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    Approaching Hot Bent Annealed Glass

    Post Time:Jan 04,2022Classify:Company NewsView:1029

    The paper will provide an overview of the currently applied engineering approach in the industry for curved hot bent glass in the absence of standards and codes.

    First presented at GPD 2017

    Contemporary architectural designs of transparent building skins with curved geometries challenge the industry. Approaches using geometry rationalization in combination with planar glazing, cold bent glazing or tempered hot bent curved glass are coupled with geometry constraints and are not always architecturally desired. Hot bent annealed glass opens up additional freedom in design, especially biaxial and more curvature in the building skin’s glazing.

    The paper will provide an overview of the currently applied engineering approach in the industry for curved hot bent glass in the absence of standards and codes. Design specifics of hot bent annealed glass applications will be highlighted and test results shown. It is an experience report of how innovative annealed curved glass applications can be realized with the currently available knowledge of research projects, engineering tools and project specific testing. 

    2. The need of hot bent annealed glass

    Within the last years the façade industry is faced with the trend of curved building envelopes. Especially geometrically complex feature elements of buildings are predestined applications of curved glass with the intention to create unique and transparent enclosures (Figure 1 & 2).


    Figure 1 (left) Spherical hot bent annealed glass, Erin Mills Town Centre Mississauga (Canada) ©Tom Arban Photography Figure 2 (right) Free-formed hot bent annealed glass, Museé des Confluences, Lyon (France) ©Karin Jobst
    Figure 1 (left) Spherical hot bent annealed glass, Erin Mills Town Centre Mississauga (Canada) ©Tom Arban Photography

    Figure 2 (right) Free-formed hot bent annealed glass, Museé des Confluences, Lyon (France) ©Karin Jobst

    Even if recent technologies provide a broad range of opportunities to resolve curved envelopes, the use of hot bent annealed glass is essential to create extreme curvature as shown by the following limitations and approach-specifics:


    1) Tempered curved glass: The overall glass sizes and producible radii are generally limited by the production process. Cylindrical curved glass is producible as heat strengthened glass and fully tempered glass if the radii are not too small (typically R>1000mm) and if the bending angle does not exceed certain limits [1].

    Meanwhile double curved glass can also be produced as thermally tempered glass for large scale radii by few suppliers. The tempering process of curved glass products can be realized by adjustable rollers. Nevertheless, quenching and temperature control poses an increased difficulty to the production process compared to flat glass products.

    Therefore, geometry and size limitations should always be verified in close collaboration with the glass supplier. Local distorsions through processing reduce the visual glass quality which is mostly lower compared to annealed curved glass. Soft coatings and frits are typically solely feasible on the concave surface of curved tempered glass products (hard coatings also on the convex surface).


    Figure 3 Double curved insulated glass units made of hot bent annealed glass, Concert Hall Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg (Germany)
    Figure 3 Double curved insulated glass units made of hot bent annealed glass, Concert Hall Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg (Germany)


    Source: Dipl.-Ing. Timo Bühlmeier; Author: shangyi

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