PPG to manufacture Starphire® glass using ‘greenest’ float glass furnace technology

PPG has announced that it will manufacture Starphire® glass at its float glass plant in Fresno, California, using oxy-fuel furnace technology. This production will reportedly yield two significant environmental and supply chain benefits.

PPG Industries will manufacture Starphire® ultra-clear glass using oxy-fuel furnace technology at its float glass plant in Fresno, California.
Patrick J. Kenny, PPG director of marketing, flat glass, said West Coast production of Starphire glass will yield two significant environmental and supply chain benefits. First, it will enable PPG customers purchasing the most transparent and highly transmissive ultra-low-iron glasses available to get products made using the most environmentally-advanced float glass furnace technology.
“As far as we know, Starphire glass will be the only ultra-low-iron glass in the world manufactured on an oxy-fuel float glass line,” Kenny said. “That will make this already Cradle To Cradle Certified(CM) product even more attractive to architects and product designers who want to use the most sustainable products available.”
Second, adding production in Fresno will create a more local and reliable supply of Starphire glass for architects, fabricators and independent glass shops in the western US. “By producing Starphire glass in California, we will dramatically reduce the potential for transportation-related supply disruptions for West Coast customers, and we may enable projects within 500 miles of Fresno to incorporate Starphire glass and be considered for LEED® regional materials credit,” Kenny said. “That will give our current and potential customers even greater incentive to take advantage of the performance benefits this extraordinary product offers.”
Starphire glass was formerly manufactured only at PPG’s central Pennsylvania plant.
PPG’s Fresno plant is one of only six flat glass production facilities in the world to incorporate oxy-fuel furnace technology, which employs oxygen instead of air to help combust raw materials used in the manufacture of float glass. Oxygen-fired glass furnaces consume 15% less natural gas than conventional air-fired furnaces while reducing carbon emissions by 10% and nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 50%.
Starphire glass, introduced in 1990 as the industry’s first ultra-clear, low-iron glass, is ideal for architectural and interior design applications such as storefronts, tabletops, display cases and interior doors because of its clarity, colour transmission and jewel-like blue edge. As a result of its ultra-low-iron content and proprietary PPG formulation, Starphire glass retains its clarity even when manufactured in heavier thicknesses, unlike conventional clear glass, which becomes progressively greener and darker as thickness increases.
For architectural vision glass applications, Starphire glass can be combined in insulating glass units (IGUs) with low-emissivity products such as Solarban® 72 glass and Solarban 60 glass to maximize visible light transmittance (VLT) and environmental performance. For example, Solarban 72 glass has a light-to-solar-gain ratio of 2.37, among the highest available in the world today.
The Fresno plant will produce Starphire glass in thicknesses of 3 to 12 millimetres, which will be available by mid-summer.