Curved glass is commonly used as an element of façades and interiors in modernist designs for commercial and residential buildings. It often specified in designs as a feature element because of its uniqueness.
Technological advances in recent decades, such as robotic and automated manufacturing, have meant that curved glass has become easier and cheaper to produce and can be used to tighter radii, greater girths and greater overall dimensions.However, is not available in standard sizes so each building will require custom-made production.
Depending on the design requirements, there are a number of different forms in which curved glass can be used:
- Curved annealed glass: This is often used for showcasing purposes where there is less necessity for strength and safety, such as shop windows.
- Curved toughened glass: This is strong and shock-resistant, produced by heating annealed glass to 700-degrees C and then cooling it rapidly. It is commonly used in staircases and for other interior purposes.
- Laminated glass: This is formed by bonding two layers of glass and is very tough. When it shatters it stays within the lamination, rather than breaking into shards.
Clearly communicating the requirements, criteria and expected standards early in the deign process can be important as then, all parties – glazing manufacturer, façade contractor, architect, client and so on – can fully understand the implications of the requirement prior to manufacture.
The relevant standards for cylindrical bent float glass are BS ISO 11485 Part 2 (2012), and the American ASTM C 1464-06 (reapproved 2011).
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