Laminated glass is used extensively in building and housing products and in the automotive and transport industries. Most building facades and most car windscreens, for example, are made with laminated glass, usually with other technologies also incorporated.
Surface coatings can be applied to glass to modify its appearance and give it many of the advanced characteristics and functions available in today's flat glass products, such as low maintenance, special reflection/transmission/absorption properties, scratch resistance, corrosion resistance, etc.
Coatings are usually applied by controlled exposure of the glass surface to vapours, which bind to the glass forming a permanent coating. The coating process can be applied while the glass is still in the float line with the glass still warm, producing what is known as "hard-coated" glass. Alternatively, in the "off-line" or "vacuum" coating process, the vapour is applied to the cold glass surface in a vacuum vessel.
Extra clear glass
Extra clear glass is not the result of processing of annealed glass, but instead a specific type of melted glass. Extra clear glass differs from other types of glass by its basic raw material composition. In particular, this glass is made with very low iron content in order to minimise its sun reflection properties. It therefore lets as much light as possible through the glass. It is most particularly of use for solar energy applications where it is important that the glass cover lets light through to reach the thermal tubes or photovoltaic cells. Anti-reflective properties can be further increased by applying a special coating on the low-iron glass. It can also be used in windows or facades as it offers excellent clarity, which allows occupants to appreciate true colours and to enjoy unimpaired views.