Faour Glass develops impact-resistant butt glazing
Faour Glass Technologies of Sarasota, Fla., applied for a patent in early July on a butt-glazed system it developed that passes Miami-Dade’s stringent hurricane impact building codes.
Angelo Rivera, vice president of Faour Glass, says the system is the first of its kind, and will provide owners and architects with unobstructed views in areas where metal frames are currently used to meet strict codes. Read a Q&A with Rivera below. See the September issue of Glass Magazine for more about Faour’s system.
What’s the importance of having impact-resistant butt glazing?
Before the change in building codes, architects and designers had great flexibility in the use of glass to provide clear unobstructed views and bring the outside in. Since the code changes—which require impact-resistant systems—these previously clear views have required bulky metal systems to support laminated or tempered glass. These systems have been developed by traditional metal suppliers and manufacturers, but not glass companies. Faour Glass Technologies has worked closely with architects and have heard their need for clear systems they traditionally had available to them.
What makes a butt-glazed system less impact resistant?
Butt-glazed systems must withstand the impact and cycle pressure required for hurricane impact systems. Typical butt-glazed systems cannot survive the tests due to minimal surface areas for silicone attachment and lack of support at the joint, which causes them to detach during cycle and or impact test. Our design addressed all areas simultaneously, therefore the system remained in tact through the test. We addressed all typical failure modes with impact, pressure, cycle and adhesion.
Describe the butt-glazed system you made to pass strict impact-resistant building codes? What makes it stronger than traditional butt-glazed system?
The system tested combined current technology with new technology. Our intent was to accomplish the following objectives:
- Eliminate vertical and horizontal metal mullions. To eliminate vertical and horizontal metal and still be able to pass the impact requirements, we have incorporated a combination of polycarbonate interlayers and thickener glass to ensure the system would pass the cycle test of glass breakage.
- Utilize high-tech hardware to fasten the glass panels. Our desire was to incorporate spider fitting hardware. However, previous tests results were unsuccessful due to the requirements of a hole to fasten the hardware to the glass. Faour Glass Technologies officials developed the concept of adhering a custom fixture to the internal surface of the glass makeup to eliminate the hole. We also worked with the adhesive manufacturer to develop the correct bonding system that would withstand the impact and cycle tests.
- Develop a system with flexibility in design and clear sight lines. Faour Glass Technologies’ intent was to eliminate the bulky metal intrusion to clean site lines. Our system will not eliminate or replace current impact systems due to the substantial cost difference.
What sort of application would lend itself to this system?
A typical impact metal system averages $115 per square foot, versus $200-$225 per square foot for this system. Due to its costs, this system will most likely be targeted toward projects requiring high-impact views, such as showcases in high-end auto dealerships, mega homes in coastal areas, penthouse views and other applications where the view is a key component.
Has it been specified for any projects yet? If so, which?
We are in the process on a BMW dealership and a 20,000-square-foot mega coastal home. Architects that we have introduced to the system are very excited about the possibilities of incorporating in their designs.