Technical Glazing Terms

True vs Applied Glazing Bars in Steel Windows and Doors

A key design feature of many steel or architectural metal windows and doors is the inclusion of glazing bars into the glass face. These elements of profile crisscross over the glass face and create more of a design feature for glass elements.

Glazing bars within the glass structure were a necessity for older windows as glass engineering was in its infancy. Large window or door installations relied on the inclusion of additional elements of frame to provide the strength to the glass element.

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Impact Resistance of Glass

Glazing materials that specifically made for use as safety glazing materials (in certain building locations where human impact can occur) should be classified according to their performance. BS EN 12600 has now replaced BS 6206 as a European wide performance standard for the impact resistance of glass.

The BS 6206 standard involves a series of tests where a lead-filled leather bag weighing 45kg is dropped like a pendulum from different heights onto the glass. The BS EN 12600 standard has been designed as a more up to date test although the performance levels are almost the same.

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Solar Control Options for Structural Glass

Structural glass installations tend to be very large unencumbered structures of glass. Whether the element if a structural glass wall, floor, roof or window the entire glass installation will be frameless with little structure marring the division between inside and out.

This simplistic glass design is perfect for projects looking to connect the internal spaces to the outside and bring the maximum amount of natural light into a space. But with this ingress in natural light also comes an increase in the amount of solar radiation that enters the space.

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What is a U Value?

A ‘U value’ is the term frequently used to describe the thermal performance of glazing and window installations. This term ‘u-value’ (or U factor) isn’t a very specific term and can be used to describe various elements of thermal performance. All elements of U factors are generally calculated using BS EN 673:1998, the standard test method for determining thermal transmittance in glass and glazing.

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Air Permeability in Windows and Doors

Air Permeability refers to the amount of air that will travel through a window or door system in its closed position. Air permeability testing relies on the quality of the systems sealing, engineering and manufacturing to ensure that all opening segments seal together well and fully to stop as much air travel through a system as possible.

It is important in terms of comfort to the internal spaces to ensure minimal wind/breeze intrusion and is also an important factor when it comes to environmental factors, to limit the travel of energy from the internal to the external of the system.

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Thermal Performance of Horizontal Glass

All Ug values given for architectural glazing are always given in its vertical position. When you change the angle that the glass sits at the thermal performance, and therefore the Ug value, of the glass changes.

This change in thermal performance is important to note as it will affect the overall Uw value for structural glass roofs and rooflights and may make it difficult to achieve the requisite Uw values for a project if not addressed correctly.

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Thermal Breaks in Metal Windows and Doors

A thermal break (or thermal barrier) is a material of low thermal conductivity placed in an assembly to reduce or prevent the flow of thermal energy between conductive materials.

When it comes to metal framed windows and doors a thermal break is essentially a thermal barrier in the conductive metal with a material of low thermal conductivity. This then stops the conduction of heat through the metal framing and to the external side of the installation.

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What is Heat Gain and how can you control it?

The G Factor is a coefficient for measuring the amount of solar radiation that enters a building through a glazed unit. In simpler terms the G Factor represents the amount of heat entering the building through the glass.

The sun's light can be broken down into 3 main parts; ultra-violet rays, infra-red radiation and visible light. It is the ‘infra-red’ element of the sun’s light that causes overheating in highly glazed areas.

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Sound Insulation in Glazing

A human ear can detect frequencies between 16Hz to 20000Hz. When considering acoustics for building or architecture it is generally the range between 50Hz and 5000Hz that we are concerned with and which will affect the comfort levels of those working or living inside a building or structure.

The acoustic insulation property of a glass unit or frame is defined by R which represents the acoustic power difference from one side of the glass to the other. This value is measured in specific laboratory settings under BS EN standards in order to achieve a constant, corresponding acoustic index across all building materials.

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How to control the increase of temperature in a space or building as a result of solar radiation?

Solar Gain is also sometimes referred to as solar heat gain or passive solar gain. The terms refer to the increase in temperature in a space or building as a result of solar radiation. The sun's radiation travels in short wavelengths through the glazing of a room, the objects inside the space absorb these short wavelengths of radiation and emit heat at longer infrared wavelengths. These waves cannot travel through glazing and will be contained in your space increasing the internal temperature. This is Solar Gain.

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RAL Colours

The RAL colour system is a series of standardised colours that are used within the construction sector used for techniques such as powder coating. See our learning portal article for more information about powder coating.

The purpose of the RAL colour system is too uniform colour finishes across paint finishes, varnishes and plastics to standardise colours and design appearance across many aspects of a build.

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What is Wind Load and Why is it important in Architectural Glazing?

The term ‘Wind Load’ is used to refer to any pressures or forces that the wind exerts on a building or structure.

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