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

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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

Thermal Breakage in Glass


There are many instances where the glass panes in a building tends to crack for itself. This could be attributed to various factors like poor quality glazing, but there is also another factor which causes such breakage and is called thermal breakage. Thermal breakage in glass mainly happens due to the high difference in temperature between two points in a single glass pane, resulting in expansion and contraction in the same pane.

The temperature difference as mentioned above could be a result of many factors, such as difference of temperature between inside and outside, solar intensity in the region where building is located, type of glass (whether it is tinted, reflective, etc.), thickness of the glass, internal ventilation, type of glazing done, partial shade on glass, etc. Of all these factors, solar intensity plays a major role and it differs with geographical location, building orientation, seasons, etc. Continue reading

Optical Distortion in Tempered or Toughened Glass


In my previous post on Glass Tempering or Toughening Process, I had mentioned how the process is executed and the physics involved (Refer Back). Also a brief mention how the toughened glass quality is assessed after it breaks, this is very important because safety is the reason for we spend on tempering. There are also other issues in terms of quality when glass is tempered. These are mainly optical distortion, roller marks, waviness and bend, edge strength, coating burns, fragmenting, burns, spontaneous breakage, etc.

High Optical Distortion

Quality of tempered glass mainly depends on the quality of equipments used and the quality control procedures adopted.¬†Optical Distortion¬†, is mainly a blurred appearance in images when seen through the glass, as well as on the reflection on the glass. This quality issue in tempered glass is common to all types of glasses. Even though minor levels of optical distortion is present in most of the tempered glasses, but it gets magnified when the quality is that poor and the glass is applied on high rise building facades. The minor level optical distortion is inherent on tempered glass, considering the fact that glass nearly reaches it’s softening point as it is heated up to a temperature of 726 degrees, and also the fact that this glass moves in rollers, therefore it is also called roller wave distortions. Such distortions could be easily identified in reflective and low-e coated glasses. Roller wave distortions could be easily controlled by adopting suitable technology and quality control procedures (use of forced convection furnaces instead of radiation furnaces). Continue reading