Property developers and homeowners select glass balustrading for residential and commercial properties due to its overall build quality and contemporary visual appeal. Here are the different types of glasses available for balustrading:
Annealed Laminated Safety Glass
Annealed laminated safety glass contains two pieces of ordinary glass connected to a plastic interlayer. When laminated safety glass cracks, the broken pieces remain stuck to the plastic interlayer forming a spider web effect. If the impact is not grave enough to pierce or dislocate the coating, the shattered glasses inclines to remain in place. It is recommended to choose a 6MM minimum thickness for infill panels and 8mm for structural panels except for cantilever panels.
Toughened Laminated Safety Glass
Combining toughened, laminated single pieces of glass. The advantage of toughened-laminated glasses is their robustness and performance under impact. It can handle large loads, and if it is damaged, the resulting fragments will be contained by the interlayer. If they are glazed appropriately, they will remain in place, improving safety and security.
Monolithic Toughened Safety Glass
Monolithic toughened safety glass is four to five times sturdier than ordinary glass; in the occurrence of breakage, the glass will break into small harmless fragments and won’t be usable anymore. Subsequently, toughened glasses not fully framed are likely to fall from their fixings and would not avert the penetration of the hitting object or person, probably to a lower level.
Now let’s look at the types of balustrade panels. Glass can be fitted to a balustrade in two ways:
Structural Balustrade Panel
In this type, glass is the main structural component of the balustrade. The core feature of this type of balustrade is that glass offers structural aid for any loads that may be forced upon it. If not developed by an expert engineer, this balustrade type is limited to areas where the change in surface level is 1000 mm, or less.
Infill Balustrade Panel
The outer structure or frame is made of timber, steel, or aluminium. Available in different configurations, the balustrade always comes integrated with a handrail, and the glass infill panel is supported mechanically with bolts and clamps or in a channel. The non-glass handrail should withstand the intended applied loads, such as a person leaning on or against the handrail or a person falling.
The Bottom Line
The reason behind preferring a glass balustrading system over their steel and wood counterparts for safety is that when glass is combined with a custom feature like a staircase, you get an uninterrupted and flawless view.