Strong on glass strong on the knowledge of glass

Glass and glazing industry representatives strengthened their knowledge on glass when they visited St Helens earlier this week.

Representing glass processors, window manufacturers and curtain walling companies, the delegates attended the Pilkington Mechanical Strength and Glass Design (MECH) one day course.  

Paul Warren, Senior Technologist at the NSG Group’s European Technical Centre in nearby Lathom, showed how the behaviour of glass differs from other construction materials and the effect this has on the strength of glass. Paul also demonstrated how to be a glass detective, highlighting the clues that can help to determine the cause of fracture. Later in the day, theory was put into practice, by applying the knowledge to wind, snow and barrier loading applications.

Phil Brown, Technical Advisory Service Manager for the UK & Ireland, was the course organiser.

“Glass is a unique material,” explains Phil. “If you are involved in developing or checking specifications, it is important to have a firm grasp of the subject. Loadings on glass are the most frequent requests we receive through our Customer Contact Centre. This course provides the background information and tools to allow our customers to carry out the calculations for their customers.”

An important element of the training is the use of our Mechanical Strength online calculator available to customers and others in the supply chain that have registered for MyPilkington. This calculator allows the customer to input the pane size, edge support conditions and design loadings for a project and then determines an appropriate type and thickness of glass from the Pilkington product range.

“The delegates are presented with a series of exercises,” adds Phil. “These dummy projects cover a wide range of applications from residential to commercial and simple to complex. Also, working together in teams helps the attendees to build up their confidence in using the calculators.”

The 2014 Product Knowledge training programme is drawing to a close, with the final course on Energy Performance later this month. There will be a full training course programme in 2015 with details announced on our website in December.

“Throughout the year, we have received very positive feedback from customers on all courses,” Phil concludes. “However, we want to continually enhance our offering to customers. Via our online surveys, we have captured some good suggestions for improvements which we will look to implement in next year’s courses.”

Glass design was the main focus of this week’s course. Just as the attendees learned that the strength of glass can be increased by toughening it, knowledge can be strengthened by participating in training courses such as these. With a continued focus on training and upskilling, the glass and glazing industry can go from strength to strength.

For more information on MyPilkington, including how to register, please click here.

For details about our Product Knowledge training course, please click here.

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