Glass Types for Balconies
Glass in balustrades acts not only as an aesthetical element but must be able to fulfil the technical requirements that make it safe. These include point loads, uniformly distributed loads and containment.
Our Hybrid® Balustrade Systems, Orbit (previously known as Balcony 1 System) & Aerofoil (previously known as Balcony 2 System) utilise primarily 10mm toughened glass. This thickness is enough to comply with the required loads.
Types, colours and options
With 10mm thickness of glass there are some standard tinted glass options. These are tints which are part of the glass and are made so in the glass manufacturing process. With his type of tinted glass the thickness of the glass determines the darkness or lightness of the tint. This means the 6mm bronze tint will be lighted than 8, or 10mm.
The tinted glasses that are available in 10mm are: green, bronze, grey and also in a blue tint.
10mm glass is also available in an opaque finish. With monolithic 10mm glass this is available either in an “acid etch” satinised type, or in clear glass that is sandblasted to make it opaque. The sandblasted option gives the glass a rough surface and a kind of white finish.
The satinised option is smoother but it should be noted that when the glass is wet the satinised becomes almost clear.
With laminated glass it is possible to have a white interlayer to create this opaqueness.
Laminated glass can also be used with our systems. We normally would use glass that is both laminated and also toughened on both sides. Laminated glass is glass made up of several parts, glass with a plastic interlayer and another glass.
The minimum thickness of a laminated glass type that you can use in our system is a 9.5mm glass which is made up of two toughened 4mm panes and a 1.5mm interlayer of plastic in between these two panels.
Unlike orders from Europe, in the UK we very rarely get asked to supply the system with laminated glass, this is not yet a regulatory requirement.
The main difference between laminated glass and toughened glass is that laminated glass should remain in place even when it’s broken whereas toughened glass is a lot stronger and will take a lot more force to break but once it breaks it shatters into small little pieces and will no longer be there in the opening once it has broken.
Current British regulations do not require laminated glass only toughened glass with a minimum thickness of 10mm.