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How is flat glass made?

Flat glass is also called float glass, because of its manufacturing process. The raw materials are mainly silica (sand), soda ash and limestone, all of which are melted inside a furnace at a temperature of about 1,600 degrees. The molten compound is transported to a tin bath. The specific weight of the glass is lower than that of the molten tin; and therefore, the glass floats on top of it. While floating, the final flat shape is aligned and fixated. Later, the glass is cooled gradually releasing the physical exertion of the glass; then it is cut into its final shape and packed.

What are the common types of glass?

Clear glass is the most common glass. It can be produced in different tints (tinted glass).  The most unique glass tint is ultra-clear, also known as low iron glass. This glass is commonly used in windows and can be found in doors, shower rooms, furniture, partitions, conference rooms, printed wall coverings, shop fronts, etc. Another type of glass commonly used in architecture is laminated glass. This glass consists of a combination of at least two glass panels with a polymer sheet (PVB- polyvinyl butyral) that adheres them together, and offers them the properties of safety glass:  in the event of brakeage, the glass sheet will remain standing and will not shatter.  In addition, laminated glass provides UV filtering and improved acoustic filtering. Different glass fabrications and processing alter its use.  These include painted glass, which is common in walls and furniture, and of course glass that is processed for mirrors and is used in interior design.

Which glass is best suited for cladding a building’s façades?

A façade is one of the most influential factors in a building’s appearance; consequently, the glass has important architectural specifications, such as color and transparency. In addition, its ability to control the amount of light and heat that enter and exit the structure is very important, as well as the ability to ensure safety and noise reduction. Due to the variety of influencing factors, we usually recommend combining several types of glass inside the insulating unit.In any case, we recommend that you consult with a qualified consultant in order to characterize the glass and to take into account the environmental characteristics of the structure.

When is acoustic glass used?

Acoustic glass is a key element that fosters a better quality of life. There is a lot of noise all around us; in shared workspaces, and in residential homes located close to main roads, main transportation centers or busy commercial floors. Noise permeates the private space, interferes with concentration, lowers productivity, and in many cases leads one to repeat with the same step several times due to distraction. Consequently, acoustic insulation is of great importance. In addition to providing a feeling of spaciousness, acoustic glass creates a sense of openness and cooperation, especially in buildings with small interior space. It offers all of the advantages above, while keeping the noise outside.

Is it possible to maintain privacy, despite extensive use of glass?

There are several solutions for glass to maintain privacy. The most common solution is frosted glass with a silky texture, which is produced using an acid treatment or sand blasting. The other solution is laminated glass with a non-transparent PVB sheet (colored). These two solutions provide complete privacy along with high light transmission.

Why is it recommended to glaze with glass?

Glass is the perfect material for glazing, unlike transparent plastic-based materials.  Glass does not fade or turn yellow and it remains transparent over the years. It is strong enough to be a transparent barrier which connects to the outside, while protecting everyone behind it. In addition, combinations of prints on glass, colors, and transparency levels lend an architectural statement to the structure.

What is Safety Glass?

Tempered glass and laminated glass are defined as safety glass, both of which are tested for resistance of up to 25 kg, which is thrown at them from varying heights without breaking. Each of them has unique qualities: Tempered glass is 4 times stronger than ordinary glass; but if fractured, it shatters to pieces.  On the other hand, if laminated glass is broken, it will result in a fragment that will not break apart but will remain as one glass sheet, preventing people from falling through it.

Where is it recommended to glaze with safety glass?

The recommendation for the use of safety glass is for any place where there is a danger of falling more than 60 cm from level to level, or where there is a chance of accidental collision with glass.

Can glass delay forced entry?

The latest advances in glass security allow glass to withstand the most violent break-in, without breaking easily. Combinations of glass panels together with polymers of various types enable a wide range of resistance to threats and serve as a transparent alternative to bars.

Can glass be used as a floor?

Various engineering developments use a number of glass panels together with polymer sheets of various types, using the most durable glass, which can carry very large weights. In addition, when the glass breaks, the polymer layers will leave the glass in place and allow it to continue to function as a stair or floor, which remains standing without danger.

How is a skylight glazed?

A skylight has more stringent safety requirements, so it is recommended to use laminated safety glass. In the case of breakage,  the skylight will remain in place and will not fall. In addition, a large amount of sun penetrates the skylight window.

What do the G-value and the U-value have in common? What is the desired performance of each?

The aspect shared by both the solar thermal coefficient (G-value) and thermal conductivity coefficient U-value is that they both describe the performance of the glass in reducing the heat passing through it. The solar heat coefficient describes heat coming directly from the sun in the form of infrared (IR) radiation, while the U-value convection coefficient describes heat in general passing through the glass.The solar heat coefficient ranges from 0-1 (0-100%); and when the value is low, it indicates the high capability of the glass to block solar radiation.When the value of the thermal conductivity coefficient is low, the ability of the glass to transfer heat increases.For example:The thermal conductivity coefficient of a single sheet of glass (monolithic) is approximately 5.8 (W/m²K - indicating the passage of one Kelvin per one meter of material)The insulation unit consisting of two glass sheets with a thickness of 6 mm, with an air gap of 12 mm (6-12-6) will be about 2.9 (W / m²K)Low-e glass within the unit will improve the thermal conductivity coefficient to approximately 1.8 (W/m²K)

Does glass affect a building’s power consumption?

Glass will have a great effect on the building's electricity consumption. Large use of glass will let in a lot of natural light. In addition, thermal insulation will keep the heat out of the building during the summer, and in the winter it will keep the heat inside the building. Saving electricity costs of artificial lighting as well as heating and cooling in the building will lead to a decrease in electricity consumption.

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