Fritted Glass and Its Benefits
Fritted glass is a term that is often used across the
construction industry, yet its full potential is somewhat left open to
The term is commonly used when specifying walk on glazing as the process of frittering the glass provides a non-slip surface making it ideal for walkways, roofs that require regular access or areas where glass has been incorporated into a striking architectural design.
What is less appreciated is that fritted glass can be made to exact specifications, incorporating brand identity and specific patterns and can also create some striking architectural effects.
FRITTED GLASS AND WALK ON GLAZING
At Xtralite we manufacture and supply fritted glass for walk on glazing purposes. It makes what would have been an incredibly slippy surface into one that is then safe to walk upon, easy to clean and looks good too.
The key element to fritted glass is the frit, the opaque substance that makes walk on glazing safe but can also be used to create lines and desired complex patterns depending on the use of the glass, its situation within a design scheme and whether it is to be used externally or internally.
By specifying fritted glass in any context, some loss of clarity is of course experienced but where glass floors or walkways are present it’s the ideal solution to give the most robust anti-slip surface to glass. In other’s the loss of clarity is the sole purpose of specifying fritted glass as is its energy saving abilities in contemporary architectural designs.
SO WHY FRITTED GLASS?
Glass that has been through the fritting process (that of making it anti-slip in this case) is achieved by the adhesion of a ceramic component (frit) to the glass to create the required pattern and has fantastic capabilities. It provides a solution to a very real health and safety risk and, whilst there are no formal legalities, safety is clearly paramount when specifying glazing in a project that will have foot traffic.
The anti-slip values of glass have been categorised by the HSE and most pleasingly fritted glass generally achieves a PTV (Pendulum Test Value) of 60.
0 – 24 PTV is high slip risk, 25 – 35 is moderate slip risk and 36+ is low slip risk.
The tests to ascertain PTVs are carried out in wet and dry conditions with the lowest figure recorded when in the wet.
For any architect that is looking for detailed design and safety, both in corporate and domestic situations, the use of fritted glass has the ability to create a juxtaposition of style and substance.
The key to the successful specification and ongoing use of fritted glass is to understand the requirements and demands from the start. It is at this stage that the pattern can be agreed to ensure the maximum PTV figure is appropriately achieved.
FRITTED GLASS AND THE WOW FACTOR
This type of glazing can also create a real architectural wow factor and as the boundaries of building design continue to be challenged as an ever increasing number of ways that fitted glass is utilised is being seen.
Glass continues to be a highly sought after material for twenty first century architects and the process of frittering can not only be visually pleasing; it can also provide practical solutions such as heat control and slip resistance, and with full fritted glass, privacy in buildings where glass in the dominant construction material. It can even be used to protect birds from flying into glass sided building.
It highlights the diversity and complexities that glass can achieve and we are proud to work in such a fast paced, creative industry.