Glass Glazing

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Glass Glazing






What is Laminated Glass?
  Laminated glass consists of a tough protective interlayer made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) bonded together between two panes of glass under heat and pressure. Once sealed together, the glass "sandwich" behaves as a single unit and looks like normal glass. Annealed, heat strengthened or tempered glass can be used to produce laminated glass. Similar to the glass in car windshields, laminated glass may crack upon impact, but the glass fragments tend to adhere to the protective interlayer rather than falling free and potentially causing injury.

  Laminated glass is the only glass to provide durability, high-performance and multi-functional benefits while at the same time preserving the aesthetic  appearance of the glass. Laminated glass furnishes solutions to many architectural design problems and offers increased protection from the effects of disasters such as hurricane, earthquake and bomb blast. Benefits of laminated glass include:


  Safety is just the start In every glazing design, minimizing the risk of injury from accidental glass impact, breakage and/or fallout is everything!
Ordinary glass windows are fragile and when broken can cause serious injuries - sometimes even fatal. When laminated glass made with Saflex protective interlayer is used in a glazing design, the risk of injury as a result of broken glass is considerably reduced. On impact, the glass itself  may crack, but the fragments tend to adhere to the Saflex plastic interlayer. By keeping the glass in its place, the Saflex protective interlayer provides added protection from dangerous flying or falling glass fragments. Laminated architectural glass is commonly used for its safety applications in residential and commercial applications and meets the tests for the following industry standards:

  Vertical Safety Glazing Application  the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the architectural glazing safety sections of the major model building codes (Basic National Building Code; Standard Building Code; Uniform Building Code) all set uniform requirements for the performance of glazing materials used in applications which present a potential hazard to the public. These applications include entrance doors, storm doors, patio-type sliding doors, shower and bath enclosures, sidelights and fixed glazed panels. Performance requirements are determined  by the application and the size of the glazing area. Laminated glass with Saflex meets all of these established building codes.

  Sloped and Overhead Glazing Applications  the use of glass in sloped and overhead glazing presents a design and safety challenge. If the glass should break for any reason, the glazing system specified needs to be able to provide protection from glass fallout. With adhesion of the glass to the plastic interlayer and its ability to remain integral if broken, laminated glass with Saflex has passed the requirements set of all the major model building codes in the United States and the Glazing Industry Code Committee for sloped and overhead glazing.



  Burglars, bombs and bullets no match for Saflex laminated glass The astonishing strength of laminated glass is perhaps most dramatically illustrated in safety and security applications. Glazing systems using Saflex laminated glass can improve the design of facilities to reduce physical damage and human injury resulting from accidental, criminal and terrorist attacks. Security glazing can generally be used anywhere ordinary glass is required, providing an effective substitute for other construction materials while furnishing the added benefits of light and visibility.

  Current United States building codes do not require glass to meet performance stipulations which relate specifically to security concerns. Glass is not required by code to deter forced entry, to deflect projectiles such as bullets, or to remain intact after exposure to the shock wave and fragment impacts resulting from an explosion.



Security glazing can be used to counter threats from the following general areas:


  Burglaries are frequently directed towards targets of easy opportunity and low perceived risk by the burglar. A simple deterrent, security glazing,        may be enough to send the intruder to the next easier target. The ability of a laminated glazing product to protect against forced entry is measured by Underwriter's Laboratories Inc. Test UL972 (12). Glazing materials which meet these test requirements are generally strong enough to deter a "smash and grab" burglary, and is often specified for residences, shop fronts and display cases in stores, museums and libraries.

Ballistic Protection
  Security glazing with laminated glass of appropriate thickness and configuration can reduce death and injury from bullets in high-risk locations, while still providing the aesthetic and visions benefits of glass. Bullet-resistant glass is made by bonding alternate layers of glass with Saflex to form a single, multiple-ply laminate. Bullet-resistant glazing is tested under Underwriter's Laboratories Inc. Test UL752 (13). Laminated glass between 1" and 2" inches thick can generally resist bullets from weapons ranging from a .38 super automatic to a high power .30-06 rifle.

Bomb Blast Resistance
  Unfortunately, bomb attacks and threats are on the rise all over the world. The fear generated by a bomb's instant holocaust of property damage, injury, flame and noise can be more powerful than conventional armed attacks. Bomb blasts propagate blast energy in all directions, making buildings nearby the intended target candidates for destruction as well. Experts report that approximately 75 percent of all damage and injury from bomb blasts can be attributed to flying and falling glass following the explosion.

  Laminated glass can substantially reduce injury resulting from explosions, and even reduce the cost to repair a bombed facility by reducing the extent of damage and opportunity for looting. Since the tragic Oklahoma City Bombing in April, 1995, the United States Government is exploring the role of glazing as a deterrent to explosions, but no federal standards currently exist.

Electronic Eavesdropping
  With high technology playing an increasing role in corporate and government security operations, electronic eavesdropping to obtain classified or proprietary information can result in staggering losses. Interference with computer networks from electromagnetic noise generators (such as heavy machinery operating outside the facility) can also be the source of loss.

Electronic security glazing uses Saflex metalized fabric mesh and glass. When the glass is manufactured, the fabric mesh is extended an inch or more from the edge of the glass on all four sides and then connected to the metal frame. The frame members are connected to each other, and then to an effective ground. The result is a facility that is isolated from external electro-magnetic signals and occupants are capable of communicating without interception from the outside. The specification frequently used to describe performance requirements for computer and communications security is NSA 65-8, National Security Specifications for RF Shielded Enclosures for Communications: General Specifications(19).

Sound Control
  Sound solutions for noise reduction Skylights can be the weak link in the transmission of unwanted sound into a building. Just as a window lets in light, it also can transmit irritating noise from airplanes, traffic, and heavy machinery to name a few. Laminated glass made with Saflex plastic interlayer is highly effective in reducing unwanted sound transmission and can also be used in standard skylights design.

  Whether in single or double glazing, the presence of one or two laminated components in a window or door can improve the acoustic performance of the glazing surface by dampening resonance effects. In comparison, solid or monolithic glazing systems do not effectively control sound because of their inadequate ability to screen high frequency noises. Double glazed systems may offer an improvement over the monolithic systems, but the span of air space required to provide acceptable acoustical control introduces architectural design restraints as well as higher costs. Only laminated glass made provides significantly better sound insulation performance in a single unit system. With laminated glass made with Saflex, the protective interlayer dampens the vibration of the glass thus reducing transmitted sound.

  For example, a ¼" laminate (two lights of 1/8" glass bonded with 0.0300" Saflex) has sound transmission loss performance nearly equal to that of monolithic glass having almost twice its surface weight (slightly less the ½" monolithic glass). Additionally, the sound isolation provided by two pieces of glass ¼" thick separated by ½" air space can also be achieved by laminating two pieces of 1/8" glass with only 0.030"


 UV Protection that Shines Through
 With time, sunlight can cause considerable damage to buildings furnishings, carpets, artwork, photographs, plants and other valuables. These items need special protection from the damaging effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Laminated glass made with Saflex can be effective in screening out the harmful UV rays, controlling glare and decreasing solar energy transmittance.

  Glazing solar control is accomplished in laminated glass by the interlayer's ability to reflect and/or absorb and re-radiate much of the solar UV radiation. Laminated glass made with Saflex screens out more than 99% of damaging UV light. The Saflex protective interlayer prevents the degrading of dyes, pigments and polymers which causes color fading and deterioration of natural and synthetic materials of the interiors in a building.

  While protecting buildings from harmful and damaging solar UV radiation, laminated glass made with Saflex has no adverse affect on the health of indoor plants. In fact, laminated glass is commonly used in greenhouses and atriums to help protect flower color and reproductive development from the damaging effects of UV radiation. Photoreceptors in plants are still able to absorb sunlight the Saflex interlayer allows to be transmitted.

   Laminated glass has been used to protect some of the world's most valuable treasures from harmful UV damage, including the Mona Lisa and  the Declaration of Independence.

Achieving Color with Laminated Glass Saflex color can be added to enhance any project while taking advantage of the protective benefits of laminated glass. The pigmented interlayer offers true, long-lasting earth tones and sky tones to help you create a lasting impression. Saflex has the ability to match colors of standard glass types while providing all the functional benefits of Saflex clear laminates. The architect can achieve varying light transmissions without having to vary glass thickness or sacrifice structural performance. 

  The Vanceva™ Design Studio, at, is an interactive online tool designed to allow architects to experience the creative possibilities of Solutia's color and design products.  Saflex is available in many colors for small or large projects and for interior or exterior applications.

Conventional Laminated Glass Construction



Laminated Glass Designation ("nominal" thickness)

Unit Construction Glass-
Saflex® PVB-Glass

Weight per
square foot































Saflex®, Vanceva™ Design and Vanceva™ Color are trademarks of Solutia, Inc.



Heat-strengthened laminated safety glass
Heat-strengthened laminated safety glass for commercial, industrial and residential applications. Glass that is heat-treated offers increased bending strength and significantly higher compressive stress than annealed laminated glass of the same thickness. This results in increased resistance to impact breakage, improved ability to withstand uniform loads and decreased chance of thermal stress breakage.

Heat-treated laminated safety glass is available as heat-strengthened. Heat-treated glass is fabricated by heating annealed glass to a temperature of approximately 1150 degrees F (621 degrees C), then rapidly cooling it by blowing air (quenching) uniformly on to all glass surfaces simultaneously.

The color, clarity, chemical composition and light transmission characteristics of the glass remain unchanged during/after the heat-treating process. The physical properties of the glass such as compressive strength, hardness, specific gravi  ty, expansion coefficient, softening point, and  it thermal  conductivity, solar  transmittance and stiffness also remain unchanged. All fabrication such as cutting, drilling, edge grinding and  sandblasting must be completed prior to heat-treating.



 Standard Silk Screened Patterns




Dot- 40% coverage:
1/8" dots staggered on 1/4" centers  
 Lines-50% coverage:
  1/8" lines  on 1/4" centers
Holes-60% coverage:
1/8" holes staggered 1/4"oncenters



Silk-Screened Glass
  Silk-screened decorative products allow building designers to create different looks for   exterior vision and non-vision areas using patterns and colors. Silk-screened products help control light transmittance, reduce solar heat gain by lowering the shading coefficient and provide a desired level of privacy.
The silk-screened decorative products are fabricated using the same technology as spandrel glass, except the ceramic frit is applied to the glass using a silk-screened process. More durable than acid-etched or sandblasted surfaces, silk-screened glass is always heat-treated to prevent breakage and withstand thermal stress in sunlit conditions.

The ceramic frit is silk-screened onto the glass substrate in one of three standard patterns - dots, lines, holes or a full flood application. In addition, custom patterns can be easily duplicated on the glass. Depending on the pattern, the glass lite can be made transparent, translucent or opaque. With a wide range of substrate and frit color options, the silk-screen process gives designers exceptional creative flexibility.

Bent glass
Bent glass for creative design applications in architectural, commercial and residential installations. A creative alternative for building designers and engineers,

  Bent glass is glass that is bent or curved to create unique profiles for installations in architectural, commercial and residential applications.
When using bent glass you are limited in the types of Low



                                                                                          Bent Glass


 Insulating Glass
Insulating glass (IG) units enhance thermal performance and keep interior spaces more comfortable. IG units also help minimize  interior condensation and moisture-related problems and reduce drafts near windows to maximize usable interior living/working space.

   IG units are hermetically sealed combinations of two or more lites of glass separated by a dehydrated airspace that can be used in a variety of applications ranging from residential to commercial installations. South Coast Skylights Manufacture can offer IG unit options to satisfy a wide range    of application requirements. 

  The glass of an IG unit can be fully tempered over annealed laminated or heat-strengthened  laminated on  and can be of equal or unequal thickness.
  By combining low-e coatings, tinted glass, reflective coatings, silk-screened patterns with laminated glass, a wide array of insulating glass configurations are available to meet specific design, security, performance and code requirements.



                                                                                                                    IG units Tempered over Laminated


   Low-E Glass is one of the most popular and versatile building materials used today. One reason is because of its constantly improving solar anthermal performance. And one way this performance is achieved is through the use of passive and solar control low-e coatings. So, what is low-e  glass? In this section,  we provide you with an in-depth overview of coatings. In order to understand coatings, it’s important to understand the solar energy spectrum or energy from the sun. Ultraviolet (UV) light, visible light and  infrared (IR) light all occupy different parts of the solar spectrum – the differences between the three are determined by their wavelengths.      

  • Ultraviolet light, which is what causes interior materials such as fabrics and wall coverings to fade, has wavelengths of 310-380 nanometers when reporting glass performance.
  • Visible light occupies the part of the spectrum between wavelengths from about 380-780 nanometers.
  • Infrared light or heat energy, is transmitted as heat into a building, and begins at wavelengths of 780 nanometers. Solar infrared is commonly referred to as short-wave infrared energy, while heat radiating off of warm objects has higher wavelengths than the sun and referred to as long-wave infrared.


   Low-e coatings have been developed to minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted. When heat or light energy is absorbed by glass it is either shifted away by moving air or reradiated by the glass surface. The ability of a material to radiate energy is known as emissivity. In general, highly reflective materials have a low emissivity and dull darker colored materials have a high emissivity. All materials, including windows, radiate heat in the form of long-wave, infrared energy depending on the emissivity and temperature of their surfaces. Radiant energy is one of the important ways heat transfer occurs with windows. Reducing the emissivity of one or more of the window glass surfaces improves a window’s  insulating properties. For example, uncoated glass has an emissivity of .84, while PPG’s solar control Solarban 70XL glass has an emissivity of .02.

  This is where low emissivity or low-e glass coatings come into play. Low-e glass has a microscopically thin, transparent coating – it is much thinner than a human hair – that reflects long-wave infrared energy (or heat). Some low-e’s also reflect significant amounts of short-wave solar infrared energy. When the interior heat energy tries to escape to the colder outside during the winter, the low-e coating reflects the heat back to the inside, reducing the radiant heat loss  through the glass. The reverse happens during the summer time.. To use a simple analogy, low-e glass works the same way a thermos does. A thermos has a silver lining, which reflects the temperature of the drink it contains back in. The temperature is maintained because of the constant reflection that occurs, as well as the insulating benefits that the air space provides between the inner and outer shells of the thermos … similar to an insulating glass unit. Since low-e glass is comprised of extremely thin layers of silver or other low emissivity materials, the same theory applies. The silver low-e coating reflects the interior temperatures back inside, keeping the room warm or cold.

  There are actually two different types of low-e coatings: passive low-e coatings and solar control low-e coatings. Most passive low-e coatings, a remanufactured using the pyrolytic process – the coating is applied to the glass ribbon while it is being produced on the float line, the coating then “fuses” to the hot glass surface, creating a strong bond, or “hard-coat” that is very durable during fabrication. Finally, the glass is cut into stock sheets of various sizes for shipment to fabricators. Passive low-e coatings are good for very cold climates because they allow some of the sun’s short-wave infrared energy to pass through and help heat the building during the winter, but still reflect the interior long-wave heat energy back inside.

  Most solar control low-e coatings, such as what are used for Solarban 70XL solar control glass, are manufactured using the MSVD process – the coating is applied off-line to pre-cut glass in a vacuum chamber at room temperature. This coating, sometimes referred to as a “soft-coat,” needs to be sealed in an IG or  laminated unit and has lower emissivity and superior solar control performance. That being said, the best performing solar control coatings are MSVD and are ideal for mild to hot climates that are more dominated by air conditioning use in commercial buildings.

  Low-E coatings are applied to the various surfaces of insulating glass units. In a standard double panel IG there are four potential coating surfaces to which they can be applied: the first (#1) surface faces outdoors, the second (#2) and third (#3) surfaces face each other inside the insulating glass unit and are separated by an airspace and an insulating spacer, and the fourth (#4) surface faces directly indoors.

  Whether a low-e coating is considered passive or solar control, they offer improvements in performance numbers. The following are used to measure the effectiveness of glass with low-e coatings:


  • U-Value is the rating given to a window based on how much heat loss it allows.
  • Visible Light Transmittance is a measure of how much light passes through a window.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is the fraction of incident solar radiation admitted through a window, both directly transmitted and that is absorbed and re-radiated inward. The lower a window's solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits.
  • Light to Solar Gain is the ratio between the window's Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and its visible light transmittance (VLT) rating.

 Here’s how the coatings measure up by minimizing the amount of ultra-violet and infrared light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted. As a general rule, pyrolytic coatings work well in heating dominated climates, while MSVD is a good fit for cooling dominated climates.

When thinking of windows, size, tint and other aesthetic qualities come to mind, but low-e coatings play an important role in the overall performance of a window and can significantly affect the overall heating, lighting, and cooling costs of a building.






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