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Broad Art Museum Glass Raises Discussion on U.S. Coating Capabilities

Post Time:Mar 05,2012Classify:Company NewsView:210

The glass at Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Mich., needed to be imported from Europe, because U.S. manufacturers and fabricators do not coat glass in those large dimensions, says Daniel Bollman, MSU design administrator.

 China Glass Network

"As a global company, we were ... able to provide the SunGuard low-E glass, even though it was specified in a size larger than what usually is called for in the U.S.," says Chris Dolan, director of commercial glass marketing at Guardian Industries in Auburn Hills, Mich. "Guardian's Luxembourg coating operation produced the glass in jumbo size for our customer in Germany who fabricated the insulating glass units before shipment to the U.S."

 

Most low-E glass coaters in the U.S. were developed to meet the prevailing demands of residential customers for smaller sheet sizes, Dolan says. "That's how they prefer to work with it," he says. "On the occasion that a commercial customer wants a special larger size, such as with the Broad Art Museum, we can use one of our jumbo coaters that we have in other parts of the world. In Europe, for example, both residential and commercial customers ask for jumbos."

 

North American coaters are built to process glass 7 to 8 feet in width and 12 feet in length at a very fast rate, according to Bowie Neumayer, vice president of sales and marketing at Cardinal Corp. in Eden Prairie, Minn. More specifically, coaters in the U.S. generally range from 84 inches by 144 inches to 100 inches by 144 inches, he says. "The European model is much bigger, as I believe they can coat up to 130 inches by 204 inches," he says. "The market for big coated panels is very small and the economics of running [them are] very high. I know, from Cardinal's standpoint, that we prefer our coating size to be 96 inches by 144 inches, as this greatly reduces transportation costs."

 

Rob Struble, business communications manager at PPG Industries Inc. in Pittsburgh, agrees. There are glass makers in the U.S. that can apply a soft coat up to 8 feet by 14 feet, he says "It is not uncommon for some designers and building owners to be willing to accept the trade-offs of a long supply chain in favor of more rare products," Struble says. "Float glass, after all, is a high-volume production method. Because of that, glass makers here have tended to focus on high-volume uses for glass products. That's why glass remains a low-cost building material-even with advanced technologies that can split the light spectrum with a nanometer thin, transparent coating."

 

The Broad Art Museum lites have a soft coat low-E.

 

"Everyone involved with the distinctive Broad Art Museum project ... is excited about the final result and willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure that it comes together just as the architect envisioned," Dolan concludes.

Source: www.usgnn.comAuthor: shangyi

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