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Monday, April 14, 2014

Architectural Glass

By Kolja Klok   Posted at  11:52 PM  

Overview of Architectural Glass
Architectural glass, regard as “Safety glass”, consist of two or more panes of glass with one or more layers of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sandwiched between them and treated. The glass panes can be basic float glass or tempered or heat strengthened panel. If the glass is broken fragments tend to adhere to the PVB interlayer thereby reducing the risk of injury from falling glass and helping to resist further impact or weather damage. PVB membrane has good tenacity performance and when the laminated glass breaks due to violent force, the PVB will absorb large amount of impact energy and disperse it rapidly. Therefore, it hard to break the architectural glass and the shape of the glass may be maintained even if being broken. Furthermore, personnel inside and outside the buildings will not be hurt by the glass fragment.
Features of Architectural Glass:
Architectural glass provides durability, high-performance and multi-functional benefits and at the same time preserves the aesthetic appearance of glass. Architectural glass provides a solution to many architectural design problems and offers increased protection from the effects of disasters such as hurricane, earth quake and bomb blasts, if suitably designed.
Ordinary glass windows are brittle and break into long sharp pieces, causing serious and sometimes fatal injuries. An important feature of architectural glass is its performance under impact. That is, the interlayers in architectural glass have the capacity to absorb the energy of impact and resist penetration. Safety hazards caused due to breakages are minimised with the use of architectural glass. Although the glass may break, the glass fragments will adhere to the plastic interlayer, minimizing the risk of injury and property damage.
Burglars often break windows to get to door and window handles, but architectural glass can resist the intrusion because it is virtually impossible to cut through the thick PVB layers even if the glass gets broken. Contact an expert to design suitable architectural glass for intrusion resistance.
Architectural glass has proven to be an excellent barrier to noise. It has a higher sound reduction index than monolithic glass of equal thickness between the frequencies of 125Hz and 4,000Hz. The shear damping performance of the PVB makes architectural glass an effective sound control product. This sound dampening is due to the low elastic property of the PVB interlayer.
While natural light plays an important role in architectural design, Ultra Violet (UV) rays in the sunlight can cause itching and fading of curtains/furniture. Architectural glass can block over 99% of the UV rays while allowing most of the visible light through.
Architectural glass helps provide protection from injury and property damage caused by glass breaking because of natural disasters such as hurricane and earthquake. In areas prone for natural disasters, an expert may be contacted to design the glass combination. Similarly, it also provides protection from manmade disasters such as bomb blasts. It does so by keeping the glass intact within the glass frame.
Architectural glass is exceptionally durable, maintaining its colour and strength. It can be used for a variety of architectural and interior design applications such as floor glazing, stairs, balconies, balustrades, internal panelling and exterior cladding as well as for the more traditional doors and windows.
Architectural glasses can be manufactured flat or curved. They can include annealed, toughened, heat-strengthened, wired, patterned, tinted or reflective glasses. Interlayers can be used to add colour tints and for further aesthetic and privacy needs. Architecturalglass is simple to install. If the glass is not heat treated, it can also be cut, drilled or notched.
Distortion is caused by “roller waves” in tempered and heat-strengthened glass. This can be avoided by using Architectural annealed glass. Sharp reflected images are possible with curtain walls constructed of architectural annealed glass. 
Applications of Architectural Glass:
Architectural glass is widely used in manufacturing and automotive industries and in a variety of commercial and residential applications because of its safety, security, sound abatement and solar control characteristics.
In glass skylights, sunspaces, sloped glazing installations and curtain walls, there is always the possibility of glass breakage. This is why many building codes worldwide use architectural glass for overhead glazing.
It is used in schools, hospitals, hotels and office buildings, and wherever there are sound control requirements.