Laminated glass is an excellent way of extending the use of glass to cover security, safety and structural requirements. But its use as an aesthetic element in its own right has not received the attention that perhaps it might. Now the range of possibilities has expanded with a new manufacturing technique, thanks to developments from Solutia, a major worldwide producer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayers under the name Saflex.
All the advantages In addition to incorporating colours and patterns into laminated architectural glass, Solutia's Vanceva Design interlayers retain all the benefits of ordinary laminated glass:
sound insulation; and lsolar protection.
However, Vanceva Design brings colour and pattern into the heart of laminated glass, allowing it to be incorporated in a way which was previously impossible: a single sheet can perform structural, fire, acoustic, safety, solar-protective and now aesthetic roles, all in one.
Laminated glass is a composite construction comprising a tough, resilient PVB film sandwiched between two or more layers of glass and permanently bonded under heat and pressure. The result is that laminated glass can be fitted in areas where ordinary glass could not be used. Highly resistant and elastic, the interlayer plays a crucial role in providing the benefits associated with laminated glass such as safety, security, acoustic insulation and protection against UV light.
Colour and pattern Solutia's innovative Vanceva Design technique retains these advantages and introduces two further benefits: colour and pattern. The pattern film is encapsulated between two films of coloured clear PVB and then between the two outer layers of glass. The films remain stable over time and are protected from scratching, dirt and deterioration. And, rather than being made with dye, the coloured interlayers incorporate heat- and light-stable pigments for truer, longer-lasting colours. They have passed BS EN ISO 12543 Part 4 for durability, the test used for ordinary PVB laminated glass.
The 10 colours and nine patterns can be used singly or in combination. For example, by superimposing up to four layers of colour, more than 600 different transparent or translucent colours of laminated glass can be created. Standard patterns include minidots, wide stripes, squares and spots. And when different colour and pattern interlayers are combined, a host of highly individual effects and attractive nuances can be created.
The Vanceva Design system is available for use with glasses which include ordinary, heat-toughened, chemically toughened types, as well as in combination with tinted and reflective glass.
Impact resistance The many benefits of the PVB interlayer in ordinary laminated glass also apply to Vanceva Design products. Resistance to accidental impact is an important characteristic - the glass may disintegrate after a particularly heavy blow, yet the fragments adhere to the interlayer, lowering the risk of injury and material damage. Increased resistance to repeated blows or glasscutters provides protection for property to BS EN 356. Further structural benefits of laminated over ordinary glass include greater resistance to wind, snow loads, storms, hurricanes and earthquakes. The PVB layer's elasticity also dulls the effect of resonance and coincidence to reduce undesirable noise in an insulated unit and achieve an acoustic performance of at least 36dB Rw.
UV protection A further benefit is that Vanceva interlayers filter harmful UV rays, and so help protect against discolouration and damage to furniture, fabrics, furnishings and wall coverings.
Applications for Vanceva Design include curtain walls, windows, atria, external display cases and balconies. Interior uses include partitions, doors, lifts, balustrades, guard rails, furniture, signs and shelving.