Acid-etched Glass on Surface One Applications

It is important to state that acid-etched glass can be used on surface 1 of the IGU, meaning it is directly exposed to the outside environment.

The  four acid-etch finishes that are part of the Walker Textures program, namely Satinlite, Satin, Velour and Opaque can be used on any of the surfaces in an insulated glass unit.Since acid-etching is not a coating, nor a film or sandblast, it has basically the same resistance properties as un-etched glass in exterior weather conditions. The closed-pore surface structure of our acid-etch finishes make the glass easy to clean and resistant to staining. This is the reason why acid-etched glass is ideal for use in exterior applications. Furthermore, it is important to state that acid-etched glass can be used on surface one of the IGU, meaning it is directly exposed to the outside environment.

Having the acid-etched surface on position one of the sealed unit offers many advantages. One of the main uses of acid-etched glass in a surface 1 application is glare reduction from an outside view. It is also used extensively to enhance colours applied on surface 2 of the glass, in non-vision or spandrel applications. Of course, surface one treatment does offer a much better visible impact, while providing privacy, daylight penetration and light diffusion. Enhanced colour rendering is also achieved when a laminate with a coloured interlayer is used as the outboard lite in an insulated unit.

The selection of the acid-etched finish really depends on the design intent and desired overall look. It is important to review 12”x12” samples of the IGU makeup being considered to get a good idea of the look produced by combining acid-etched glass, with the desired finish, and Low-E glass.

Here are some examples of projects that use acid-etched glass on position 1 of an IGU:

INRS in Montreal  (

Barnard College in New York City (

University of Pennsylvania - Nanotech in Philadelphia


University of Pennsylvania - Nanotech

If you have questions on the use of acid-etched glass in exterior applications or need further information, do not hesitate to contact us and we will gladly connect you with one of our architectural experts.

600450 Acid-etched Glass on Surface One Applications
Date: 4 November 2013

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