Design and technology highlight: glass technology live 2008 shows cold-bent glass bridge

Date: 17 September 2008
Source: Glasstec-online.com
There will be a world premiere and absolute highlight at glasstec 2008 from 21 to 25 October in Düsseldorf: a crystal-clear, bent bridge in cold-moulded glass with a span of seven metres.

The spectacular exhibit is being presented by the seele company in cooperation with Prof. Stefan Behling and Dipl.- Ing. Andreas Fuchs (IBK Reasearch + Development, University of Stuttgart), and Dr. Ing. Stefan Peters (ENGELSMANN PETERS Ingenieure) within the “glass technology live” special show.

For the first time the innovative cold-bending technology enables the moulding and forming of glass with a span of seven metres without using heat. The result: particularly brilliant surface clarity and purity coupled with maximum efficiency and safety characteristics (laminated safety glass - LSG) for structural glass construction. Cold-bent glass is thus particularly suited to designing wide-span facades or roofs. Its use as a bridge proves the efficiency of the new glass finishing and opens up a new world of possibilities for architects to implement their visions.

The glass bridge, which visitors can actually access during glasstec 2008, consists of individual, four millimetre-thick, bent glass panes, each with total dimensions of only 3.7 centimetres total lamination. These material-optimized panes are joined together using a special laminating technology and, as a result, withstand extreme stress and strain. At the broadest point the bridge measures two metres, it is glass clear and also light weight: 1.7 tons of glass support a 7.2-ton load over a span width of seven metres!

In addition to the glass bridge, the visitors to glasstec can expect a whole range of other innovations covering the theme of “Glass and Energy”. In the glass technology live special show, particularly architects, facade builders and engineers find plenty of ideas for creative projects from the four sectors “Innovation”, “Solar technology”, “Solar protection and heat insulation”, “Light and transparency” as well as practical examples in the “Architecture projects“ category. Over 50 companies are showing product developments, manufacturing processes and technologies and presenting the latest research results.

Laminated glass instead of steel and concrete

Modern production methods not only enable creative glass forms, but also extend the functional properties of the material glass. As a result, modern laminated glass composed of several glass layers, films and resins, is also making inroads into areas of application which were previously the exclusive domain of steel or concrete. Innoverre GmbH & Co. KG is showing glass supports, which can for example be used in roof construction and designed in a length of twelve metres. Just how stable glass can be is impressively demonstrated to visitors on the glass bridge, constructed by industrial adhesive manufacturer Delo and Dresden Technical University (TU Dresden): with a length of six metres it easily supports a heavy fork-lift truck.

Solar technology as a design element

In the area of solar technology the trade public can expect solutions, which expand the photo-voltaic application spectrum in terms of design. In this context colourful solar cells or accessible modules are on show, which can also be used as screens incorporating LED technology. In addition, the developers are attaching great importance to integratively designing solar energy for facades and building shells – not only, in order to extend the design spectrum for architects, but to also circumvent space problems caused by low or misconstructed roof areas. The Institute for Building Construction and Design (Institut für Baukonstruktion und Entwerfen) at the University of Stuttgart is presenting a research project featuring thermal solar collections, which serve energy recovery but also function as sun protection, for example in office buildings.

Innovative creations from the area of energy efficiency generated by sun protection and heat insulation are also presented by Roschmann GmbH & Co KG with the insulation glass element incorporating a mechanical sun protection feature integrated between the inside and outside pane, enabling it to be fully-functionally adjusted in every position. EControl-Glas GmbH & Co. KG in turn is showing electro-chrome switchable panes with toning, which adjusts to the sun’s rays thanks to electronic control.

Ideal complement: Symposium and Architecture Congress

The exhibition will be rounded off by a top-ranking symposium of specialists. They will look in detail at the theme of glass and energy ranging from insulation materials through to thin-film photo-voltaic up to heat insulation and sun protection. In this context the theme of architecture and glass runs through the programme like a golden thread. Speakers include for example Armand Grüntuch from Grüntuch Ernst Architekten, Erich Volz from Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Knut Göppert from Schlaich Bergermann & Partner or Dr. Ingo Hagemann from the office of the same name.

In addition, on Friday, 24 October 2008, the International Architects’ Congress on the “Transparency! Glass and Facade Technology“ motto will be held. Renowned speakers, including for example Lise Anne Couture from Asymptote Architecture from New York, will concern themselves with theme areas such as high-performance architecture, supporting glass or integrative glass facades. The congress is the recognized continuation training event for architects.

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