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Press Article
BAU 2019

Fire-resistant and high-security glass: safe, aesthetically pleasing and multifunctional

Protecting against fire is the most important function of fire-resistant glass, while high-security glass offers protection against break-ins, gunshots and the effects of an explosion. These types of glass also support solutions for other complex applications, as all fire-resistant and high-security glass products from Vetrotech Saint-Gobain can be combined to offer additional functions, such as sound insulation, design and enhanced security. Thus they can be used in many different ways as attractive, multifunctional and distinctive glazing solutions. And they can be viewed at Stand 338 in Hall C3 at BAU 2019. Function is always the first priority when it comes to fire-resistant glass. That includes securing escape routes in building interiors and preventing the fire from spreading on facades. As a general principle, the objective of fire-safety products – regardless of whether they are used in buildings or technical systems – is to protect human life and property in case of fire and to offer safe escape and rescue routes for occupants and emergency services for a sufficient period of time. How this objective is achieved depends above all on the type of building occupancy, its purpose and the resulting overall safety concept. Each different application, e.g. a glass partition, a glass door or a transparent roof, determines which type of fire-resistant glass is needed, along with such additional functions as heat and sound insulation and maximum safety. Generally speaking, fire-resistant glass meets all of the requirements posed for other fire-protection materials as well. When selecting high-security glass, distinction is made between three general requirements. Attack-resistant glass systems must withstand break-in attempts carried out with such tools as axes, hammers and crowbars or electrical tools. Gunshot-resistant glass offers a defined degree of resistance to penetration by specific types of ammunition fired from certain types of weapons. And explosion-resistant glass protects people against broken glass and airborne projectiles from nearby explosions. A crucial advantage in terms of comfort for users of fire-resistant and high-security glass is the fact that they needn’t do without natural light or limited transparency thanks to the properties of the glass material. In addition to the traditional aesthetics of clear glass, more design options are now playing an increasingly important role. These are not restricted to special forms, ornaments and structures on the surface of the glass but also include symbiosis with frames and integration into the prevailing architectural room design. And the general issue of security encompasses far more than the aspects of fire-resistance and maximum safety. To an increasing extent, it also involves such matters as protecting data against electromagnetic radiation or deterring break-ins through an alarm circuit built into the glass. The principle of sustainability is also considered. All fire-resistant and high-security glass products from Vetrotech Saint-Gobain can be designed as high-performance insulation glass and thus contribute to reducing building energy consumption. Fire-resistant glass products from Vetrotech Saint-Gobain, such as PYROSWISS, VETROFLAM and CONTRAFLAM, are made of thermally toughened safety glass (ESG). The special resistance of ESG fire-resistant glass also represents a significant advantage during transport, handling and on-site installation. It helps avoid delays and waiting costs due to glass breakage to the greatest extent possible. Furthermore, numerous requirements for thermal insulation, sun protection, sound insulation, additional safety and design in various specific structural situations contribute to defining the requirement profile. Vetrotech Saint-Gobain's fire-resistant and high-security glass products support the use of creative ideas in the design of buildings, as they can be combined with all types of glass produced by the Saint-Gobain Group – from ornamental glass products such as those in the MASTERGLAS series to printed, satinized or etched glass to switchable PRIVA-LITE glass for visual protection at the touch of a button. Façade glazing with an efficient heat- or sun-protection function is entirely possible, as are soundproofed fire partitions for interiors. In other words, even if protecting people and buildings is the top priority, there are virtually no limits to the aesthetic design and the variety of additional functions with today's fire-resistant and high-security glass solutions.