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USGNN Original StoryGlass Shows Off New Names, New Properties and New Directions at GlassBuild

From flat glass to laminated to decorative and beyond, and all of the tools and equipment to shape these products, new developments in glass were at the heart of the recent GlassBuild America trade show, which took place earlier this week in Las Vegas.

During the show, Alice Dickerson shared that architectural glass fabricator Vitro America is focused on expanding and branding its product offering in a new way. As Dickerson commented, "It is important to have branding that speaks to the performance of the product and inspires design creativity," and that's just what the company expects the Envision™ Glass Systems to do. The Envision product line includes the company's all-glass doors, clad doors, sliding and stacking doors, glass walls, handrails and shower enclosures.

PPG Industries had added new options to an old name during the show. Solarban 80 Optiblue glass now provides two new blue-green tints with strong solar control. In addition, company officials noted that PPG had become the first architectural glass manufacturer to earn silver-tier Cradle to Cradle certification for all of its architectural glass products. The certification evaluates the total impact of a product on human health and the environment throughout its life cycle, as well as the manufacturer's corporate practices.

And speaking of "going green," while solar control and energy-efficient glass remained a hot topic at this year's show as in years past (CLICK HERE for related story), mention of glass used for solar applications could also be found on the show floor.

John Reed, service engineer with Benteler Mechanical Engineering, noted that the company is "trying to crack into the solar market." Reed mentioned that the company's new edge-deletion system is specifically targeted for glass used in solar applications.

Glasstech Inc. was spotlighting its new systems for producing bent or curved glass parts ideal for the concentrating solar power and concentrating photovoltaic markets and the extremely flat glass parts required by the PV markets.

As Tom Noe, vice president of customer service and systems engineering for Glasstech Inc., noted, "Alternate energy is a big opportunity for the glass industry."

While there is some learning involved when making the jump from traditional architectural glass production to solar glass, he said that glass industry professionals taking on this trend need to remember that they'll need to do some of the teaching.

"Most of the people in this solar industry are not glass guys," Noe said, explaining that many are coming from the semiconductor industry. "We, as an industry, have a big task in educating them as to what glass can do."

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