Glass – there is more to see through it than you would think

 

We look through it every day and yes we take it for granted but there is a lot more to it than our ancestors -who first discovered that sand at the rim of volcanoes when subject to intense heat would melt and then solidify into the hard translucent material they used for arrow heads – could ever have thought possible.

We marvel at the manner in which technology has changed our lives and yet we forget about good old glass – it is so woven into our everyday life that in the main we do not notice it – but glass is a commodity that has changed our lives as much as any other technology and it comes in so many variations with so many uses – glass for windows may be a major use but it only covers a small portion of this amazing products capabilities see http://www.britglass.org.uk/about-glass for the history development and uses of glass.

One of the latest innovations is the use of glass in observation platforms such as the Grand Canyon Skywalk –

Grand Canyon Skywalk Glass

But even this has been topped by the opening of the world’s longest glass suspension bridge in where else but China aptly named the “Brave Man’s Bridge” at 984 feet long suspended 590 feet above the canyon floor below this is a truly superb feat of engineering

Brave Mans Bridge China Glass

The bridge apparently started life as a timber decked structure before it was decided to replace some of the timber with glass panels – the result was so successful that the whole bridge decking was re modelled in glass it certainly impressed the guys at Popular Mechanics who have some pretty spectacular photographs in their report – but the photograph we at GFD HQ like best has to be –

Tackling Brave Mans Bridge in China

which is pretty much how we in the office think that we would end up getting across – not that we are scared of heights but even those flashing glass disco dance floors are a bit much for us.

At Timber Composite Door we take our glass seriously all of our glazing components are double glazed –with toughened glass as standard – but – Toughened glass is good but laminated is better. Whereas toughened glass by its very name is considerably harder to break than “Float / sheet glass”, toughened glass will shatter, if struck particularly hard in the correct place, and those who would wish to gain unlawful entry will know how to do it. The alternative to toughened glass is “Laminated glass” a form of glass with which we have become very familiar in the construction of car windscreens and now in the construction of glass suspension bridges.

If security is a real concern, the option to upgrading to laminated glass should be considered. Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that holds together when subjected to impact. In the event of breaking, it is held in place by an interlayer, typically of polyvinyl butyral (PVB), between its two or more layers of glass. The interlayer keeps the layers of glass bonded even when broken, and its high strength prevents the glass from breaking up into large sharp pieces. This produces a characteristic “spider web” cracking pattern when the impact is not enough to completely pierce the glass. As the glass in a typical door is normally comprised of small panels this means that it will be extra secure, and almost impenetrable, as it will not smash like standard glass.

To further improve your glazing there is the option of a thermal upgrade whereby all double glazed panels are filled with Argon gas and utilise a warm edge spacer bar to improve the thermal characteristics and significantly reduce heat loss.

At Timber Composite Door we may never build a glass suspension bridge but we do consider glass a key component of your door so if you want to know more about the thermal upgrade or laminated glass options simply give one of our sales team a call.