A better replacement for wire glass

At one point in time, wire glass had its place. The wire-mesh-embedded glass filled an important role providing fire resistance in commercial buildings as well as added security in detainment facilities and hospitals.

But times have changed.    

New technologies have brought multiple fire-rated glass or fire-rated glass ceramic options that meet the required fire-resistance ratings without the unsightly wires blocking views and, more importantly, with the addition of impact resistance.

Traditional wire glass is not safety glass; if accidentally or intentionally impacted, the glass will shatter, likely leading to injuries. In fact, wire glass is no longer permitted in U.S. new construction except in rare occasions. In Canada, a movement is on to reform wire glass regulations, according to US Glass magazine.

According to the publication, the changes were spurred by a $5.5 million lawsuit after a secondary school student accidentally put his hand through a door’s wire glass instead of pushing on the pushbar. It’s one of several similar incidents around North America. With a multitude of clear, fire-rated glass options, the need for wire glass is practically nonexistent. Among Vetrotech’s many fire-rated offerings is its latest technology, Keralite Select, a glass ceramic that installs into standard fire-rated frames and doors, and comes in 20-, 45-, 60-, 90-, and 180-minute fire ratings.

Boasting superior clarity and sharpness, Keralite Select is the farthest thing from the aesthetics of a wire glass. Keralite Select has a color-rendering index of 97.1 (out of 100), the highest R96a value for glass ceramics, it has the lowest haze value at 0.5%, and bears no cloudy appearance even in variable lighting conditions.

Comparable to float glass in quality, the surface doesn’t have the “orange peel effect” common to standard fire-rated glass ceramics. In schools and other public buildings, the result is doors that are safe and secure—with a look that feels welcoming, not institutional.

Visit this page Fire-Glass-Home/keralite-select.aspx and get more information on Keralite Select including a free sample and download a white paper explaining the charateristics to look for when purchasing or specifying fire-rated glass ceramic.

600450 A better replacement for wire glass glassonweb.com
Date: 12 November 2014
Source: Vetrotech Saint-Gobain

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