Types of Decorative Glass

Glass that has been chemically treated with an acidic material, such as hydrofluoric acid, to produce a surface finish that will diffuse transmitted light, reduce glare and has a “frosted” appearance. The treatment on glass is used to diffuse light, reduce glare and obtain a translucent appearance. It may be used for both interior and exterior applications. The treatment on mirror is used to obtain a soft matted reflection. The treatment can be applied to provide different levels of translucence, either uniformly over the entire surface or in selected areas creating decorative patterns. Also see etched glass, frosted glass, satin etch.

Basic float glass that has been treated through a heating and controlled cooling process to result in a product with internal stresses reduced to a level that it can be handled, cut, finished and fabricated.

Flat glass which has been formed into a curved shape or profile using extreme heat and a mold or frame. Bent or curved glass can be heat treated, further fabricated into laminated or insulated units and incorporate a variety of decorative features.

Glass into which a three dimensional sculpted image or design has been created by sandblasting or etching to different depths within the surface. (Also see etched, sandblasted)

Glass with a textured “hot cast” surface produced by pouring and pressing molten glass onto or into a mold. (Also see slumped, patterned)

A pigmented glass enamel fired onto the glass at temperatures in excess of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and permanently fused to the glass surface. Ceramic frit can be applied using a full coverage coating process, a silkscreen process or a pre-printed ceramic decal. This type of decorative glass is available in many colors, patterns and translucencies and is used for both exterior and interior applications.

A structural glass system that creates light transmitting walls. A perimeter frame is used with various widths and sizes of U shaped glass channels. As exterior window wall, channel glass respective to windload requires only one perimeter frame, eliminating need for vertical or horizontal frame members. The system also allows for glass openings to be formed into arcs, serpentine walls, and columns or tower designs. Non-tempered float glass channels have cast surface that provides privacy and light diffusion.

Process used to create decorative glass by application of a ceramic decal. Decals are directly transferred to the glass. Decals can provide fine half tone detail, consistent light registration and multi color images.

Decorative films are generally thin substrates, with decorative features, in roll or sheet form, which can be applied to glass or incorporated into laminated or insulated glass units. Films can be transparent, translucent, opaque, colored or metallic with patterns, designs and images.

Glass created by applying and fusing multiple micro-layers of metal oxides to the glass surface to transmit or reflect discreet wavelengths of light resulting in an array of colors. The thin layers of oxides have a total thickness of 3 to 5 millionth of an inch and are kiln fired to fuse to the glass surface.

Digital art is a visual feature created on a computer in digital form. The digital file can be purely computer generated or taken from another source, such as a scanned photograph or an image drawn using vector graphics software. Digital art can be transferred by printing onto glass, interlayers or other films and substrates.

Generic term used to describe glass that has been modified in such a way to provide a surface that will diffuse transmitted light, reduce glare and have a frosted appearance. Etched glass may have different levels of transparency, either uniformly over the entire surface or in selected areas to create decorative patterns. (Also see acid etched, frosted glass, sandblasted glass, laser etched glass, ceramic frit, silkscreen/screen-printed)

Generic term used to describe glass whose surface tends to diffuse or scatter incident light and has a “frosted” appearance. Frosted glass is produced by a variety of methods including etching with chemicals, using abrasives, engraving, application of ceramic inks or decals and by attaching or incorporating translucent films. (See also etched, sandblasted).

Flat or bent glass that has been heat-treated to have either a minimum surface compression of 10,000 psi (69 MPa) or an edge compression not less than 9,700 psi (67 MPa) in accordance with the requirements of ASTM C 1048, kind FT or meet the requirements of ANSI Z97.1 or CPSC 16 CFR 1201. Outside of North America, sometimes called "toughened glass."

A decorative glass article created by melting in a kiln and fusing together two or more types and colors of glass. Many art glass pieces and ornate tableware are made from fused glass.

Art glass pieces produced using the application of heat to cause changes in shape or texture. Once the final form is achieved, the glass is re-annealed to insure structural stability.

Flat or bent glass that has been heat-treated to have a surface compression between 3,500 and 7,500 psi (24 to 52 MPa) and meet the requirements of ASTM C 1048, kind HS. Heat-strengthened glass is not a safety glazing material and will not meet the requirements of ANSI Z97.1 or CPSC 16 CFR 1201.

Decorative glass that has had an image engraved into the surface using laser technology. Laser etching can provide a high detail, crisp engraved image. Although this method employs heat to etch the glass, the heat is localized and does not require subsequent re-annealing.

Glass consisting of an assembly of two or more lites of glass permanently bonded with an interlayer that retains the glass in place when shattered. Interlayers may be in clear, translucent and opaque forms with colors and graphic designs. Laminates may include one or more decorative components. Laminates can be produced by using a decorative glass, a decorative interlayer or by incorporating a variety of decorative materials such as films, metallic foils, fabrics, rice paper, photographs and such. See ASTM C 1172 for standard laminate specifications.

See silvered glass

See cast, slumped glass.

A surface treatment that results in an increased static coefficient of friction, typically used for glass flooring systems, floor tiles and stair treads. The walkable surface is roughened either evenly across the entire surface or in a decorative pattern to provide increased safety and add a creative element to the flooring design.

See patterned glass.

A coating applied to glass that completely covers the surface is virtually opaque and available in various solid and metallic colors. In some applications the glass can be partially coated with clear areas for design. Typical applications for painted glass are wall cladding, spandrel glass and furniture.

Glass whose surface has been imprinted with a texture or pattern at high temperatures while still in the molten or malleable state. Also known as textured or obscure glass. (Also see cast, slumped, rolled).

Glass onto which a recurring texture or pattern has been impressed, on one or both sides, by passing the glass, while still in a soft or malleable state, between rolls with the desired design. Also known as patterned, textured or obscure glass).

Glass produced by using high velocity air to spray a stream of hard, abrasive particles against one or both surfaces giving the area a frosted or etched appearance. (Also see carved, frosted).

See acid etched, etched glass

A pigmented glass coating, applied after the tempering process or to annealed glass, which is chemically bonded to the glass surface. Silicone coatings can be applied using a full range of coverage coating processes; silkscreening, roller, spray and curtain coating. This type of decorative glass is available in many colors, patterns and metallics and is used for both exterior and interior applications.

Decorative glass created by applying inks to the substrate through a screen-printing process. The ink can be applied in solid coverage over the entire surface or selectively to create a decorative pattern. Silkscreened glass is available in various colors, patterns and translucencies and is typically treated at higher temperatures with ceramic enamels or at lower temperatures with silicone or other organic inks.

Glass with a surface treatment applied to create a reflective or mirrored quality. The substrate may be any type, pattern or color of glass in float or heat treated form resulting in various reflective appearances.

Slumped or “kiln-formed” glass is produced by placing float glass into a kiln over a mold having the desired shape or pattern and heating to the temperature where the glass softens and “slumps” to the form of the mold. The formed glass is then annealed and can be further processed or fabricated. (Also see cast, patterned).

Opaque coated glass, generally heat strengthened or tempered, used in non-vision areas of a building envelope. Various types of opacifiers can be used to create spandrel glass including ceramic frit, silicone coatings, organic coatings and opacifying films.

Colored glass pieces combined to form decorative or pictorial designs, typically set in a lead framework.

Glass that has been treated by a heating and rapid cooling process to induce compressive stresses on the surface balanced by interior tension resulting in increased strength.

See patterned glass

Glass having a shallow groove engraved into the surface in a “V” shape to form two small bevels. This process is available on most types of flat glass and mirror and in various decorative patterns ranging from straight lines to ornate curved designs. Glass can be heat treated after engraving.