8 Types of glass used in construction projects
Glass has been used in construction since approximately 2000 years ago. In recent decades, the application of this environment-friendly material has been developed in the ﬁeld of construction.
Contemporary architecture has an increasing demand for transparent building elements such as facades or roof structures, predominantly as steel and glass constructions. While materials such as steel, stainless steel or aluminum have been well studied in the past, relatively little is known about glass, its properties, connections and design in modern building applications.
Glass can be defined as a hard substance which may be transparent or translucent and brittle. The fusion process used to manufacture glasses. In this process, sand is fused with lime, soda, and some other admixtures and then cooled rapidly.
Types of Glass Used in Construction
There are almost 9 types of glass that are commonly used in construction. To start with, there is float glass. Float glass is manufactured from sodium silicate and calcium silicate, so it is also called soda-lime glass. It is clear and flat, so it causes glare. Thickness of the float glass is available from 2mm to 20mm. The application of float glass includes shop fronts, public places, etc. Then we have shatterproof glass, used for windows, skylights, floors, etc. Some type of plastic polyvinyl butyral is added in its making process. So, it cannot form sharp-edged pieces when it breaks.
Laminated glass is the combination of layers of ordinary glass. So, it has more weight than a normal glass. It has more thickness and is UV proof and soundproof. These are used for aquariums, bridges, etc. Extra clean glass has two unique properties, photocatalytic and hydrophilic. Because of these properties, it acts as stain proof and gives a beautiful appearance. Maintenance is also easy.
Chromatic glass is used in ICU’s, meeting rooms etc. it can control the transparent efficiency of glass and protects the interior from daylight. The chromatic glass may be photochromic which has light sensitive lamination, thermos-chromatic which has heat sensitive lamination and electrochromic which has electric lamination over it.
Tinted glass is nothing but colored glass. A color producing ingredients is mixed to the normal glass mix to produce colored glass which does not affect other properties of glass.
Toughened glass is a durable glass that has low visibility. It is available in all thicknesses, and when it is broken it forms small granular chunks. This is also called as tempered glass. This type of glass is used for fire-resistant doors, mobile screen protectors, etc.
Then there’s glass blocks or glass bricks, manufactured from two different halves and they are pressed and annealed together while melting the glass. These are used for architectural purposes in the construction of walls, skylights etc. They provide aesthetic appearance when light is passed through it.
And finally, insulated glazed glass units, containing a glass separated into two or three layers by air or vacuum. They cannot allow heat through it because of air between the layers and acts as good insulators. These are also called double glazed units.
Properties of Glass
Glass has numerous properties that attracts users from different backgrounds. The engineering properties of glass are many. For example, transparency is the main property of glass which allows the vision of the outside world through it. The transparency of glass can be from both sides or from one side only. In one side transparency, glass behaves like a mirror from the other side. The strength of glass depends on the modulus of rupture value of glass. In general glass is a brittle material but by adding admixtures and laminates we can make it stronger. A glass can be molded into any shape, or it can be blown during melting. So, workability of glass is a superior property.
The visible fraction of light that passes through glass is the property of visible transmittance. U value represents the amount of heat transferred through glass. If a glass is said to be an insulated unit then it should have lower u value. Any glass can be 100% recyclable. It can also be used as raw material in the construction industry.
The invention of glass has revolutionized the way humans perceive spaces and facades. It can act as an individual architectural language. The team of Phi Contracting Co is well acknowledged with the glass industry. Feel free to ask us anything about it.