The origin of glassmaking is a long and disputed one. However, there’s evidence of the craft dating as far back as 3600 years ago in Mesopotamia. Over time, the art of glass making has developed into the complex designs and glass-makes available today.
Currently, glass is one of the most luxurious materials to build with. In fact, it’s difficult to find a modern structure without some type of glass. Nevertheless, many people are still skeptical about using glass in construction. The main concern people have is how fragile glass can be.
For instance, most people question if a glass balustrade is safe. So, just how safe are glass balustrades? Read on to learn more about the safety of glass balustrades.
What are glass balustrades?
A balustrade is a panel that acts as a fence or barrier and is sometimes used as supporting posts. Balustrades can be made from different materials, including frameless glass, wood, stainless steel, or chrome. While balustrades are majorly used as a safety feature, they are often designed with aesthetic appeal and sophistication in mind.
Are glass balustrades safe?
As a construction material, many people tend to avoid glass as much as possible. This is largely because glass has a reputation of being too fragile, shattering too easily, and a general risk altogether. This, however, isn’t always the case. In fact, when professionally installed and legislation-compliant, glass balustrades are very safe.
So, there’s no direct answer to the safety of glass balustrades. However, if all the correct measures are followed, the end product should pass all the safety checks. These measures could be laid in place by various governing authorities. For instance, in certain parts of Europe, the Building Standard 6180:2011 includes all the safety guidelines to follow when constructing.
What type of glass is used in glass balustrades?
To ensure the safety of the construction, only specific types of glasses can be used when constructing glass balustrades. Generally, there are two types of tried and tested glass types ideal for balustrades. These are laminated glass and toughened or tempered glass.
Tempered glass is perhaps the most commonly used type. The manufacturing process involves heating the glass to about 1300 F and then rapidly cooling it. And while the process is done in mere minutes, the resulting glass increases the glass strength by up to four times, making the glass incredibly hard to break.
Laminated glass is made by sandwiching a thin layer of glass between two other layers. The thickness of glass used depends on various factors, like the design and purpose of the balustrades. If one layer of the glass sandwich breaks, the subsequent layer will still be intact.
What are the benefits of using glass balustrades?
Some of the safety benefits of using glass balustrades are:
- They are long-lasting and durable
- They are strong and incredibly hard to break
- They are transparent and improve natural lighting without obstructing views
Ultimately, glass balustrades are safe if you use the right material and follow all the specified guidelines. Building with glass is a testament to how far glass making and construction have come. Consider using glass balustrades in your next construction.
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