Architectural glass is a name that covers any variation of natural glass used in architectural works. It is commonly used in the construction of commercial facades, installation of bathroom doors, swing and sliding doors, automatic doors, modular railings, among others. Now, what is glass?
Glass is a very hard material and at the same time very brittle on impact. It is an inorganic ceramic material found in nature that efficiently allows the passage of light. Thanks to this transparency, it is widely used in the manufacture of panels used in structures that protect and delimit a space, while allowing direct use of natural light from the environment.
It is a material that has no waste, since it is 100% recyclable. Thanks to this characteristic, it is reused over and over again without affecting its physical properties and without generating considerable losses. This is an important factor, since it serves as a secondary raw material and thus decreases production costs by reducing the costs related to obtaining the raw material.
There are several types of glass. Each one has a characteristic manufacturing process that provides unique properties that cover different fields of application. Thinking of decorative glass for an area with little foot traffic is not the same as thinking of glass for a façade and a guardrail. Next, we are going to know a little more about the most used today:
It consists of a uniform plate that is made by floating molten glass on a layer of molten tin. This method gives the resulting cloth a uniform thickness and a very flat surface. This manufacturing process makes it a type of glass widely used in construction.
It is recommended primarily for decorative use rather than structural use due to its brittleness. Indoors it is used for table covers, shelves, screens, consoles, skylights and any accessory where elegance is necessary. Outdoors it is typically used on windows, sideboards, and framed doors. It is largely up to the designer to select this type of glass as long as there is no risk of accidents or external forces acting on the glass.
It is manufactured thanks to a thermal process known as tempering. It is applied directly to natural glass, and consists of heating the cloth and then subjecting it to sudden cooling. It has optical characteristics equal to those of common glass, but with four times greater resistance when it receives an impact on any section of its flat surface. It is possible to temper crystals in thicknesses ranging from 3.5 mm to 19 mm. An important characteristic of this crystal is that when it breaks, it does so into small cubic pieces with latent cutting capacity. It is considered a type of safety glass. It is a very good option to use both indoors and outdoors as it provides a considerable safety factor against accidents and fractures.
It is the ideal type of glass for the installation of facades, windows, partitions, railings, interior divisions, swing and sliding doors, bathroom doors, furniture and in any application where glass performs a structural function.
This glass has the appearance of a sandwich and is manufactured by joining two or more sheets with a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) film sandwiched between them. PVB is a polymer composed of polyvinyl alcohol and butyraldehyde. This film offers a high range of protection against impact and/or penetration compared to simply tempered glass. In case of breakage, the PVB retains the glass fragments and prevents the broken parts from falling everywhere. It is a glass of excellent optical quality, low emissivity and solar control. Additionally, PVB provides a higher percentage of noise reduction.
It is commonly used in bathroom doors, sliding and swing access doors, skylights, balconies, windows, floors, domes, commercial sideboards and all those applications where user safety is the priority. Likewise, it is widely used in airports, hotels, museums, recording studios, data processing centers, industrial plants and rooms located near train stations.
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