10 reasons why you should choose laminated glass for construction projects

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When specifying safety glass for building projects, two options are recommended: laminated glass and toughened glass. At first glance, these two types may seem indistinguishable, but both have unique and distinctive properties that make them suitable for different applications.

Laminated glass is created when two or more layers of glass are bonded together with tear-resistant intermediate layers of plastic film. This can be either polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene vinyl acetate. It is designed to absorb the energy of a person or object striking it, preventing penetration of the pane and possible injury from flying glass fragments.

Tempered glass, also known as toughened glass, is made from regular tempered glass that gets its safety properties through a heating and cooling process called tempering. The process involves heating the glass and immediately cooling it. The rapid cooling of incredibly hot glass causes the outside of the glass to harden faster than the center. This process leaves the center in tension, making the glass significantly stronger and more durable than ordinary glass.

Each has its own benefits for its specific purpose, but the main difference becomes apparent when the glass breaks. Tempered glass breaks into many small pieces while laminated glass stays in place when broken. For this reason, laminated glass is used for skylights, balustrades, curtain walls and other overhead or pitched glazing. If it breaks, it prevents the glass from falling and hurting anyone walking under it. The safety benefits of laminated glass have also been recognized by Australian educational institutions. Based on their own design standards, they mandated the use of laminated glass for all exterior and interior glazing up to door height.

Here are all the benefits you can enjoy by using laminated glass:

1. Ensures safety from injury

Ordinary window glass is fragile and will break into long, sharp fragments that can cause serious damage. Laminated glass can absorb the impact energy and resist penetration as the broken pieces of glass remain bonded to the interlayer. This greatly reduces the risk of injury from falling glass. This is one of the main reasons why laminated glass is increasingly specified in accordance with building codes and is mandatory for vehicle windshields worldwide.

2. Provides security

Laminated glass, which consists of many panes of glass and interlayers, can provide optimal security. It can withstand break-in attempts by burglars who often break windows to get at door and window knobs. Laminated glass can also withstand bullets and bomb blasts. In modern correctional facilities, traditional prison bars have been replaced with laminated safety glass to create a more humane environment.

3. Helps reduce noise

Laminated glass has a greater sound insulation value than monolithic glass of the same thickness. The “viscoelastic” quality of its interlayer can effectively reduce noise between the frequencies of 125 Hz and 4,000 Hz. Laminated glass can also reduce the coincidence effect that occurs in monolithic glass at certain frequencies. Even the use of at least one layer of laminated glass can significantly improve the noise reduction properties of insulating glass units.

4. Protects against harmful UV rays

The chemical reaction triggered by UV radiation is the main reason why furniture and artwork in homes and buildings deteriorate over time. With laminated glass, UV absorbing chemicals in the interlayer can block virtually all of these harmful UV rays.

5. Promotes energy efficiency

Tinted laminated glass can help regulate the amount of sunlight, heat and glare to more comfortable levels. Mirrored glass or low-e glass can be combined with heat-absorbing glass tints in laminated glass. This makes it an energy efficient solution to reducing air conditioning costs.

6. Provides protection from the elements

Laminated glass provides additional protection for homes and buildings that are vulnerable to severe weather or natural disasters. Earthquakes and flying debris carried by high winds can damage laminated glass, but it stays firmly in its frame. This reduces the risk of injury from falling or scattered shards.

7. Versatile for different designs

Laminated glazing can come in several varieties: annealed, toughened, heat strengthened, parapet, wired, patterned, tinted and reflective. They can also be flat or curved. The interlayers can have additional tinting or opacity can be enhanced for aesthetic or privacy needs. A high-resolution digital print can also be applied to the intermediate layer before lamination. Since the design is in the glass, it is protected from scratches, smudges, fingerprints or strong detergents.

8. Long lasting durability

Well-made laminated glass is easy to clean and maintain, much like ordinary glass. Its color and strength remain consistent over time while providing safety benefits.

9. Minimizes visual distortions

A “roller wave” distortion occurs during the tempering process of heat strengthened glass. The reflection on the glass appears distorted. Tempered glazing of the laminated glass prevents this distortion.

10. Easy to install

Standard size laminated glass panels can be cut, drilled or scored for easy installation, while tempered glass cannot be cut once cured. The production of tempered glass also requires more time due to its production process. Compared to laminated glass, it takes longer time to replace and install when broken.

The advantage of Safetyline blind slats with laminated glass

Australian building codes prohibit the use of laminated glass in conventionally designed louvers because they have two exposed edges that are subject to delamination over time. The blinds from Safetyline Jalousie, on the other hand, have the advantage that they are framed on three sides. This reduces this risk of delamination, allowing the use of laminated glass in the system. More importantly, it conforms to the regulations of AS1288-2006 Glass in Buildings – Selection & Installation.

For designers and building project managers, specifying our louvre window systems can provide the tremendous benefits of laminated glass while providing optimal ventilation for healthier air quality. Safetyline blinds key performance indicators are proven to meet even the most stringent building and construction standards, opening up opportunities for blinds to be used in more applications than ever before.

Image: Safetyline Blinds used a combination of randomly placed glass and custom aluminum louvers with flat slats on the Pulteney Grammar Middle School campus

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