Windows, store fronts, and glazing in general are the safety buildings weak points, because of the fragility of glass. The glass structures, being strong but fragile, can break easily. There is no need to apply a big impact to break them. A “simple but well done click” can demolish any glass store front and demolish it completely.

A way to reinforce the glass structures is by laminating intermediate glass layers. However, this option increase significantly the weight and the thickness of the final piece, making more difficult its installation and overloading the structure.


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So to the question, Is there any alternative to this situation? Can we construct lower weight and more resistant glass compounds? Yes, it is possible. The option we have consist in replacing the intermediate glasses by polycarbonate (PC) film or PC sheet.

Talking about PC , we can say that it is a technical polymer with excellent mechanically properties but to the contrary is “chemically and thermally a weak” material. Its thermal weakness makes someway “difficult” to process it, because PC doesn't bear high temperatures during the laminated process. Also PC might interact chemically with the adhesive films used to laminate it causing bubbles or other surface defects. But overcoming these two weak properties the PC offers new great opportunities to the development of the building industry if it can get integrated into glass laminates. At this point we can compare the adhesivity of PC to PVC and NovoGlass SF.


Can I laminate Polycarbonate with NovoGlass SF?

NovoGlass SF is formulated chemically to be compatible with PC. The adhesiveness between PC and NovoGlass SF is excellent. If we consider the PVB, we cannot say the same because its adhesivity to PC is very poor.

It is a normal practice to reinforce low materials adhesivity applying high pressure to the elements to be assembled in order to compensate this weakness factor. This is a way to compensate by physics what chemistry can’t do for us naturally. In that sense we have measured how pressure might help increase the adhesively of PVB to PC, comparing them with the adhesively of NovoGlass SF to PC, under the same processing conditions. The following table summarizes the results obtained:



The data shows clearly the differences. While PVB doesn't adhere at PC and PVB, NovoGlass SF shows an extraordinary compatibility with PC. Next graph presents the same data graphically:



The data tells us too that the adhesiveness to PC of NovoGlass SF is independent of the laminated pressure, measuring in all the cases excellent adhesivities (even at 1 bar of pressure). Now the second question comes to our mind is the following one:


How strong is the adhesion of NovoGlass SF to Polycarbonate?

In order to evaluate the reliability and durability of the PC laminates there are several methods to accelerate the aging of laminated and measure the Quality of the laminates.

Knowing that one of the key factors that affects negatively to the laminates, promoting the de-lamination, is the water we decided to perform some weathering test on the samples.

For that reason we submitted the laminates to a humidity “accelerated ageing” test. All the samples were subjected at several “humidity cycles”. In each one of the humidity cycle the samples were kept inside a vapour bath at 85ºC during 60 minutes. We measure the adhesiveness of each laminated after each humidity cycle as a proof of water resistance. The following table summarizes all the results obtained (HC indicates humidity cycle):



As data shows clearly the adhesiveness between NovoGlass SF and PC is not affected by the water at all.

In the case of the PVB, since the adhesivity between PVB and PC is really poor the humidity test was discarded.

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Post by Beatriz Garrido
septiembre 9, 2014