Glass

SPECIAL SECTION/GLASS MANUFACTURING: Walkin' on...Glass?

February 1, 2009
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Cold-bending technology enabled the molding and forming of glass for a 23-ft-long transparent glass bridge without using heat.



glasstec 2008, held in October in Düsseldorf, Germany, featured a 23-ft (7-m) transparent bent bridge made of cold-molded glass. The exhibit was presented by seele GmbH & Co. KG, in cooperation with Stefan Behling and Andreas Fuchs of IBK Research and Development, University of Stuttgart; and Stefan Peters, Ph.D., of Engelsmann Peters Ingenieure.

Cold-bending technology enabled the molding and forming of the glass without using heat. This technique results in particularly brilliant surface clarity and purity, as well as maximum efficiency and safety characteristics for structural glass construction. Cold-bent glass is particularly suited for designing wide-span facades or roofs. Its use as a bridge provides a multitude of possibilities for architects to use when implementing their visions.

The glass bridge, which visitors to glasstec could walk on, consisted of individual 0.15-in.-thick (4-mm) bent glass panes, each with a dimension of 1.4 in. (3.7 cm) total lamination. The material-optimized panes were connected using a special laminating technology that enabled them to withstand extreme stress and strain. The bridge, which measured 6.5 ft (2 m) at its widest point, was also lightweight: 1.7 tons of glass supported a 7.2-ton load over the bridge’s 23-ft span.

seele’s website is located at www.seele-online.com. glasstec 2010 will be held September 28-October 2 in Düsseldorf. Visit the glasstec website at www.mdna.com for additional information.

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