In support of the company's recent initiatives to become an architectural partner from inspiration through installation, Pittsburgh Corning will, for the first time, offer pre-fabricated, engineered, third party-tested, and customizable panels under the LightWise(R) Architectural Systems brand.
The availability of LightWise(R) Architectural Systems will help architects more easily and effectively use glass block in virtually any building or space. Certain solutions in the LightWise(R) Systems line will undergo rigorous security and disaster testing for government and military use, while others will offer extensive customization and enhanced "green" specifications for commercial and residential application. All LightWise(R) Architectural Systems will help address the shortage of qualified masons by giving architects the opportunity to customize complete panels for individual client need and space.
"Glass block offers a multitude of functional and creative benefits for architects," said Tom Galligan, vice president and general manager of Pittsburgh Corning Glass Block. "Its dynamic relationship with light and its environment allows designers to create a unique look, while its durability, security and day lighting benefits provide practical value. Now with our systems approach, we can offer a guarantee of quality, performance and ease of installation that is industry-tested and was previously unavailable."
The first solution under the LightWise(R) Architectural Systems umbrella will be the LightWise(R) Blast Resistant Glass Block Panel, which will be available in May 2008. Additional LightWise(R) Architectural System offerings will be released throughout the year.
LightWise(R) Blast Resistant Glass Block System First Available
Building on a strong tradition of safety and security in its glass block product line, Pittsburgh Corning Corporation has developed and tested a new generation of patent pending products. The first offering, LightWise(R) Blast Resistant Glass Block System, has been designed to withstand the blast pressure from an explosion.
With the increased threat and awareness of terrorist and criminal attacks from explosive devices, responsible government and commercial organizations are responding with more stringent building requirements along with better products and construction methods. In the past, the majority of injuries and deaths to building occupants have been caused by shattered glass fragments sent flying through the air from the blast force.
"Pittsburgh Corning has enhanced the framing and fabrication of glass block solutions to allow a complete panel to flex elastically under blast pressures," said Pete Atherton, PhD and vice president of technology, Pittsburgh Corning. "The natural structure of our glass block panel behaves like a flexible web of independent glass units. Where laminated flat glass will often crack and release fragments during a successful blast test, there was no cracking or loss of glass in tests conducted on Pittsburgh Corning's glass block system within specified design limits."
Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants, Inc., an internationally recognized firm that specializes in predicting, preventing, and mitigating hazards, conducted the blast engineering analysis and shock tube testing on several Pittsburgh Corning glass block panels. All panels were blast tested to standards set by ASTM International and the General Services Administration that define the test procedure and performance levels for blast loaded glazing.
Design blast loads used in the analysis and test program were defined by the Department of Defense Antiterrorism Standards for military buildings (UFC 4-010-01) and the General Services Administration for government buildings. The combined analysis and testing effort concluded that panels ranging in size from four feet square up to eight feet square will perform with an ASTM "Minimal Hazard" and GSA "Performance Condition 2" or better for the GSA Level C load, GSA Level D load, UFC Type I threat at 25 meters and 45 meters, and UFC Type II threat at 10 meters and 25 meters. Performance guidance for panels smaller or larger than the above range was also developed.
Pittsburgh Corning will provide specific test results in its panel specifications.
About Pittsburgh Corning
Since its inception in 1937, Pittsburgh Corning has manufactured products that help architects turn their visions into inspiring reality. A leading U.S. supplier of building materials, including glass block and FOAMGLAS(R) insulation, the company has always strived to provide innovative solutions to industry needs.