Specialty Glass: Types & Applications

Sep 27, 2022


Glass is a beautiful piece used for a variety of purposes in building design and construction. Glass is a combination of aesthetics and functionality. The first glass is known to Stone Age people specially used for making weapons and decorative objects. Nowadays, there are numerous types of glass.

With time, glass has been improved in aesthetics and function.

Glass is most preferred to be used for acquiring openness and optimal lighting. Even with that, it gives protection from strong heat. Glass is transparent, giving the room or building visibility.

In this blog, we have covered a few types of specialty glass. Depending on their functions they are used for a variety of purposes.

Let’s see the following types of specialty glass in detail:

  1. Reflective Glass
  2. Safety Laminated Glass
  3. Electrochromic Glass
  4. Insulated Glass
  5. Wired Glass
  6. Glass Block

1. REFLECTIVE GLASS

Reflective glass is ordinary glass with a thin metallic coating that gives a darker hue. Reflective glass is nothing but excellent aesthetics. This glass is a combination of visuals and functionality, it protects against solar glare and energy efficiency. The name of the glass itself suggests that it reflects heat more than standard glass. Another great function is that it is also less prone to thermal breakage. Reflective glass is manufactured depending on two methods one is Production Pyrolitic (On-Line) and the other is Vacuum (Magnetron) Process (Off-Line).

Reflective glass is specially used for high-rise buildings, more elegant constructions that give aesthetic and performance benefits.

The reflective coat on glass reduces heat and offers visibility of light to enter.

Reflective Glass

Benefits of Reflective Glass:

  • Energy Savings and Summer Comfort: The glass reflects and also absorbs the sun's rays without getting affected. It helps to reduce solar radiation from entering the room which leads to saving energy also money on both heating and air-conditioning. This glass allows natural light that enhances the overall thermal comfort.
  • Aesthetic and Appearance: The reflective glass actually gives the mirror-like impression. Glass coating is also available in different tones that are like tinted glass giving the beautiful exterior. You can choose a suitable shade depending on the structure.
  • Visibility: Reflective glass also reflects the reflection via one side of the glass and not on the other. Mostly on the exterior side of the building, it acts as reflective. With this the glass also gives visibility. Maintains privacy as it sees through from one way only.

Applications of  Reflective Glass:

  • Reflective glass is used in shop fronts and commercial frontages
  • Also for high rise buildings, restaurants, shopping malls, educational institutions, and many more
  • For the display cabinets and interior display windows, used in projection rooms, television studios, machine control rooms, etc.

2. SAFETY LAMINATED GLASS

Safety is prior most important, that increases demand of use of safety things in your home or any construction. Whereas, the use of safety glass has increased a lot due to its strength and glazing. To maintain safety and aesthetic becomes easy with the use of safety glass. The need for large doors and windows improves aesthetics. Laminated glass and tempered glass are used as safety glass. Safety Laminated glass possesses a variety of features.

Laminated glass is a combination of two or more layers of glass with a flexible PVB interlayer. The layers are bonded with the heat and pressure process creating the glass. Safety Laminated glass is tough, robust and hard to break. Laminated glass is a layered type of glass in which the number of layers can extend up to 9. The glass creates a strong, uniformed layer and has the ability to resist heavy impact.

Safety Laminated Glass‌‌

What are the uses of Safety Laminated Glass?

The uses of laminated glass are seen in both residential and commercial buildings.

  • Strong enough to be used in buildings in places where there are chances of hurricanes or other natural disasters are there
  • Use of Glass is also done for commercial building doors
  • Strong glass floors and glass stairs and used as skylights and glass roofs
  • Both residential and commercial windows
  • Used as the display cabinets and for jewellery stores
  • Also suitable for aquariums

Safety laminated glass will not easily break and in rare cases, if broken will not shatter but will hold the glass pieces like a spider web-like pattern. Laminated glass is suitable for providing protection in disaster areas.

The strength of the glass helps to maintain security. Glasses are low-emissivity that help to reduce heat gain. The laminated glass causes noise waves to become disrupted which helps to reduce noise pollution. Along with all this laminated glass is aesthetically pleasing More design choice: Laminated glazing is available in many colors, tints, or tones, and can be manufactured straight or curved for greater versatility in appearance

3. ELECTROCHROMIC GLASS

Electrochromic glass is also known as smart or dynamic glass. This glass is an electronically tintable glass so it is known as Electrochromic glass. The use of glass is widely used for windows, skylights, facades, and curtain walls.

Glass is a widely used material mostly in the case of windows and doors. But it is also inconvenient in a variety of cases. Every window needs curtains. Windows let in light and heat, consuming a lot of energy in air conditioners. Smart glass is a solution in the new era that has switchable windows, in which glass materials change color which makes it transparent to opaque. It improves comfort, maximizes access to daylight and gives outdoor views also helps in reducing energy costs. Along with all this Electrochromic glass provides beautiful architects.

What are the Benefits and Applications of Electrochromic Glass?

  • Electrochromic glass is great where the building involves solar control.
  • Great application in the classroom, healthcare, commercial, retail, museums, and cultural institutions.
  • Used in interior spaces, like skylights and furniture
  • The glass enables to have daylight and outdoor views
  • These glasses can able to operate with automatic control settings to manage light, glare, energy use, and color rendering.
  • Ability to get the glasses design with various tints and great application for the exterior of the building.
  • Of course great suitability for windows and doors in both residential and commercial buildings
  • Used in bathrooms, showers, and many more other uses
  • Smart glass is great in operation and its function offers a simplified solution automation
  • Electrochromic glass enables the switchable privacy that makes its use more accessible
  • The glass is sturdy and has high-quality materials that are robust and long lasting

4. INSULATED GLASS

The windows are meant for various purposes one of the important is ventilation. Otherwise, it is also a source of sunlight, visibility. But its windows always create an issue of heat entry. There are many solutions coming around, one is Insulating glass. This glass is made to prevent effective heat transfer. The insulation glass includes multiple pieces of glass. These pieces are separated from the metal, aluminum, or any other material spacer. It is the modern glass technology consisting of panes. It also gives an aesthetic view of the building. The main purpose of these glasses is to regulate indoor temperature and resist unwanted heat and noise.

An insulating glass unit consists of many parts that are effectively held with the proper arrangement. It includes, Desiccant helps to remove humidity and moisture, Spacer is used to determine the width of the gap between two panes of glass, Cavity is the separation of two panes of glass, Sealants act as adherence so that insulated air doesn’t escape from the cavity.

Insulated Glass


What are the applications and features of Insulated Glass?

  • Insulation glass offers the sound control abilities
  • Used in residential settings where the need for seclusion is the most.
  • This glass is multiple layers of glass possess the strength making it durable and strong
  • The strength of Insulation glass make it preferable to use in a commercial and industrial area
  • Available in multiple thicknesses and also gives aesthetic appealing look
  • Glass is fire-resistant glass so make it suitable to use in case of fire
  • Insulated glass is durable and long-lasting, and offers the secure option
  • This glass is used for office buildings, Hospitals, Hotels, Houses, and high rise building

5. WIRED GLASS

The use of Wired glass has been done for a long time, Nowadays also it is used and especially it prevents the glass from shattering. Wired glass is reinforced with wire mesh making it durable. With that wired glass is also fire-resistant, this wire helps glass in position. Wired glass avoids getting hurt mostly in case of emergency.

Wire glass blocks fire from entering and gives enough time to escape from the building. Even if it is not that strong enough, break with the impact the pieces or fragments of glass remain with wire mesh and avoid any bad effect. It has good thermal and electrical resistance. Good to be used in patterned and tinted glass gives an attractive aesthetic look.

Wired Glass

Applications of Wired Glass:

  • Special used for fire resistance for the fire exit doors.
  • Used for partitions.
  • Also suitable to be used in windows of public buildings, schools, hotels, and institutions.
  • Good to be installed in stairwells and hallways.
  • Used in skylights, roofs, windows, and fire-resisting doors.

6. GLASS BLOCK

The block is also known as brick, so a glass block is just a kind of glass brick. It is specially used as an architectural material. The glass block provides visual opacity and light and is used in interior design.

Most glass blocks are constructed in a reinforced concrete frame. Glass blocks are mostly available as hollow glass blocks, more thicker and in a variety of many colors.

Glass Block

What are the applications of Glass Block?

  • This glass block is mostly used in traditional clear glass exterior windows.
  • On the wall that is interior non-load-bearing and used for bathroom windows.
  • Glass block offers a good amount of natural light and privacy at the same time.
  • These glass blocks are mostly sealed properly and eliminate the risk of air leakages.
  • Glass block is very solid and waterproof.
  • Used for wall, wall cladding, and floor applications.
  • Glass blocks deliver good thermal and sound insulation.
  • Glass Block offers higher energy efficiency, enhances heat control, and resist dust entry.
  • Used in flooring and some furniture buildings.
  • This block needs very less maintenance.
  • Most frequently used in wall fabrications and decorative windows.

Different types of Glass Blocks are:

  • Wavy Glass Block
  • Hollow Glass Block
  • Ice Glass Blocks
  • Diamond Glass Blocks

We have seen a variety of glasses. Each glass possesses its function and finding it according to suitability can be quite challenging. Arkihive is a mobile based application where you can find a wide range of glass and request quotes from vendors directly!

Tags

Arkihive

Intelligent Digital Product Discovery Platform enabling Sales and Collaboration among Architectural and Construction Professionals