass?
Laminated glass is generally used for safety and security purposes. This is because even if the glass is broken, the PVB layers make the glass layers stick to them so that it does not fall out of the window frame. This is especially useful in households with small children. The PVB layers reduce the transmission of UV rays into the house, decreasing the likelihood of skin diseases.
It is much more durable than ordinary glass even though its installation does not take any special effort or time. It can even resist impact by pieces of metal and rocks. Laminated glass is also much less vulnerable to changes in temperature and pressure than ordinary glass. The viscoelastic properties of the specialised PVB interlayer makes laminated glass an excellent sound insulator. This is an advantage if there are old people or pets inside the house.
What are the Uses of Laminated Glass?
The most common use of laminated glass is in automobile windshields. This is because not only is laminated glass much stronger than normal annealed glass and will not easily break but on the rare occasion that it does break, it will not shatter into sharp shards but the glass pieces will stick together forming a spider web-like pattern, thereby reducing chances of serious injuries.
Laminated glass is a good choice for use in buildings when it comes to providing protection against disasters such as a fire or an earthquake. Laminated glass is more resistant to fire than ordinary glass which means that it will take time to be shattered during which the inhabitants of the building can escape. During an earthquake, the glass does not shatter immediately and fall out from its frames, making it a lot safer for people to pass by windows and get outside. This application of laminated glass extends to both residential and commercial spaces.
Glass canopies have become a popular trend in exterior decoration both for their aesthetics ad practicality. And these canopies are generally made using laminated glass as it is harsh weather-resistant while at the same time also allows natural light to enter the space giving it a n overall more spacious appearance. And what’s more, it keeps harmful UV rays at bay.
Shop windows and doors are often made of laminated glass so that they hold in case of a break-in attempt since shops are particularly vulnerable to robberies. For the same reason, laminated glass doors and windows are even installed in the construction of homes.
Balcony railings are often built using laminated glass owing to its impact-resistance properties and the aesthetic appeal that it renders. Moreover, the glass does not obstruct the outside view, even for little kids.
Nowadays, more and more people are opting for the option of an “infinity swimming pool” or a boundary-less pool that gives the illusion of water flowing over its edge. Such pools are generally constructed using laminated glass since it is shatter-proof and highly pressure-resistant.
Its resistance to changes in temperature makes it a good candidate for the construction of skylights. Skylights made of laminated glass will not break and fall even under extreme weather conditions like a hailstorm. Other structural applications of laminated glass can be found in the making of glass railings, curtain walls, glass facades, glass roofs, etc.
Buildings with glass floors typically use laminated glass because ordinary glass would break under the pressure of all the foot traffic it would be subjected to. Overhead glass structures in buildings are also made of laminated glass as it will not break and rain down into tiny pieces in case of an impact.
Protective cases in jewellery shops, art galleries, aquariums, banks, money exchange centres, showrooms, and other such places that house valuables are made of laminated glass due to matters of safety. Furthermore, laminated glass can also be used to enhance the visual appeal of a space as it is available in colourful and fabricated variants.
How to Paint Glass: Guide, Tips, and Materials
Glass painting is an excellent skill to learn, whether you’re looking to create some DIY home décor, want something fun to do with your kids, or are just interested in expanding your artistic repertoire.
With a little guidance and practice, you should have no trouble mastering the art of glass painting. And we’re here to help, with plenty of tips and advice to get you started, including answers to some of the most common questions about painting on glass windows, jars, vases, and more.
What Supplies You Need for Painting on Glass
Glass holds up to paint extremely well, but you’ll need to have the right supplies on hand to ensure that you get the results you’re looking for. Here’s what to grab.
As far as what kind of paint will stick to glass, you have a few different options to choose from, most of them formulated with an acrylic base.
Acrylic enamel paint: This might seem like an oxymoron since acrylic paint is water-based and enamel paint is oil-based, but it’s actually more of a best of both worlds situation. Acrylic enamel paints bond to a wide variety of surfaces—glass included—and form a hard shell that helps ensure your color stays in place.
Acrylic glass paint: This type of glass paint is purely acrylic-based, but it’s different from your standard acrylics, which don’t readily adhere to the smooth surface of glass. Look for acrylics that are specifically intended for glass and tile, since these have chemical additives that allow the acrylic base to stick to a non-porous surface.
Solvent-based paint: A fancier name for oil-based paint, this type of paint contains high levels of organic compounds that bind to glass better than their traditional water-based counterparts. You’ll get a super-saturated color with solvent-based paint, but keep in mind that these paints are more toxic (and much harder to clean) than acrylics.
Glass painting markers and pens: These are a fantastic option if you’re looking for an easy medium to work with, and especially if you’re glass painting with kids. Choose from pens and markers in a variety of colors and tip sizes, and skip the work of having to clean brushes when you’re done. (Psst: want your painting on glass windows permanent? Use oil-based paint markers for added longevity.)
What type of glass paint you use will depend on a few different factors. Markers, for example, are great for fine detailing, but not so great for the type of surface coverage that you might want if you’re painting on glass jars or vases. Meanwhile, solvent-based paints can produce stunning results, but they’re not ideal if you’re glass painting with little ones or somewhere where you don’t have great ventilation.
Other Glass Painting Materials
Aside from glass paint, you’ll need a few other things as well, including:
Paint brushes: The best types of brushes for glass painting are soft-bristled and pliable varieties like acrylic or watercolor brushes. Foam brushes in a variety of sizes and angles are also good to have on hand.
Applicator sponges: In addition to brushes, you may choose to use sponges as well to apply paint to glass. This provides you with a different visual texture, though you’ll still want to use brushes for achieving complete coverage.
If you really want to mix it up, you can use additional applicator tools from around your home, including toothpicks, cotton swabs, and cotton balls, all of which will vary your final look.
Other things to have at the ready include latex gloves (if you’re using solvent-based paints) and clean microfiber cloths for fixing any mistakes as you go.
What Is an Insulated Glass Unit or IGU?
Insulated Glass Units (IGUs) feature two panes of glass separated by an inert gas
The layer of gas diffuses heat transfer, which makes the window more energy efficient
IGUs are also known as “double glazing” of “double-pane” glass windows
Windows are a large source of heat loss in a home – but who want to live in the dark? Brighten up a home without sacrificing energy efficiency with insulated glass. Insulated glass units (IGUs) prevent heat loss through your glass doors and windows. The units consist of two panes of glass separated by an inert gas. The insulating layer provided by the gas between the windowpanes diffuses heat transfer. Most modern homes and buildings use insulated glass. The windows provide the same benefits of single-pane windows, with energy efficiency that helps homeowners save money.
Insulated glass is often referred to as a unit since most of the parts are dependent on another for proper performance. Unlike single-pane glass, IGU glass panes are part of a sealed system that can’t be replaced individually. Insulated glass units go by different names, including: “double glazing” or “double-pane glass windows.”
Glass – The glass in IGUs can be a range of thicknesses or type. Laminated or tempered glass may be used in areas where safety or strength is a priority. IGUs can also contain up to three panes of glass where extra heat or sound insulation is required. Thicker glass is more expensive but more efficient.
Spacer – IGUs utilize a spacer that separates the two glass panes where they meet at the edges / window frame. These spacers usually have some sort of desiccant to absorb moisture between the panes and prevent fogging. The width of the spacers depends on the gas used for insulation and window type. Generally, the wider the spacer, the more efficient (and expensive) the window.
Window Frame – Insulated glass is used in many different types of windows where efficiency is required: double hung windows, picture windows, casement windows and skylights use insulated glass to prevent heat loss.
Gas – The gas used between the glass panes varies with each manufacturer. In general, an inert gas such as argon, krypton or a mixture of both creates the insulating barrier between the indoors and outdoors.