Curved glass and curved elements can be an essential aspect for a design or project, they can provide a feel of openness to a space, providing natural organic shapes to a space or room. Using curved glass is a fantastic way to carry on that design feature in message to all external and internal faces of the design.
All curved glass units are made in kiln baths where the radius of the curve required is cut on water jets into metal templates, forming the shape of the glass curvature. The flat glass is placed over the metal mould and the kiln is heated very quickly, kiln goes from 1-1000 degrees in 7 minutes. Glass then forms to the space of the curve.
Curved glass can be made in one of three distinct ways, creating three main types of curved glass, each suited for different applications:
Toughened panes can then be brought together and laminated for a further degree of safety glass used in overhead panels. Toughened curved glass panels can also be heat soaked for a better resistance against Nickel Sulphide Inclusion.
Both toughened and laminated curved glass panels can be brought together to form a double or triple glazed curved glass unit for external uses as well as treating curved units with all manner or performance coatings for a more functional glass piece, such as Low-E coatings, solar control coatings, self-cleaning coatings etc.
The results of glass curving can range from cylindrical single curves, to complex non cylindrical items with tight radius curves and tangents. The maximum glass sizes, angles and radius curves depend on the thickness of glass to be used to allow for tight radius curves and a wide range of applications in architectural, commercial and residential installations.
For glass to be used for most residential or commercial projects it needs to have impact resistance (be a safety glass) and will need to be either toughened, laminated or toughened-laminated curved glass or curved double glazing.
Restrictions on size and shape are applicable, as with most glazed items and panels. The level of these restrictions depend on various factors such as the thickness of glass to be curved, whether it will be toughened or laminated, the radius size, the angle of the curve and whether the curved glass will be cylindrical or non-cylindrical.
The maximum size of glass to be curved is 6m x 3m. It is important to recall a few aspect of circle geometry in measuring the size of a curved glass panel that is wanted.
The distance around the outside of a circle is the circumference. The length of a line drawn completely through a circle is the diameter, while any line extending from the centre of a circle to the circumference is its radius.
The distance around a particular bend is known as its girth or arc. The chord of a bend is the distance from one point of the bend to the other. To measure the depth of the curve, you take half the distance of the chord and measure to the top of the curve.
The maximum angle of curved glass is 90 degrees and with small radius sizes can create very tight curvatures and U-bends for more decorative glass aspects. The same applies for curved double glazing.
Curved glass can be integrated into commercial projects to create a floor-to-ceiling divide between meeting rooms in the office or to provide safety on a building’s rooftop extension using glass balustrades. Using this type of glass for these projects allows us to create something unique, giving a contemporary addition to the building.
A wide range of glass options can be used, for example privacy glass is ideal for creating private meeting areas within a building, preventing any interruptions whilst still allowing natural light to pass through into the rest of the building.
For more project examples for the application of curved glass on commercial projects please visit our dedicated commercial glazing website; www.iqprojectsuk.com
Our detailed case studies showcase a wide variety of curved glass applications including the below projects: