Powder Coating is the term used to describe a paint finishing used widely on aluminium and metal framing for windows and doors to create a high-quality, durable finish. The coating is based on a polymer resin solution, combined with curative, pigments, levelling agents, flow modifiers and other additives which are melt-mixed together, cooled and then ground into a powder form.
Toughened (or tempered) glass is made from standard Float Glass to create an impact resistant, safety glass. If float glass is broken it will break into very sharp, hazardous pieces of glass.
The process of toughening the glass introduces tensions into the internal and surfaces of a glass panel to increase its strength and also to ensure in the case of breakages the glass shatters into small, harmless pieces of glass.
When using elements of structural glass as a walk on floor elements safety and anti-slip properties of the floor materials should be a consideration. The slip resistance of floor materials can be tested in a number of different ways under various British and European testing methods, however, the HSE and the UK Slip Resistance Group favour the Pendulum Test Method as detailed under BS:7976.
Protective Coatings applied to glass and glazing act as a lasting protective barrier on the surface of the glass. They stop limescale, moisture, alkalinity and dirt from bonding to the glass and is therefore sometimes referred to as 'Self-Cleaning' coating or 'Low Maintenance'. The protective coating forms a chemical bond with the glass so does not peel, flake or crack over time. The coating itself is transparent, chemically inert and UV stable. As well as ensuring easier upkeep to the glass for the end users it also protects the glass from contamination during construction meaning that the finished project is still as pristine as it was at installation.
Passivhaus and Glazing
Passivhaus is an energy performance standard that is fast growing in popularity and usage worldwide. Its focus is to reduce the need for heating and cooling systems within buildings, thereby lowering its energy consumption whilst also creating good indoor clean air. The method this is achieved through is simple: thorough insulation and an airtight building.
Non-Reflective Glass is used on numerous architectural glazing projects where the glass elements need to be as invisible and unobtrusive to the design aesthetic as possible. This is usually more frequently the case on listed and heritage buildings. Glass is used in these scenarios due to its highly transparent nature and its ability to unobtrusively block in spaces without changing or damaging the original design intent of a building.
What is Low Iron Glass?
Low Iron Glass is a specialist glazing solution offering unprecedented levels of clarity and transparency in large glass items. When the glass is produced it is laced with a natural impurity of iron oxide. In thicker glass units, such as laminated or structural glass elements, this impurity produces a noticeable 'greening' tint to the glass. In projects and items where transparency and purity of colours are desired Low Iron Glass is always recommended.
Low-E coatings, as they are referred to, is the shorthand for Low Emissivity coatings that are applied to most insulated glazed units in modern architecture and construction. Emissivity is the amount of radiant energy a material absorbs. When it comes to thermal insulation in buildings and projects you do not want the external elements of the construction to absorb the heat from the internal space, you want this radiant heat energy to remain within the internal spaces in order to maintain a constant heat level internally and reduce heat loss to the external environment.
IQ’s Strengthening Interlayer vs PVB Interlayers
IQ’s High-Performance Interlayer is an enhanced strengthening laminate for glass which improves the inherent strength of laminated glass panels, improving their durability, life expectancy and resistance to the elements. Recommended as an alternative to traditional PVB interlayers, IQ’s Strengthening Interlayer has added strength, clarity and durability, as well as greater ease of use in terms of fabrication and installation than traditional laminating solutions.
Fire Rated Glazing
In recent years the expansion of technology in glazing has produced brilliant fire rated glazing components that comply with the required safety regulations but do not interfere with the architect's aesthetic vision for a space or building. Normal toughened glass does not offer adequate fire resistance for required escape routes. These glass elements will shatter at 250°C which will be reached within 2-3 minutes of a fire break out in a building.
Why not Anodised?
When using aluminium framing there are a number of colour finishes available to use depending on the design and aesthetic of your building. An anodised finish is one such option for colouring the external faces of aluminium frames. The process forms a layer of aluminium oxide on the external faces of the aluminium frame. The visual effect is a metallic external frame colour which can create a very attractive finish, however anodising aluminium has some well-known and documented issues when used on external faces of a building so should be specified sparingly and in consultation with your architectural glazier.
Decorative Glass: Kiln Formed Patterns
As the name suggested these effects and patterns are created using a kiln oven. A huge variety of effects can be created using this glass decorative method. For smaller patterns and for patterns on thinner glass the pattern or design is designed by hand on a fire rated board, indenting, texturing and scouring the malleable board with the view to achieving a pattern of choice. For larger patterns and thicker panes of glass, the pattern is designed on a mould created using plaster, sand and chemicals bespoke-ly to suit each unit and design.
Curved Glass: Technical
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 aspects of circle geometry in measuring the size of a curved glass panel that is wanted.