GANA: decorative glass seminar during NeoCon

At the recent edition of NeoCon in Chicago, the Glass Association of North America (GANA) provided information for the architectural and design community with regards to glass materials and their uses…

At the recent edition of NeoCon in Chicago, the Glass Association of North America (GANA) provided information for the architectural and design community with regards to glass materials and their uses for design, in both interior and exterior applications. GANA“s seminar, accredited by the American Institute of Architects, was presented by Steve O“Holloran of ICD High Performance Coatings. Our intent with this NeoCon seminar was to educate the interior designers on the vast array of glass options they have inside for buildings, said Ashley Charest, GANA account executive. We certainly know that all 40,000 NeoCon attendees could not be at the seminar, so GANA is also in the process of converting this educational seminar into an online version. The seminar provided information and definitions of different types of decorative glass; various design and application possibilities; how they are made; as well as tips on specifying different types of decorative glass. The presentation focused on four categories of decorative glass: coatings and colours; etched/frosted; heat formed; and laminated glass. O“Holloran looked at several glass types with regards to coatings and colours, such as silk-screened, digitally printed glass and painted/back-painted glass. The many different processes can provide a wide range of colour choices, but O“Holloran said thet the basics are still the most popular. Regardless of the vast number of coating colours available by far our most popular colours are still white, black and grey, he said. O“Holloran explained that silk-screened glass is created by applying inks to glass by means of screen-printing, resulting in either solid coverage or a pattern. This type of decorated glass is often used in many different applications, including spandrel, interior walls and partitions, shower doors and more. Direct-to-glass digital printing, which involves digital imagery being printed directly onto glass, resulting in high details and multiple colours, is a new technology that continues to see interest. The finished product can be used in both interior and exterior applications. Back-painted glass, often used in kitchen and bathroom backsplashes, is also growing in popularity, and provides full coverage on unexposed surfaces. It is available in a wide range of colours and can also be combined with other fabrication process, such as laminating. With regards to etched and frosted glass, O“Holloran spoke about products such as acid-etched glass, which has a surface that diffuses light, reduces glare and has both a frosted and translucent appearance. Carved glass, also part of the etched/frosted category, provides a 3D look as images are carved into the glass surface with differing depths, resulting in a creative, sculpted image. Slumped glass, cast glass and fused glass, all part of the heat-formed category, were all covered. Slumped glass is formed when sheets of float glass are heated and slumped“ into a mould. Cast glass, on the other hand, is produced by pouring molten glass into a mould, while fused glass uses extreme heat to fuse two or more types of glass together. Laminated decorative glass, which consists of decorative interlayers or other materials laminated between lites of glass, can be made with materials such as PVB, EVA or Ionomer. These materials are layered in a sandwich and then cured through heat and pressure, or with resins, which are poured or pumped between glass and cured through the addition of chemicals or UV light. Laminated decorative glass can be used as interior glazing, canopies, flooring, public art pieces and more.