Traditional glass becomes functional glass

Date: 12 September 2023
Source: cericom GmbH
Laser-engraved anti-slip on a glass plate.
Photo source
Laser-engraved anti-slip on a glass plate | Photo: cericom GmbH

Date: 12 September 2023

Machines from cericom produce bird-friendly as well as anti-slip building components

Bird strikes are a significant concern in the United States, causing the death of approximately 600 million birds annually. To address this issue while maintaining architectural beauty, cericom has introduced innovative laser processing machines that make glass visible to birds, effectively reducing the risk of bird strikes. These groundbreaking solutions have the potential to redefine how architects and builders approach glass applications in construction.

Discover how cericom's laser processing machines, such as the c-vertica, are making bird-friendly glass production and anti-slip glass structuring easier and more efficient than ever before. Join them at GlassBuild America 2023, from October 31 to November 2, at Booth 2831, to explore these innovative solutions and learn how they can be applied across various architectural settings.

Bird strikes – a serious issue.
Bird strikes – a serious issue. | Photo: cericom GmbH

What is bird-friendly glass?

Bird-friendly glass makes glass visible as an obstacle to birds and can prevent the deaths of numerous animals. In the past, black, raptor-like decals were applied to glass as a deterrent. However, these proved to be ineffective. Today, solutions like adhesive films with patterns such as stripes or dots, screens, special window coatings, or cord curtains are recommended.

However, these suggestions are not only visually unappealing but also impractical for large buildings, and they obstruct the view. An alternative solution is bird-friendly glass produced using laser processing machines. The laser manipulates the glass, breaking its transparency or reflections. This allows birds to immediately see the surface and prevents them from flying into it. What might not make a significant difference for humans can be a matter of life and death for birds. This approach can reduce bird strike rates and minimize human intervention in the ecosystem.

With the assistance of laser machines like the c-vertica from cericom, easy glass processing and effortless production of bird-friendly glass are possible.

How is bird-friendly glass produced?

The space-saving c-vertica can engrave the finest structures on the glass surface, perform internal engraving, or remove particularly thin layers. Thanks to laser technology, elements like Low-e, K-Glass, or Smart Glass can still be incorporated, which are crucial today. This flexibility provides architects with the necessary leeway and offers an additional stylistic element through the unlimited and timeless choice of motifs. Internal engraving offers the advantage that the incorporated pattern is not on the surface and is thus less susceptible to dirt or wear.

c-vertica: Laser processing system for flat glass in inclined bed configuration.
c-vertica: Laser processing system for flat glass in inclined bed configuration. | Photo: cericom GmbH

Possible application areas:

Bird-friendly glass can be applied in various outdoor settings, including facades, balustrades, windows, partitions, sound barriers, conservatories, and terrace or balcony glazing. Automated incorporation of shapes and structures is possible, as well as coatings and de-coatings of glass. Users can work with various types of glass, such as float glass, laminated glass, multi-pane insulating glass, and more.

Laser Anti-Slip: Transparency and High Durability

Another important point: Anti-slip structuring of glass. The anti-slip laser structuring creates small indentations on all walkable glass surfaces (including post-treatment on tempered glass). These indentations create a suction effect that prevents slipping when wet, making it a safer option for public areas. In contrast to printed patterns that fade away after a few months, cericom's anti-slip treatment leaves 90% of the glass surface unaffected and achieves its effect through vacuum. The small recesses experience minimal abrasion, and the surface remains easy to clean. The Material Testing Institute in Wismar (Germany) has certified the anti-slip glass surfaces created with cericom laser machines as "R9" and "R10."

c-vertica | The Space-Saver

The cericom laser machine c-vertica can be used wherever horizontal glass orientation is not feasible or necessary. Handling glass panels becomes much easier as they can be stood up on the machine instead of being placed horizontally. This setup allows even door-sized glass formats to be handled by a single worker. The glass panels are positioned at a 6-degree tilt on the machine and are protected from scratches and other damage using soft rollers or support elements.

Advantages / Technical Data

  • Applicable to any type of glass, standard, tempered, clear or tinted.
  • Structuring of exterior glass (side 1) possible -> laser structuring eliminates any reflections without affecting the low-e coating!
  • Various patterns (including continuous lines/patterns across the entire building facade) are easily possible -> very appealing to architects.
  • It is durable and will not fade.
  • Can be applied without tools and consumables with a stress-free process (low cost and high quality production).
  • High laser speeds of 50-60m²/h (500-600 square feet/h) for standard market patterns with only 2 laser heads (cost effective compared to competitors).

Class 1 laser (no additional laser safety measures required).

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