Get stuck in: A clear new future

Pilkington Planar™ Crystal Connect™, powered by Dow Corning, allows architects to create continuous glass façades with no protrusions.Architects have unprecedented opportunities to bring their design visions to life with the launch of Pilkington Planar™ Crystal Connect™.

The latest addition to the world’s leading structural glazing system, Pilkington Planar™ Crystal Connect™ uses invisible structural bonding technology to enable continuous glass façades to be built with the absolute minimum of mechanical detailing thus providing the maximum in visual clarity.

Until now, structural glass systems have relied heavily on mechanical point fixings or pre-assembled structural silicone assemblies to hold the glass in place. Even the most discreet point fixed designs have been reliant on a hole being drilled in at least one glass component of the façade panel into which a mechanical fixing system has then attached.

Attaching to the inside surface of the glass only, Pilkington Planar™ Crystal Connect™ features an almost invisible point fixing connected to the glass using a Translucent Structural Silicone Adhesive (TSSA). It offers an uninterrupted glass façade with a small, internal disc of stainless steel as the only indication of the fitting when viewed through the glass. The fixing does not penetrate or interrupt any ceramic frit, coloured interlayer or custom artwork which is incorporated into the glazing panel.

The system was jointly-developed by Pilkington Architectural, part of the NSG Group, the leading experts in structural glass systems for over 40 years, and the High Performance Building team within Dow Corning, a global leader in silicone-based technology. This joint expertise has resulted in a product that is both flexible and strong. In fact, the system has a design strength that is nine times greater than that of a conventional 2-part structural glazing system, while the material in the fixing also has a 25% movement capacity to allow for thermal loading.

There are other benefits of Pilkington Planar™ Crystal Connect™. Because it does not rely on countersinking, the system can be used with thinner glass panels than previously possible. It’s also a lighter system, reducing weight loads, and it provides the proven thermal stability, UV resistance and excellent weatherability associated with the established silicone structural glazing market.

Tim Morgan, Technical Development Manager UK and Ireland, comments: “Our partnership with Dow Corning has created a product that’s stronger than expected, more flexible and more visually appealing than anything that’s come before. With Pilkington Planar™ Crystal Connect™ we’ve found yet another way to improve our product range to help our customers to realise their architectural visions in new and interesting ways. We look forward to seeing how our customers put its potential into practice.”

At present, Pilkington Planar™ Crystal Connect™ can be used for panel sizes up to 1500mm x 3000mm, with a maximum thickness of 13.52mm and a maximum weight of 135kg. It is designed to work with monolithic toughened or heat-strengthened laminate with PVB or SentryGlas® interlayers, where the span between fittings is 1500mm, while the fitting itself is 50mm in diameter. Panels can be vertical, angled or horizontal, with the support structure on the inside and underside of the glass façade. With further product development, it is expected that this technical scope of potential applications will widen.

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600450 Get stuck in: A clear new future
Date: 21 January 2013

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