Buildings and cars nowadays have increasingly large glass surfaces. This is because glass is constantly being given new properties, with a growing range of desirable functions. These include:
- Interior comfort and energy control:
- Coated glass affords greater protection against heat (solar control) or cold (thermal insulation), depending on its composition. In fact, it can protect against both at once, thus permitting more efficient use of energy and contributing to protection of the environment. This makes it invaluable for use in homes or in large architectural projects alike, for which it is available in a very wide range of colours.
- Glass with high transmissivity and conductive coatings, as well as light concentrating mirrors: these properties relate directly to the performance of solar power applications (thermal and/or photovoltaic).
- Health & Safety:
- Safety glass (toughened or laminated) prevents injuries and affords protection against vandalism and break-ins.
- Fire-resistant glass protects against fire by stopping or limiting heat radiation for anything from 30 to 120 minutes, depending on its structure.
- Acoustic insulation glass prevents noise nuisance, ensuring peace and quiet for the occupants.
- Antibacterial glass eliminates 99% of bacteria, ensuring greater hygiene in health-critical areas.
- Aesthetics: apart from creating an attractive appearance on the outside, glass enhances the inside of any building, making it light and airy. With its many decorative properties it can combine the aesthetic with the functional, as mirror glass, patterned glass, screen-printed glass, matt glass, lacquered glass etc.
- Multifunctionalism: two or more of the functions already mentioned can be combined in a single application. For example, laminated glass made up of coated glass and patterned glass.