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How Glass is Made – From the Batch House to the Lehr

Glass has become one of the most popular building materials used today because it offers virtually unlimited aesthetic options, combined with outstanding performance. What ends up as large, sweeping glass panels in a high-rise office building, healthcare facility, school or other construction project starts as a simple combination of sand, soda ash, limestone, dolomite and some other minor ingredients.

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Heat Strengthened vs. Tempered Glass

When thinking of some of the world’s most dramatic, visually breathtaking buildings, they most likely involve large expanses of glass. Before these architectural masterpieces can be created, the glass may need to be heat-treated for durability and/or safety reasons. The type of processing required—heat-strengthening or tempering—depends on the glass’ specific application.

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Preventing Thermal Stress Breakage

While aesthetically versatile and offering outstanding performance, working with glass does come with some special considerations. This is especially relevant in commercial architecture, where it’s common to specify large glass panels to achieve a dramatic look. A thermal stress break is one such issue.

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Specifying Large Insulating Glass Units

Some of the world’s most dramatic and visually-breathtaking buildings involve large expanses of glass. Using large, dramatic panels of insulated glass is one of today’s most popular design trends. However, there are several factors that need to be considered in order to ensure a successful project when specifying large insulating glass units.

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Top Design Considerations

Glass has become one of the most popular and complex building materials used today by offering virtually unlimited aesthetic options, in addition to outstanding performance. However, designing with glass does require special considerations, especially during the selection and specification process. The following provides an overview on the main points of glass building construction, with additional information and videos on specific topics in the Education Center and in-depth technical information available at vitroglazings.com.

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Pro/Cons of Gas-Filled Insulating Glass Units

When working with glass, one of the options to consider is the type of glass unit that will best meet the specific needs of a project. A part of the decision process is determining whether or not to use gas versus air in an insulated glass unit (IGU).

About the Education Center



Resources. Information. Support. From engaging videos on challenging technical issues to common industry terms, learn more about one of today’s most popular building envelope products.

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    Fun Glass Facts


    The first insulating glass units were developed in 1945 for the Pullman Car Company in Butler, PA.


    A standard float tank can produce glass 24 hours/7 days a week for up to 15 years before it needs to be rebuilt.