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Frameless Glass Structure: The Future of Glazing

Frameless Glass Structure: The Future of Building Glass Envelope

Eastman and Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering partnered to develop a new laminated glazing product.

For last year’s glasstec International Trade Fair, Eastman and Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering have partnered to develop a new laminated glazing product. This revolutionary product consists of several small glass panes that form a large, complete pane—without the use of metal parts or brackets!

A total of 38 laminated safety glass panes will be installed for the exhibit. The frameless, glass structure will reach a height of 4.5 m and a diameter of 3.5 m. Approximately 244 high-precision, stainless steel fittings are laminated into the laminate. As a result, the exhibit achieves an impressive weight of almost 1,400 kg.

Saflex® Structural (DG41) and Vanceva® Arctic Snow are used to produce the laminates to present not only the innovative design method but also the combination possibilities of the two PVB films.

The details
38 panes
244 laminated stainless steel fittings
4.5 m high
3.5 m diameter
1,400 kg weight
Foils of Saflex Structural combined with Vanceva Arctic Snow

Frameless Glass Structure: The Future of Building Glass Envelope
© Knippers Helbig

A look behind the scenes

Nearly six months of preliminary work regarding the static calculation of the load on the individual panes has been completed. This allows the construction to support itself with no screws in the substrate.

The project is unique, but the special features are not limited to the frameless glass structure itself. We have extended requirements for glass refiners, explored new possibilities for constructive glass construction, and developed new processes.

Each laminated safety glass pane consists of two 8-mm thick, semi-stressed individual panes made of low-iron white glass. They are connected by several foils of Saflex Structural. In addition, highprecision, stainless steel fittings are laminated between the two glass panes.

The beauty of the final piece is that no additional structural components are required. Only the laminated fittings and the standard connecting elements hold the overall construction together. Brilliant!

Completed: 2020
Concept & Engineering: Knippers Helbig Engeneering  | www.knippershelbig.com
Glass Laminator: Thiele Glass  | www.thiele-glas.de
Installation + Steel fabrication: Hüttinger  | www.huettinger-nuernberg.com
Featured products: Saflex® Structural, Vanceva® Arctic Snow
Photo credit: © Knippers Helbig

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