Pilkington’s New Anti-Reflective Glass Offers More Design, Application Freedom

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Ever since clear glass was first used in buildings and shops, you have had to look at it as well as through it. Now, you donÂ?t have to. Pilkington North America has developed OptiViewÂ? Anti-Reflective Glass. It is produced in its Ottawa, Ill., plant.

Ever since clear glass was first used in buildings, shops, etc., you have had to look at it as well as through it. Now, you don’t have to. Pilkington North America has developed OptiView™ Anti-Reflective Glass – a glass that looks like no glass at all.

While clear glass reflects 8 percent of visible light, Pilkington OptiView Glass reflects less than 2 percent. This allows viewers to clearly see object(s) behind the glass, without looking at their own reflection.

Size Flexibility Means More Possibilities

"While anti-reflective glass is not new, Pilkington's online manufacturing process removes most size limitations, and opens the door to a wider array of application possibilities," explained Stephen Weidner, vice president of sales and marketing for Pilkington Building Products North America.

Until now, anti-reflective glass was made by making clear glass, then dipping sheets of the clear glass, into vats that contained a chemical composition that produced the anti-reflective properties. The size of the anti-reflective glass was limited by the size of the vats.

However, because the anti-reflective properties of Pilkington OptiView Glass are added during Pilkington's pyrolytic (also known as "online") manufacturing process of float glass, there is greater size flexibility.

"Typical anti-reflective glass applications include museum and retail display cases," Weidner said. "With Pilkington's proprietary process, the potential for anti-reflective glass is expanded to include retail store fronts, showrooms, and a host of applications where anti-reflective glass was never an option."

What is OptiView Glass?

Pilkington OptiView Glass is made by combining two proprietary pyrolytic surfaces into a single, clear PVB-laminated glass plate. Standard Pilkington OptiView Glass thickness includes ¼” (6mm) and ½” (12mm). Other thicknesses and laminated glass combinations are available.

The result is a fabricated glass that combines the strength, security and sound reduction of laminated glass with the low reflectivity of a high-end specialty glass product.

Other features of Pilkington OptiView Glass include:

  • Transmits more than 90 percent visible light.
  • Blocks more than 99 percent of UV transmittance.
  • Durable pyrolytic surface, bendable and temperable.

Pilkington OptiView Glass is available throughout North America and the world through Pilkington Building Products North America from select glass fabricators.

Early Applications    

Already, Pilkington sales personnel and fabricator partners have Pilkington OptiView Glass in the bidding stage of more than a half-dozen U.S. projects.

While there are a number of potential Pilkington OptiView Glass projects in the works, one project already underway is in London. Falcon Wharf, along the River Thames, is a 17-floor, 124-apartment and restaurant complex using Pilkington OptiView Glass in an exterior glass wall application. Glazing is scheduled to be completed during summer 2005.

Pilkington, with its North America headquarters in Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A., is a leading international producer of float glass for residential, architectural, furniture, mirror and specialty applications. Pilkington also supplies aftermarket and original equipment glass to car manufacturers and auto repair shops around the world.

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Michael Driehorst