Everything You Need to Know About Solar Glass

Solar glass is different than regular glass as the latter allows sunlight to pass through it while deflecting a large amount of heat which helps in generating electricity onsite. It is used in commercial and residential buildings where keeping the indoors cool is a necessity. It is a perfect combination of great aesthetic appeal and innovation, that’s why it can play an important role in the development of the ‘urban micro-generation’.

 

To learn more about this special glass type, keep reading this blog-post.

 

How Is Solar Glass made?

It is manufactured by tinting or applying a metallic coating on the glass. This glass is made of chemical compounds like amorphous silicon, polyvinyl butyral, polycrystalline silicon and chalcogenide. It can be made on a float or patterned glass, but the manufacturing process will be different between them. For the float glass, its molten state will be slowly cooled and removed from the molten tin. The patterned glass, on the other hand, is passed through engraved rollers. This pattern enables lamination, provides better aesthetics and non-binding effect to the solar modules. Then, the coating is deposited on one side of the glass to give it anti-reflection properties.

 

Applications

This glass is usually used for many Building Integrated Photo Voltaic (BIVP) applications such as:

 

  • Semi-transparent solar windows
  • Rear-ventilated fronts, curtain walling and rain screens
  • Skylight, halls
  • Fencing
  • Greenhouses
  • Outhouses with transparent solar roofs
  • Bus shelters
  • Privacy protection panels

Functions

Some of the other functions this glass provides are:

 

  • Solar electricity generation

The speciality of this glass is that it can generate electricity from its vertical and sloped facades. To best utilize this function, you should create a proper plan and consider factors like latitude, orientation, shading and temperature or ventilation.

  • Shading and glare control

This is another unique attribute of solar glass as it can prevent the entry of harmful ultraviolet(UV) rays while allowing the entry of other light.

  • Thermal control

The temperature of the photovoltaic module can increase when exposed to radiation. That heat can be utilized to provide heating or enhancing passive ventilation systems.

  • Thermal insulation

Its multilayer glass structure can provide thermal insulation (reduction of heat transfer). This is possible through a combination of shading and absorption where the photons are converted to electricity.

  • Sound protection

Solar glass consists of sound insulating properties due to its multi-layer structure. The sound insulation can be adjusted by using asynchronous cover layers or an intermediate layer like polycarbonate and by increasing the thickness of the glazing.

  • Structural strength

It is usually sturdy in nature as it is generally laminated containing multi-layers. But for extra safety or security, triple lamination can be done.

Advantages

There are many advantages of using a solar glass and they are:

 

  • The colour tint helps to absorb the heat.
  • The coating helps to reflect heat.

Difference Between Solar Glass and Regular Glass

Read the table below to understand how solar glass is different.

 

Solar Glass Regular Glass
1.       Energy efficient Doesn’t aid in energy conservation
2.       Absorbs heat Doesn’t absorb heat
3.       It is a combination of aesthetics and functionality It only adds to the aesthetic appeal of the space

Types

There are two types of solar glass available and they are:

 

  • Crystalline cells i.e. monocrystalline or polycrystalline
  • Thinfilms like amorphous silicon or cadmium telluride

 

Crystalline technologies provide the highest standard test conditions (STC) efficiency value which can range between twelve to seventeen percent and for multicrystalline. This number can go as high as twenty percent.

 

The thin film work in reflected or ambient light on the cloudiest of days, unlike crystallin which requires direct sunlight. Thin film also shows less degradation than the other type at a high temperature.

Colour

As solar glass adds great aesthetic value, it is available in several colours such as yellow, light blue, brown and grey. The conventional solar glass is either black or blue and in the case of crystalline silicon, it’s either brown or black. Plus, there are different laminated coatings or films available that can be used to add a pleasing colour. The opacity of this glass varies between zero to fifty percent depending on the tint.

 

The demand for solar glass is ever-increasing due to its functionality and aesthetic appeal. Many residential and commercial sectors are using it instead of a regular one because of all the above-mentioned uses.

 

Hope you found this post helpful. For more such informative posts, keep following our page!

Important Things to Know About Curved Glass

Curved glass, also known as bent glass is used extensively in automobile and architectural designs. It’s widely popular for its sleek appearance and great aesthetic appeal. It may look simple but manufacturing this glass is difficult as it requires skill, precision and patience. Glass manufacturers create it through a heating and cooling process and then do a quality check before selling it. To learn in detail about this special glass type, keep reading our post.

 

Know About Curved Glass

How Is Curved Glass Made?

The manufacturing process of this glass is time-consuming which is why it is expensive. Like other glass, the process of creating it also begins with flat plate glass. Before the manufacturing begins, a few measurements are made like the average dimension of a windscreen or the size of a partition. A steel mould is created based on these measurements, then shaped according to the curve radius and dimensions of the end product.

 

The flat glass is cut into the desired size but after cleaning and polishing it thoroughly. This is important because any dirt particle can cause the glass to shatter during the bending process. A UV light is shone over the glass which helps in spotting dust or dirt for removal before the next step.

 

A mixture of clay, calcium carbonate and detergent are painted onto the glass to prevent it from sticking to the steel mould during the heating process. The steel mould is pre-warmed at four hundred and eighty degree Celsius (approximately) as it heats at a slower rate than the glass. After the heating, the glass is placed onto the mould and loaded into the furnace (kiln).

 

The temperature of the furnace is usually kept at a higher level like up to seven hundred degree Celsius. This loosens the bonds between the glass’s silica molecules to ensure that it softens and bends according to the shape of the mould. Shaping it is done through a mechanical bending process or gravity.

 

At the bending process, the temperature inside the furnace is carefully controlled so the glass doesn’t bend unevenly. Once it takes the mould shape, it is cooled for hours to prevent it from cracking. After this, the bent glass can be used for a variety of applications.

 

What Are the Different Types of Curved Glass?

Curved glass is available in three main types and they are:

 

Annealed

Annealed glass is not strengthened by heat rather it is manufactured by controlled cooling to prevent residual stress. This is a high-quality glass sheet with good optical clarity and can be bent, cut, drilled, edged and polished.

 

Toughened

As this glass is thermally tempered that’s why it is stronger than annealed glass. It is safe because it generally resists impact and if it breaks then it shatters into small cubes. It is made from the annealed glass which is heated to six hundred degree Celsius and then rapidly cooled. This creates internal stress on the glass that increases its strength. But after the glass is toughened, it cannot be altered, cut or sandblasted further.

 

Laminated

The laminated glass contains two glass panes that are bonded together with an inter-layer of polyvinylbutyral (PVB). This glass is extremely safe because when it breaks, there are no sharp shards as any broken shards remain stuck to the inter-layer. This is the reason why the automobile industry depends heavily on this glass type for manufacturing windscreens, back-lights and more.

 

Hope this post helped you learn about curved glass that serves as an essential construction material in the automobile industry. Do leave a comment to share your feedback and stay hooked for more of such informative posts from our car glass experts.

6 Common Causes of Windshield Damage

A car windshield plays a major role in the driver’s and passengers’ safety by protecting them from debris while they are on the road. This glass accounts for 34% (approximately) of a car’s structural integrity and is responsible for the proper deployment of airbags.

 

Unfortunately, it can get damaged due to several reasons which are discussed in this informative blog-post by our experts. This post also lists preventative measures you can take so keep reading to learn more!

 

Rocks and Road Debris

Rocks, pebbles, stones and gravel on the road can fly up when a car is driven over them. These small, hard objects can travel at great speed and impact the windshield leading to cracks and chips. That’s why it is always a good idea to maintain a safe distance between your car and those in front of you. You should also reduce your car’s speed when another car is overtaking you and drive carefully on gravel roads filled or in the areas that are undergoing construction.

 

Change in Temperature

A sudden change in temperature is another probable cause for windshield damage. This happens because sudden heat or cold can contract or expand the glass leading to cracks and chips. Read the below-mentioned instances and avoid them to prevent windshield damage.

 

  • In winter, windshields get frozen and some people try to defrost them with hot water which is an absolute no-no! Instead, you should use lukewarm water to clear the frost to avoid a sudden temperature spike.
  • There are times when your car is exposed to extreme heat for many The heat vacuum created inside the car can lead to windshield damage. This generally happens when the car is parked under direct sunlight so you should always look for a parking area with shades.
  • If your car has become extremely hot due to outside heat, then switching on the air conditioning at the lowest temperature can lead to cracks and chips on the windshield. This happens due to extreme temperature differences inside outside of the car so down the windows for a while in such situations and then turn on the AC.

Harsh Weather

High winds, hailstorms and heavy snowfall are all examples of harsh weather conditions that can damage your car’s windshield. High winds or storms,for example, can uproot tree branches or other debris that can fly and hit the windscreen if your car is parked along the road or outdoors. So, it’s sensible to keep your car parked in a covered area as the weather can be unpredictable.

 

Improper Installation

When a windscreen is not properly installed in a car, there might be a chance of stress cracks developing. These cracks originate near the windscreen edges leading to chips which will damage it further. That’s why you should always seek out a professional to install it to prevent windshield damage.

 

Poor Glass Quality

If the glass quality of the windshield is not of high quality, then it’ll likely prone to damage. Though most windscreens are made of both laminated and tempered glass for better safety and security by reputed glass manufacturers, some try to cut costs by using poor quality glass. That’s why you should always get this accessory from a renowned glass company to ensure your safety.

 

Accidents

Any kind of collision can lead to major windshield damage. For instance, if your car collides with another vehicle at great speed, then the windscreen will be damaged. This kind of accident can be deadly too so it’s advisable to maintain a safe distance between surrounding vehicles while driving.

 

These are some of the common causes of windshield damage. Try to avoid all of them to safeguard the windshield because it is important for your safety. However, if you spot any kind of small damage, then you should get it fixed as soon as you can.

A Quick Guide to Different Types of Rubber Mouldings

Rubber moulding is a process used to create rubber products using elastomers or untreated rubber.Both these materials are taken from their natural sources and then the process begins. Elastomer is widely used because it has elastic properties that allow it to return to its original shape when pressure is applied. Rubber moulding requires a block of rubber to be pressed into a mould cavity and then it is exposed to heat. Though there are variations in different rubber moulding methods, the pressure and heat applications are constants.

 

There are three main types of rubber mouldings such as compression, injection and transfer. Read this blog-post by our experts learn some interesting details.

 

Rubber Mouldings – The Three Types of Processes

  • Compression Moulding

This is the simplest form of rubber moulding. A sheet of rubber is placed inside a mould cavity and is squeezed between the top and bottom plates. The manufacturers ensure that the uncured rubber weighs more than the finished product so that the air is driven out from the mould cavity during its closure. If its weight is the same or less than the finished product, then air-traps and voids will appear in the final product. After the mould cavity is pressed, the excess rubber will flow into the overflow which can be accumulated and used afterwards in another round. In the end,the rubber will be cured using heat to produce the end product based on its specifications.

 

Note- Manufacturers may use more than two mould plates based on the configuration and complexity of the raw material to achieve the desired finished product.

 

  • Injection Moulding

This process is different from the previous method as the rubber is heated first by the mould and the friction of the runner, sprue, screw and gate. The runner is the distribution system within a mould connecting the sprue, the initial entry point of the rubber into the mould to the gate, the entry point of rubber into the mould cavity. The screw is the rotating component of an injection press. All these parts of the injection press work at the same time to produce a concrete end product.

 

This process requires higher consistency rubber-like Silicone, also known as ‘gum stock’. It is supplied to the injection moulding machine and nozzle constantly for continuous production. This is supplied to the injection barrel through a pressurized device called a ‘stuffing box’. The injection press closes the heated mould and pressure is applied to keep it close during the curing and injection cycle. Then, the screw injects the rubber through the nozzle into the mould. The silicone travels to the mould through a system of runners and sprues, enters the mould cavities through a gate or gates to finally take shape and complete its curing cycle.

 

  • Transfer Moulding

This method is similar to injection moulding because the rubber enters the cavity after the mould is closed. In this process, the uncured rubber is not placed directly in the mould, unlike compression moulding. Instead, it is kept in a transfer pot that is located above the mould cavity. The rubber is pushed into the cavity by a piston through a sprue, runner and gate system of the press. The uncured rubber is then cured using both heat and pressure. The rubber that results from this method is less expensive than what is produced from compression moulds.

 

Each one of these processes has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the final finished product. Hence, manufacturers like us choose a suitable process based on a product’s specifications.

Important Benefits of Tempered Glass

Tempered glass,also known as toughened glass is widely used for car windshields, partitions, showers and oven doors. This type of glass is made from standard annealed glass that is manufactured through a heat treatment called thermal tempering. It is passed through a furnace on a roller table and heated to around six fifty degree Celsius. It is then rapidly cooled while the interior remains hot. This process creates tension and alters its physical properties producing a stronger sheet of glass that can withstand pressure. Hence, being resistant to heat, scratch and damage, it is safer option.

These benefits of tempered glass are why auto glass manufacturers use it extensively. To learn more in detail, keep reading this blog-post by XYG, Glass Expert.

  • Safe

This glass is safe to install because when it breaks due to pressure, pebble-like pieces will be formed, unlike the sharp shards of traditional glass in similar situations. The latter broken pieces can be dangerous and can lead to deep cuts and severe injury. This is one of the important benefits of this glass which makes it a suitable option for automobiles and shower doors.

  • Strong

Tempered glass is less likely to break as it is strengthened to withstand strong impacts such as blows, strong winds and other unfavourable weather conditions. As it is stronger than any regular glass, it is used in automobiles and high-rise buildings where safety and strength are key.

  • Heat Resistant

Regular glass can shatter into sharp shards due to extreme heat but tempered glass is heat resistant. This is the reason why vehicles have this glass installed to prevent any danger to the driver or passengers when travelling on a hot day.

  • High Quality and Clarity

This glass is easy to see through making it a suitable option for automobiles, shower doors, partitions and cabinets or display cases. This factor is of utmost importance when it comes to automobile windshields because a driver needs to get a clear view when he/she is driving.

  • Wide Variety

This type of glass is available in different designs like patterned, frosted, clear and other engraved options. Clear varieties are mostly used for automobile windshields to ensure a clear view to the driver.

The above-listed benefits are the reasons why tempered glass is preferred over traditional glass by most auto glass manufacturers. At Xinyi Glass, our experts will help you choose the best tempered glass products that guarantee maximum durability and protection.