This type of Glass is manufactured by melting sand, soda ash, dolomite and limestone together and produces a continuous glass ribbon up to 3660mm wide. This flows from the furnace and 'floats' over a bed of molten tin. It is then carefully cooled to anneal the glass – a process which modifies the internal stresses enabling it to be cut and which maximises its potential mechanical resistance. The float glass process is renowned for flatness and optical clarity. It is available in clear, toned, high performance toned, ultra clear low iron glass and Low E pyrolitic coated.
- Clear float glass offers a distortion free flat surface, high light transmission (daylight) and clarity.
- Clear float glass is visually colourless and transparent when viewed face on. When viewed on edge or painted, it displays a slight green tinge.
- Most common glass used in general window glazing, balustrades, shower screens, furniture etc.
- Splashbacks where colour selection is not affected by the green tinge of ordinary float glass.
- Display cabinets and shopfronts – where true colour of the displayed object is required.
- Solar collectors where increased solar transmission is of benefit.
Low Iron Float Glass
Manufactured in the same manner as float glass with a large percentage of the iron content removed. This lessens the green tinge associated with ordinary float glass.
Produced by adding colorant during the manufacturing of clear float glass. Also called body tinted glass as the tint is an integral part of the glass. As the tint is added at the molten glass stage the thicker the glass the darker the tint. (ie 10mm tinted is twice as dark as 5mm).
Most common colours are:
Most of these standard colors are now available in a range of depth of colour (light to dark) and consequently aesthetics and performance.
The primary purpose of tinted glass is solar control. To reduce the sun's direct solar energy passing through the glass. As this energy has to go somewhere the glass absorbs the heat and re-radiates it away.
Other benefits are reduced glare and aesthetics.
- To achieve greater solar control than tinted float glass a reflective coating can be applied. With pyrolitic coatings the coating is fused into the surface of the glass during the raw glass manufacture. This type of coating is commonly referred to as "hard coat".
- Reflective glass absorbs and reflects a major percentage of the sun's direct energy (heat) more effectively than standard tinted glass.
- The metallic coating applied during the manufacturing process creates a mirror like appearance. As the coating is extremely durable "hard coat" reflective glasses can be glazed with the reflective coating to either the inside or outside of the building depending on the aesthetics and / or performance required.
- Available in a range of colours similar to tinted float glass and as with all float glass products can be cut, toughened, laminated and double glazed