World's First Self-Cleaning Laminated Glass Incorporates Butacite® PVB

Pilkington Australia launched Activ™, the world's first self-cleaning glass, in May 2002 as a laminated safety glass incorporating DuPont™ Butacite® PVB.

Pilkington Australia spokesman Brett Woods explained why his company launched Activ™ as a laminated glass: "Primarily, Activ™ has been produced as a clear glass substrate, so to gain any thermal or solar benefits it needs to be combined with a toned or solar control glass in a double glazed unit. Australia has a very small double glazed market; the majority of product is single glazed. The lamination process gives us the opportunity to combine the substrate with toned and coated Low E Pilkington Energy Advantage glass for a wide range of customized energy and comfort solutions.

"Secondly, Activ™ is a prestigious and premium product. The extra benefits that laminated glass brings such as a reduction in noise and UV fading - and of course unparalleled safety advantages - reinforce the product's value for money. DuPont has long been a major and trusted supplier of PVB to Pilkington Australia so it was natural that we use the Butacite® brand of PVB for Activ™, which we expect to become an instant sales sensation here."

The integrated coating of Activ™ performs in two stages. First, it works with the sun's UV rays to gradually and continuously break down and loosen organic dirt on the glass surface through a photocatalytic effect. Then, because the self-cleaning glass is hydrophilic, instead of forming droplets like water does on normal glass, the water spreads or sheets evening across the glass surface, and as it runs off takes the dirt with it. Compared with conventional glass, the water also dries very quickly and does not leave unsightly streaking or drying spots.

Activ™ is manufactured using a pyrolytic process, also known as a 'hard coat' or online process, where the self-cleaning glass has a microscopically thin special coating applied to one side or molten clear glass at high temperature production. The coating bonds to the surface of the glass, ensuring that it becomes an integral and permanent part of the glass as it cools and hardens, rather than being applied as a coating after the glass is produced. This means that the self-cleaning glass will last the lifetime of the window itself.

Since the self-cleaning laminated glass eliminates the need to use window detergents, it prevents the run-off of those detergents into the ground and also reduces water consumption and because the coating is integrated, it will not peel off or degrade. For all these reasons, self-cleaning laminated glass is a highly environmentally acceptable product. Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning laminated glass is available from window manufacturers and glass fabricators in Australia .

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