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Glass substrates are the individual plies of glass used to fabricate glass units and may also be referred to as float glass, raw glass or glass lites. Glass substrate options include clear, tinted and low iron.
- Clear is the most commonly specified glass substrate and has a slight green tint. In applications where designers wish to reduce the green tint, low iron glass is often specified in place of clear glass.
- Low iron is a type of float glass manufactured with less iron than standard clear glass. With this reduction in iron content, the green hue is reduced.
- Tinted glass is available in an assortment of colors and light transmission levels. In addition to providing a specific appearance, tinted glass has the added benefit of improving performance.
Viracon’s glass substrate offering includes clear glass, two low iron glass substrates and a variety of tinted glass options. Each substrate is available in a variety of thicknesses and can have Viracon’s reflective or Low-E coatings applied.
Viracon also offers a few specialty glass substrates which have been developed for limited use in specific applications. Due to their unique characteristics, specialty glass substrates cannot be combined with Viracon’s reflective or Low-E coatings.
Appearance and Performance
The specific glass substrate needed for a given project is typically dictated by a required solar performance or a desired appearance. Viracon’s “Search By Appearance” and “Search By Performance” tools simplify the process of selecting specific glass substrate and coating combinations.
Viracon utilizes an alphanumeric code for each coated glass product. The code designates the coating as well as the glass substrate the coating is applied to. This nomenclature is meant to aid in specifying our fabricated glass products however is not enough on its own to clearly identify the full glass unit. In a specification, it is important to include the Viracon nomenclature along with an outline including each component of the glass unit.
The first portion of the code represents the coating family. Within each family, the coatings available have varying degrees of light transmittance. In our nomenclature, this is represented by the number following the dash.
Each glass substrate which can have a Viracon coating applied is also given a numerical code.
In a specification, the glass substrate number should be placed after the coating family and before the dash in our nomenclature. In this example, VE-85 is the coating and VE1-85 is the VE-85 coating applied to clear glass.
Glass Substrate Thickness
All glass substrates are available 1/4” (6mm) thick. Clear and each of the low iron substrates are also available in thicknesses of 3/16” (5mm), 5/16” (8mm) and 3/8” (10mm). For tinted substrates, specialty substrates or other thicknesses of clear or low iron glass substrates, please check with Viracon for availability.
Glass Substrate Location
In units with multiple glass plies, it is important to specify the specific glass substrate for each ply. When a tinted glass substrate is selected typically only one ply of the fabricated glass unit is tinted while the other ply remains clear. The tinted ply should be placed to the exterior to reduce solar heat gain.
One exception is laminated glass. Since there is no airspace to keep the heat absorbed by the tinted exterior ply from re-radiating into the building, the solar heat gain can be improved by moving the tinted ply to the inboard. This improvement happens when the clear coated outboard with high solar reflectance is placed in front of the tinted glass.
Specialty Glass Substrates
Viracon’s specialty glass substrates are not available with a Viracon coating applied so they are not given a numerical code. When specifying a specialty glass substrate, the full substrate name should be included in the specification. Contact Viracon for more information about these specialty glass substrates.
- Velour Acid Etched Glass – For a translucent appearance in an application where solar performance requirements are minimal, Viracon offers an acid etched glass substrate. This specialty substrate has a single acid etched surface which can be used for interior or exterior applications.
Note: Velour acid etched glass cannot be used in a glass unit with a coating. Viracon offers a simulated acid etched glass for applications where a reflective or Low-E coating is desired.
- OptiView™ Anti-Reflective Glass – This specialty glass substrate has 5% exterior reflectance. When compared to clear glass with 8% exterior reflectance, OptiView is a practical choice for retail storefronts or other applications where minimizing exterior reflectance is a necessity. OptiView can also be laminated with the anti-reflective surfaces facing outward to provide a glass unit with 2% exterior and 2% interior reflectance.
OptiView, Graphite Blue and Optiwhite are trademarks of Pilkington.
CrystalBlue and CrystalGray are trademarks of Guardian Industries.
Azuria, Solarblue, Pacifica, Starphire and Optigray are registered trademarks owned by Vitro.