The Home Applications of Recycled Glass


It is estimated that 40 billion glass bottles are created every year, and 75 percent of those find their final resting place in a landfill. Glass doesn’t break down, but clever companies are finding ways to breathe new life into old glass. Companies like Vetrazzo and Gilasi offer product lines featuring recycled glass from soda and wine bottles, post-industrial waste and even demolished buildings. Mixed with resins, cement, epoxy and tinted binding agents, it can be used in your home in a number of ways.

Countertops of Beautiful Glass
The green movement is here to stay and people appreciate the green aspects of recycled glass countertops. You will love knowing that you did your part to keep glass out of the landfills, and you will also love how it adds light, color and drama to the kitchen. Durable and attractive, you won’t have to replace the counter for many years, and that’s another boost for the environment.

Mulch the Garden
Wood was always the traditional choice for mulch, and rubber has become a popular alternative. However, recycled glass may soon become the favored choice. Companies are now offering tumbled glass in nugget shapes that do not have any sharp edges. Ideal for mulching the garden, the recycled glass will never fade and you will never have to replace it. Slugs don’t like crawling over it, and you can choose mulch in a variety of colors.

Fill the Sandbox

Pulverized glass is an excellent replacement for sand. Transform your sandbox into a sparkling jewel, and use the crushed glass to cradle stepping stones in a stunning rainbow of color. It won’t have to be replaced like mulch, and it’s as stable as paving sand for your stepping stones.

Custom Pools and Aquariums
If you are building a custom pool and want an incredible look, consider the beauty of recycled glass. Worked into the concrete liner of your pool, the glass reflects light and adds glorious color to the swimming pool. If you love how the recycled glass looks under the water but aren’t adding a pool, consider adding the beautiful substance to your aquariums. The colors will add interest, and your fish will look even more attractive against this amazing and beautiful base.

Versatile Tiles

If you love the color of glass and also love how eco-friendly recycled glass is, then you are sure to appreciate versatile glass tiles. The tiles are available in standard sizes that can be used around the home. Place them on the backsplash for an incredible color addition, or use them on shower walls to reflect light and make the space feel larger.

There are many advantages to choosing recycled glass for projects around the home. The materials are brightly colored and brilliant. Durable and unique, they will add a beautiful and luxurious touch wherever they are used in your home. In addition to being beautiful and durable, you will appreciate that recycled glass is great for the environment. Glass does not break down in landfills, so it’s important that we all do our part to find other uses for those glass bottles, windows and other glass items.

BIO: Scott is a freelance writer for many blogs on a variety of topics including home improvement. When he is not writing for GraniteTransformations.com he is hiking in Upstate New York.

 

Glass and Fire Safety


When designing a new building, we have to comply with a whole series of requirements regarding fire safety that are imposed by EU legislation. Construction materials used for partitions must meet the criteria of specific fire resistance classes, which for some architects can feel as a brake on their freedom of design. A glass partition can provide a solution here, given that even for the top fire resistance classes, a transparent solution is possible using glass.
EU legislation
EU legislation distinguishes a material’s reaction to fire and it’s resistance to fire. A material’s reaction to fire indicates how a material will respond to fire. A distinction is made between fire-resistant materials, inflammable materials and flammable materials. Materials are divided into seven Euroclasses: A1, A2, B, C, D, E and F, where A is the best classification. The following glass products are included in the list of materials that are assigned to class A1 without testing being needed: float glass, patterned glass, heat strengthened glass, thermally toughened glass, chemically toughened glass, glass with an inorganic coating, and wired glass. Continue reading

Glass Buildings and The Environment


Here is another article from Thomas Hens on designing of glass buildings keeping in mind their impact on environment.

In our last issue, we discussed a number key factors to be taken into account when choosing facade glass. This issue will focus primarily on the environment and demonstrate that designers of glass buildings are also thinking about our planet.

We will be looking at three environmentally friendly construction methods:

  • Insulating buildings: cutting C02 emissions by reducing energy loss via glass.
  • Generating energy: cutting energy consumption by using glass as a construction component as well as to generate electricity.
  • Using sustainable materials and environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques.

Continue reading

Pilkington : Float Glass Manufacturing Process


You would have seen how safety glass was manufactured in 1930’s in the previous post. Now here’s the new age glass manufacturing process.

Safety Glass Manufacturing in 1930: A Rare Video


Found this while searching in youtube. Shows how safety glass for cars were manufactured in US during 1930s!

FACADE GLASS: A DECISION THAT CALLS FOR CAREFUL REFLECTION

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An interesting and very useful article on glass selection for buildings by Thomas Hens, Technical Adviser, AGC Glass Europe.

Glass is a multifaceted material that has been used widely for centuries to embellish facades and interiors. In contemporary architecture, glass plays an even more important role. Used alone, it can add a personal touch to any facade. Of course, this would be impossible without the wide range of new products and innovations to have emerged on the market in recent years. But is everyone aware of these latest developments? And just how do you select the right kind of glass for a given project? These are precisely the questions that this article will attempt to answer. Over four issues, we will be discussing the various factors affecting your choice of glass with a view to delivering a safer, more economical and more environmentally friendly project, or simply one that improves living conditions.

Key factors

When choosing the ideal glass, you must take into account a whole raft of factors, chief among which are the insulation value (Ug value), the solar factor (g value), light transmission (LT) and appearance (colour, reflective properties). Glass choice really does have a significant impact on a building’s energy performance, meaning you should ideally choose the right kind of glass as early as the design phase. Glass must also meet different requirements for residential and office buildings, so the appropriate glass type must be selected separately for each given project. Continue reading

Spray Hard Coat Glass Vs CVD Hard Coat Glass


If somebody tries to sell you cheap reflective glass saying it is “Hard Coated”, the first thing you should ask is “Is it spray hard coat or CVD hard coat?”. Spray hard coat could be termed as a primitive and is relatively cheaper, in this one the chemical composition is sprayed over glass which would be in a semi solid stage (online process). Most cases, the coating tends to be uneven and deposition rate would be poor. In most cases the coated side appears yellowish.

CVD (Chemical vapor deposition in atmospheric pressure) on the other hand is far superior and the latest. Here, the chemical composition is vaporised and then allowed to deposit on semi-solid glass (online coating) in a controlled manner, achieving high deposition rate and the coating would be even. In most cases, the coated side would have a silver appearance.

It would be a disaster if spray coated glasses which come at cheap rates are used (especially when it is mis-sold with the name “Hard coated reflective glass”) in buildings. Below are some pictures for reference.

Spray Hard Coat – Coating peel off

Continue reading

Glass Types for Building Envelope Products


There are typically four different glass types used in glazing products: From weakest to strongest they are: Annealed, Heat Strengthened, Tempered and Laminated.

1. Annealed glass is your basic non-impact glass type. It is used in applications where the required wind load is not so high and safety requirements are not a concern. When annealed glass breaks, it breaks in sharp chards.

2. Heat Strengthened glass is also a non-impact glass. It undergoes a “heat treatment” that increases it’s strength to twice that of annealed glass. It is used in similar applications to annealed glass but where the required wind loads are much higher. When heat strengthened glass breaks, it also breaks in chards.

3. Tempered glass is your basic impact glass. It undergoes a more aggressive “treatment” that increases it’s strength to four times that of annealed glass. It is used in “small missile” impact applications typically installed 30 feet or higher above ground and in safeguard applications. When tempered glass breaks, it breaks into very small cubes.

4. Laminated glass is your typical impact glass. It is a combination of two (usually) of the three previously mentioned glass types that are “laminated” together with an interlayer between them. It is typically used in “large missile” impact applications installed up to 30 feet above ground. When laminated glass breaks, it breaks based on it’s glass type make-up but is held in place by the interlayer…similar to a car’s windshield.

By,
Rick DLG

Low-e Coated Glass and the right usage


Here’s a short article which describes the right usage of Low-e coated glasses. Towards the last sentence of the article, it has been clearly stated that these glasses are used to prevent heat loss from the building in cold climate. But still the usage of these glasses have been mis-understood and are used in hot and humid climates, believing that they reduce the overall heat entering the building. True that they block long wave infra red radiation entering the building, just like they block them from leaving the building (which is why they are mostly used in cold climate).

Read the article on low-e coated glass here.

Designing Safely With Glass

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Here’s an interesting article by Rick De La Guardia on how to design safely with glass for today’s threats. This article was featured in US Glass Magazine. (Click on the article image to read more and download the entire edition)

Chemically Strengthened Glasses


Here’s an interesting find from Glazette.com. This article claims about a new type of glass tempering, called Chemical Strengthening. It is also claimed in the article that these glasses are 6 to 8 times stronger than annealed glass, where as toughened glass is only 4 to 5 times strong. Most amazing fact is that these glasses could be cut after tempering unlike toughened glasses. However, the breakage pattern for these glasses remain almost the same as annealed glass, which obviously affects its acceptance in terms of safety.

Read the full article here.

Insulated Glass Units

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Insulated glass unit (IGU), also known as Double glazed unit (DGU) consists of two glass panes separated by dry air with an aluminum spacer. IGU has been in use in many countries since 1960s, except in the middle-east and Asia, … Continue reading

Is Glass Really A Green Building Material?


If somebody says that Glass is a green building material, the straight and honest answer would be a big No! Just because in many high rise green rated buildings, glass has been used extensively, it doesn’t make it a green product in itself. One might have encountered with many architects and glass industry professionals who bluntly promote glass as a green product, then why is this article contradicting that belief? Here is an explanation on why glass is not a green product by itself, but why it is essential for a green rated building. This article is in context of float glass only, which is the most widely used in buildings.

Glass could earn a few green points for the fact that it could be recycled. Broken pieces of glass are added along with the raw materials while glass is manufactured so as to bring down the boiling point and there by reduce the energy consumption. Also if the manufacturing facility is near to the building in construction, that could also fetch a few points for green rating, as the material is locally sourced. Local sourcing of material means less energy consumed for transporting the material.

Glass is extensively used in green buildings to harvest maximum light inside and to reduce energy consumption for internal lighting requirements. When more natural light enters a building, equal amount of heat also enters the building. 50% of the Visual Light Transmittance (VLT) is direct solar energy (ER or DET). So when you are asking for 100% light transmittance, you are getting 50% of heat along with it! If in a building, which is centrally air-conditioned, and if it is clear glass which is being extensively used, energy consumption for internal lighting might get reduced to a significant level, but at the same time energy consumption by the air-conditioner would be enormously escalated. This is where solar control and thermal insulating glasses play a major role.

Solar control glasses let in maximum light and also cuts DET down to a great level. Since 80 to 90% of heat entering a building is solar heat, maximum energy could be saved on lighting and air-conditioning. Apart from direct solar energy, non-solar energy or indirect energy, could also be controlled by using double glazed/ Isulated glass units(DGU / IGU), and thermal insulating glass. A DGU cuts down the heat entering a building due to conduction (glass is a good heat conductor) and convection. A thermal insulating or a low emissivity (Low-e) coated glass can reduce the non-solar heat by cutting down the transmittance of Long Wave Infra Red Radiation (LWIR). LWIR is emitted by objects like trees and furnitures during the night time, which absorb the Short Wave Infra Red Radiation (SWIR). In moderate to cold climate conditions, where heaters are used in buildings, it is better to go for a very low u-value glass, so as to prevent heat loss from the building. In tropical climates, it is better to have a moderate u-value range.

In short, it is not an isolated pane of glass that is green rated or that helps you gain green points, it is the configuration of glass units installed in your building, based on the window to wall ratio, orientation of the building, total glazing area, energy efficiency of the building, and hours of operation of the building occupants.

(Originally written for Associatedcontent.com)

Soft Coat Glass


Soft Coat Glass, otherwise known as vacuum coated or off-line coated glasses, are manufactured by a process which is entirely different from hard coat glass (discussed in last post). The name soft coat is given because of the susceptible nature of the coating to get peeled off (in single glazing/ monolithic application) when compared to hard coat. However, soft coat glasses can offer a very low solar factor when compared to hard coat glasses.

Manufacturing process involves metal particles being deposited on the glass surface inside a vacuum chamber. The process, otherwise known as Magnetron Sputtering Vapor Deposition (MSVD) is sometimes referred to as Cathodic Vapor Deposition. Some glass manufacturers mention it as CVD coating, just to create a confusion with actual Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition, mis-interpret it and mis-sell it as hard coat.

During the process, the material to be sputtered is loaded in a high voltage electric circuit, which is followed by the feeding of process gas into vacuum chamber, where plasma is formed. An ion discharge takes place inside the chamber, these positive charged ions gets attracted and collide with the material to be sputtered. This process happens at a very high speed and atoms of the material sputtered gets ejected, which gets accumulated on the glass below. Most widely used metals for sputtering are Silver and Titanium.

Soft coat glasses are generally used in double glazed units, with the coated surface at position 2 or 3, so that the coating is kept protected from peeling off. With the advance in technology, soft coat glasses are now made which can also be used in monolithic form (single glazed) with much improved life for the coating, but still the life of the coating cannot match with that of hard coat glass in monolithic applications.

Soft coat glass also has problems while tempering when compared to hard coat glass. It tends to show up a problem called lensing, which happens because the coated surface of the glass reflects Infra Red radiation and heats up differently than the lower surface (which is heated).

 

Reference:

http://www.pilkington.com/the+americas/usa/english/building+products/for+architects/faqs/default.htm

http://glassmanual.com/article.php?aid=171

http://www.glassonweb.com/forum/view.php?mID=5397&gSearch=soft%20coat%20glass

http://arcon-glas.de/var/plain_site/storage/original/application/8276eb9e8f92e47dcb82f9da74472322.pdf

News on Glass & Refractory World: week# 07


° Corning predicts for 2011 increased demand for special glass installed in tablet computers and smartphones, which employ scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass for touch screen devices. This will also drive increased utilization of platinum components used in these glasses specialties production.

° Cabot Corporation/US and China National Bluestar (Group) Corporation have initiated expansion of fumed silica production capacity Jiangxi Province, PRC. It will be a USD 43 million investment at Cabot Bluestar Chemical (Jiangxi) Co. Ltd. First phase will increase capacity from 5000 to 20000 TPY, second phase is aimed to a final 20000 TPY capacity.

° Guangdong Orient Zirconic Ind. Sci. and Tech. and DCM DECO Metal (DCM) won the approval of Australia authorities to jointly acquire Australia Zircon NL; in May 2010, the Chinese company announced it would invest 40 million Australian dollars to set up the joint venture with DCM, giving itself a 51-percent stake in the scheme to acquire all of Australia Zircon NL’s assets. This is a significant move to control Australian zircon sources, made by Chinese entities.

Hard Coated Reflective Glass


Espace rolin fortis, Brussels- Stopsol Silverlight

Hard coated or pyrolytic coated reflective glasses are those in which the coating is applied when the glass is manufactured,i.e. it is an online coating process. In this process of coating, the glass is fused into the glass at 650-700 degree celcius, and on cooling, the coating becomes a part of the glass.

Primary advantage of hard coated glass is the durability, it could also be handled like normal/annealed glass, could be easily heat strengthened, toughened, laminated or curved. These glasses could also be used in single glazing without any fear of losing the coating. Soft coat glasses (to be discussed in the next post) are susceptible to scratch and degradation over time, and requires special handling, hard coated glasses were invented just to counter this problem. Only disadvantage is the variety of colors available when compared to off line coating. Continue reading

What is a Green Building ?

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For all “Green-illiterates” (pardon my word usage)- A Green Building is not a green colored building, nor does it look different from any other building, then what is a green building?

A green building is basically distinguished with the approach, which involves the sincere care for the life of natural resources, providing human comfort, safety, as well as productivity. In a green building,

  • There would be minimum disturbance to the landscape and site condition.
  • Eco-friendly and recycled building materials are used.
  • Materials used are non-toxic and recyclable.
  • Equipments used are energy efficient and eco-friendly
  • Renewable energy is used

Even though the benefits of a green building are infinite, both tangible and intangible, an immediate tangible aspect could be readily observed once the green building starts operating, which is the significant reduction in operating cost and water costs (up to 40% savings !). Another tangible aspect would be the enhanced asset value. Intangible aspects would include increased productivity, health and safety, and much more.

Non-Solar Heat Control Glasses

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Solar and Non-solar heat transfer- IGU

In the previous post, types of heat entering a building was discussed, of which solar heat comprises around 80% and the rest is non-solar heat. It becomes very important to control non-solar heat as well even though it contribute to only 20% heat entering a building, especially in buildings where there is 24 x 7 operations and households, so as to bring down the energy consumption during night time. In this post, non-solar heat and how all to control it will be discussed in detail.

Non-solar heat is mainly transferred in three ways- conduction, convection and radiation, and is measured in terms of U-value (W/m2.K). Continue reading

Solar and Heat Control Glasses

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solar and non-solar heat

Glass is used in a building to harvest natural light inside it and there by reducing the internal artificial lighting requirements, in turn saving energy. The two major sources for heat entering the building is solar heat and non-solar heat; solar heat is nothing but the direct solar heat entering the building through visible light, non solar heat is caused by various factors like conduction, convection and radiation. Out of the heat sources, solar heat is the major one and requires more attention, even though the effects of non-solar heat could not be ignored as well, as it plays a major role in certain structures. Continue reading