Category Archives: Blog

Why Do We Get the White Staining on Our Shower Glass? How Can It be Prevented?

frameless glasses

Glass shower doors look great when they’re new and clean but over time they can accumulate stains that become hard which can in-turn, look like a white haze. When it does affect the glass, the shower’s attractiveness starts to fade.

Source: housecleaningcentral.com

Why Hazy Spots Appear

Those white, hazy spots you see on the surface of your glass shower are caused by a build-up of minerals found in your water. When droplets of hard water evaporate or dry on the glass surface, alkaline and other minerals are left behind, forming what you now see as white stains. On vertical surfaces, these spots look like overlapping shingles or scales. Thus, they are often referred to as “lime scale.”

Lime scale is problematic for a lot of reasons. But in the bathroom, these dried up minerals give residues of soap something extra to stick to, causing the build-up of soap scum to occur much faster. And we all know how menacing soap scum is. A combination of minerals, fatty acids, and body oils gives soap scum its familiar filmy or crusty lather and the ability to stick to marble, tile, and glass like super glue.

How to Remove Water Stains

These hazy spots are notoriously difficult to remove. It is quite astonishing how there are tons of cleaning products that are specifically made for this job yet none of them seem to actually work.

But don’t lose hope because effective lime scale cleaning methods do exist.

custom glass

Source: flickr.com

Abrasives: Use the plain old elbow grease along with some help from non-liquid cleaners like baking soda and SOS pads to remove small-scale hard water deposits.

Lemon juice or Plain white vinegar: For older, larger stains, try spraying the area with vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before scrubbing it away with a soft bristled brush. If the glass shower still has visible white stains, sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub the remaining stains away. Rinse and dry the area thoroughly afterward.

If the stubborn hazy spots still won’t go away no matter how hard you try to remove them, consider having the glass shower professionally cleaned.

Prevent It from Ever Happening Again

Although tricky, preventing stains from hard water is actually far easier than cleaning up the messes and problems it could cause. The single most effective way to do so is to maintain the glass dry at all times. Invest in a squeegee or use a micro-fibre cloth to dry off the glass surface right after taking a bath or shower.

kitchen glass splashbacks

Source: newjerseyshowerdoors.com

You may also want to consider having the glass treated with a glass treatment spray, so the water can bead up and easily run off its surface. With regular wiping, this will keep your glass shower stall clear and shiny for longer.

Never underestimate the importance of keeping your glass shower dry. While it may take up some of your time post-shower, it is certainly a lot less than having to spend hours on end trying to make your shower look like new again.

melbourne glazier

How Glass Is Made

splashback

Glass certainly is one of the most popular choices for building and construction materials, thanks to its virtually countless aesthetic options coupled with optimal performance.

Today more than ever, builders, architects, and designers are given more choices of high-quality glass. Every time you pick glass for construction or remodeling, you have the opportunity to turn a project stronger, better-looking, and smarter.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

What usually ends up as massive, sweeping panels in healthcare facilities, high-rise buildings, schools, commercial establishments, and other construction projects firstly begins with mountains of sand, limestone, soda ash, dolomite, and select raw ingredients, heated to create a flat ribbon of glass with optimal clarity, light transmission, and integrity for fabrication and treatments.

In a series of steps, witness the float glass manufacturing process unfold, from raw materials entering the line at one end to glass plates emerging and being precisely cut at the other.

Step 1: Melting and Refining

Float glass starts as a mixture of silica sand and some other raw materials. Closely monitored and controlled for quality, these fine-grained ingredients are combined together and heated to make molten batches of glass.

Several processes simultaneously take place in the 2000 molten glass tonnes in the melting furnace. This is very similar to an old-fashioned brick oven only much, much more massive.

Melting: the weighed batch of raw materials is melted at around 1500 degrees Celsius by a combination of pre-heated air and natural gas jet streams. This combo produces torch-like flames that melt the ingredients in a matter of minutes.

Refining: The molten ingredients are then homogenised and bubbles of gas are removed as the liquid glass moves through a canal.

Temperature control: The molten glass is cooled enough to be able to draw it into what is known as the tin float bath.

All driven by high temperatures, these processes occur in separate zones and last for up to 50 hours in total before the bubble- and inclusion-free glass is smoothly delivered at 1100 degrees Celsius from the furnace to the float bath.

This stage is the most crucial as it is the key to the product’s quality. It is also during this phase when the glass composition can be modified to alter the final product’s properties.

Step 2: Tin Float Bath

The liquid glass flows over a sprout and floats onto the mirror-like surface of a shallow pool of molten tin at about 1000 degrees Celsius. The glass is highly viscous at this phase, so it does not combine with the liquid tin, creating a relatively flat ribbon of glass.

Its uniform thickness is controlled by reducing or increasing the speed at which it spreads while its width is maintained by the machine’s edge rollers. The ribbon of glass then leaves the float tank at 600 degrees Celsius.

While the principle of float glass has remained the same for decades, the finished product has not. From a product often marred by bubbles to one that is optically perfect as well as from delivering a single uniform thickness to producing an array of thickness options that range from sub-millimetre to 25mm, the modern float glass process has certainly improved.

Step 3: Annealing

The ribbon continues to move along and solidifies slowly in the annealing chamber.

During the cooling process, considerable stresses may develop in the glass. If too much stress builds up, then the cooled glass will break beneath the cutter. To avoid the stresses, the glass passes through a heat treatment tunnel known as a lehr. In this chamber, the temperature of the ribbon is closely controlled and gradually lowered to 250 degrees Celsius to produce annealed glass.

As it comes out of the enclosed lehr, the ribbon is further cooled and hardened by forced air before inspection.

Step 4: Quality Inspection

To ensure the highest product quality, scanners examine the hardened ribbon of glass to identify imperfections.

While the float process is known for producing flawless glass, there are rare occasions where a bubble or an inclusion may have been missed during the refining stage, a grain of sand may have refused to melt, or a tremor in the float bath may have caused ripples in the ribbon. Through quality on-line inspections, these faults are revealed and discarded.

Step 5: Cutting and Lift Off

As the ribbon moves along the conveyor rolls, its edges are trimmed off by diamond wheels and the glass is precisely cut to customer-specific dimensions at rates as high as 6000 tonnes a week. The automatically-cut sheets of glass are then lifted off by robotic arms and stacked into racks, cases, or packs all set to be coated or delivered to customers.

Float glass is generally sold per square metre. Computers translate the customer’s specifications into the automated cutter, which cuts the ribbon of glass in patterns designed to reduce wastage.

Step 6: Coating

This is the stage where a variety of coatings to improve the thermal and solar performance of the glass can be applied. Some manufacturers deposit coatings in the glass during the early stages of the float process, but coating application is usually done when the glass has been cut to precision.

Manufacturers use an advanced high-temperature technology called on-line chemical vapour deposition or CVD to lay down these various micron thick coatings onto the finished product, making profound alterations in its optical properties.

Step 7: Dispatch

Once multiple coatings are applied, the glass is then stacked onto vehicles ready for dispatch. This final stage of the float manufacturing process involves lading the cases of glass panes onto trucks or into open-top containers and then shipping the orders to the customer.

To know more about glass or if you have any other questions on how the float glass process works, send us an email.

melbourne glazier

Toughening/Tempering Process of Glass Explained

glass shower screen

Source: berlinerglas.com

Glass is a naturally fragile material. To boost its functional properties and enhance its operational safety, it undergoes the process of tempering.

Tempering or toughening is a process where the glass is heated at high temperatures to make it stronger and more resistant to breakage. This process creates a balance in the product’s internal stresses, so that when the glass is broken, it would crumble into tiny granular chunks instead of breaking into sharp, jagged pieces.

Because of its increased strength and safety, builders and architects utilise them in a multitude of demanding applications. This includes showers, vehicle windows, refrigerator trays, glass tables, diving masks, glassware, cookware, fireplace grates, bulletproof windows, architectural glass doors and virtually anywhere else that needs safe and strong glass.

The Tempered Glass Manufacturing Process

Tempered glass goes through a process similar to that of a tempered steel. Below, we take you through its sophisticated manufacturing process.

Stage 1: All toughened glass begins life as a float glass. Before it undergoes tempering, the glass is examined for imperfections. Bubbles, inclusions, and cracks may cause the float glass to break during toughening. So if any signs of such flaws are found, the glass can’t be tempered.

Stage 2: Prior to toughening, it must first be cut to the desired shape as it won’t be possible to cut or etch the finished product in its toughened state. Once cut, the edges are smoothed and any burrs produced during etching or cutting are removed.

Stage 3: To completely remove the grains of glass that were deposited during sanding, the float glass is thoroughly washed. This also ensures that dirt and any other tiny debris won’t interfere with the tempering.

cheap glass splashbacks melbourne

Source: breakglass.org

Stage 4: In the tempering process, the surface of the float glass is heated at over 600 degrees Celsius as it travels through a furnace. Some manufacturers heat the glass above its annealing point of approximately 720 degrees Celsius.

Stage 5: The scorching glass is then rapidly cooled through quenching by a high-pressure blast of air for a period of three to 10 seconds at various angles. As it cools and begins to shrink, tensile stresses temporarily build-up in the interior zone of the glass while its surface consequently develops surface stresses. These compressive stresses eventually enhance the strength of the glass, making it tougher to break.

A properly tempered glass should be able to withstand pressures of a minimum of 10,000 pounds per square inch (psi) and can be expected to break at about 24,000 psi.

Beyond the added tensile strength and safety, tempered glass has a greater resistance to thermal shock and thermal stresses. Essentially, it can withstand constant exposure to temperatures as high as 243 degrees Celsius.

Despite these property enhancements, the characteristics of tempered glass are that of clarity, chemical transmission, colour, expansion coefficient, and chemical composition (which remains unaltered).

If tempered glass is the right product for you contact Economy Glass with the details.

melbourne glazier

The Benefits Of Nano Coatings (Infographic)

Nano coatings are profoundly the manufacturing process. For decades, professionals and manufacturers alike have sought for a long-lasting shine solution that is easy and quick to use and will repel rain, dirt, and other environmental contaminants.

While nano coating technology has been around since the mid-1970’s, it’s industry has continued to show a steady growth due to increased consumer interest. Now, a wide range of nano-coated products are being developed and distributed for a variety of applications.

From the 9th century through the Renaissance, nano technology came in the form of a metallic glaze that pottery makers utilise to create a shimmering luster. In the modern world, nanotech coatings are identified are polymers, which are used in all sorts of products due to its incredible durability.

As we have previously defined, nano coatings are no a sealer, but rather a molecular modification that offers a hydrophobic and easy to clean surface. The particles bond physically and chemically to the surface to give it complete protection against wear, corrosion, and other damaging elements.

From commercial and civil aviation, marine, and defense to glass manufacturing, plastics, automotive, and even aerospace, many industries today are harnessing the power of nano coatings because of their capabilities.

But what exactly are these industries getting from utilising such coating technology? Below, we enumerate some of the primary reasons why the industries of the world are turning to nano technology coatings.

round glass top dining table
melbourne glazier

How Do I Know If My Glass is Toughened/Tempered Safety Glass?

Tempered or toughened glass could save lives.

Produced using a slower cooling process, this type of safety glass is much stronger and safer as compared to standard glass. Because of its high resistance to heat and breakage, tempered glass is widely preferred for building and establishment windows. It is also usually used for aquariums and table tops as well as a protective eyewear for divers and machinists.

glass table top

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

To the untrained eye, tempered glass may seem to look the same as any type of glass. In order to identify it, many people would joke around and say, “Whack it! If it shatters into tiny, bite-size pieces, then it’s definitely tempered.” But, in all seriousness, how do you tell if a glass is tempered (without a hammer involved)?

Below, we give you less destructive ways to identify whether or not your glass is toughened.

Examine Its Edges

Normally, tempered glass has completely smooth edges due to the extra processing it goes through, while other types of glass usually have scuffed or ridged edges.

If the edges of the glass are exposed, run your fingers along them. Provided that the roughness is not the result of abrasion, any impression of roughness likely means that the glass isn’t tempered.

Keep an Eye for the Bug

We don’t mean the insect. In the construction trades, a bug is a tiny label etched or sandblasted in the glass’s corner. Along with the manufacturer name and the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) standards, this stamp indicates whether the glass is tempered or not.

If you got the glass directly from the manufacturer, you’ll easily see the marking. But that isn’t always the case, especially when the glass has frames concealing the stamp. So you have to watch out for other clues.

Look for Imperfections

If you notice any warping, bending, or dimples on the glass, then it is most likely toughened glass. These imperfections typically occur during the heating process. Because the glass undergoes extreme heat, the tongs used to handle it often leave a slight impression on the surface that you may be able to identify if you look closely enough.

Some tempered glass may also have surface scratches that are typically caused by the small particles from the machine rollers that melted and fused to its surface. This leftover debris gets dragged around during normal cleaning, producing light scratches.

View the Glass Through Polarized Lenses

If you try to view tempered glass in sunlight with a polarized pair of sunglasses, you will see dark, shady spots or lines stretching across its surface–a prime indicator that the glass is toughened. These lines were formed by the machine rollers during the tempering process.

Score a Line (Only If You Plan on Cutting It Away)

If all else fail, consider scoring a line on the glass surface using a window-cutting tool. If it creates an uneven and flaky line, it’s tempered. If you plan to cut the glass, take it to a specialist so that it can be cut without causing cracks or chips.

melbourne glazier

The Benefits of Double Glazing (Infographic)

Heat loss and heat gain through windows is inevitable, but there is an effective way to keep your home warm or cool while also being energy efficient. We’re not talking about covering up your windows with thick curtains or drapes, neither do we mean setting your A/C to it’s coldest temp.

Specifically engineered to reduce heat loss from indoor environments, double glazing is the eay to go. Beyond solar gain and heat loss reductions, double glazed glass doors and windows offer tons of other benefits.

The following are some of the advantages you would be looking at when you install double glazed windows and doors in your home:

mirrors melbourne
melbourne glazier

What Glass Should I Use in My Home to Reduce Fading and Damage from UV?

kitchen splashbacks

Have you noticed that the floor under your carpet seems a bit darker than the rest of your flooring? If you’ve tried to do some redecorating, chances are you probably did. But dirt and wear are not the only causes of the hardwood’s uneven color.

Sunlight is also a culprit–actually, any and all visible light may be to blame for your fading wood floors. Touted as the biggest contributor to fading and discoloration, ultraviolet (UV) rays damages home furnishings and flooring by up to 45 percent while infrared radiation and visible light are responsible for about 25 percent of the damage.

These culprits, particularly the damaging UV light, present a tricky situation. Here’s the thing: Whether the sun is shining or not, UV rays are present. So even if it could not have been sunny for months, this does not mean that your belongings are safe from the wrath of the harmful UV.

Without proper protection against these damaging rays, the flooring, furnishings, and fabrics in your home become susceptible to discoloration, fading, and damage. You can’t simply turn to thick draperies or large window treatments all the time and expect that keeping them closed would solve the problem.

If you truly want to minimise fading of your flooring and furnishings, replacing your standard, clear glass windows with double glazed, laminated, or tinted units is your best option.

Double Glazing

A double glazed window has two panes of glass that are bonded to a spacer to create one unit. The space between the glass panes of some double glazing units is usually filled with Argon gas to boost their insulation properties.

Beyond those qualities, double glazed windows have unique properties that allow them to deflect UV rays. Think of double glazing as a sunscreen for your windows. It provides the benefit of minimising the amount of damaging light that enters the room.

Laminated

Laminated glass is another type of glass that can block the penetration of UV rays by up to 95 percent. Made up of two or more glass layers that are bonded together with an interlayer, laminated glass not only reduce UV penetration, it also offers improved security and safety, enhanced insulation properties, and improved sound reduction properties.

Tinted

Like double glazing and laminated glass, tinted glass can deflect UV light. Because it absorbs solar energy, it may also offer a cost-efficient indoor climate control. Moreover, it reduces sun glare.

The downside to using this type of glass is that it offers reduced clarity as it is typically darker than double glazing or laminated glass. It also isn’t as safe and secure as the first two options because it produces sharp glass debris if broken.

If your only concern if the fading that UV light causes to your furnishings and flooring, all three types of glass would be ideal. But if you’re also after other benefits, such as energy efficiency, soundproofing, thermal control, and security, we recommend going for either a double glazed unit or a laminated one.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

melbourne glazier

How to Clean Your New Glass Products

frameless glasses

Glass makes everything look modern, stylish, and sophisticated. But like anything, it can easily collect dirt, dust and grime. To make sure it stays looking new and shiny, it does need some level of care and maintenance–a task many people do not look forward to doing.

Part of what makes glass cleaning a frustrating and tiring job is that homeowners insist on using the infamous newspaper and spray cleaner method. This is not a good idea as rubbing the glass with wadded up paper towels or newspaper only moves the dirt around and produces static electricity, causing streaks and attracting more dust.

In order to keep your glass products in tip top condition, you can’t simply spray on a bit of polish or glass cleaner and wipe it with crumpled paper. You’ll require the right tools and the right set of knowledge to make your glass products sparkle like new.

Below, we give you some simple tricks to ensure you don’t leave behind streaks, stains, and lint on glass surfaces.

Get Rid of Loose Dirt
Prior to cleaning your glass products, make sure to remove as much loose dust and dirt first. If you don’t, this loose debris could potentially cause scratches and streaks.

Use a Strip Applicator for Picture Windows
Large glass surfaces call for large tools, such as a strip applicator. This tool has a long cloth head that soaks up soapy water and effectively knocks dirt and grime loose without leaving scratches on the glass. Partner it with a cleaning solution made of warm water and dishwashing liquid.

For glass products with smaller surfaces, a handheld hog-bristle brush or sponge will do the trick. Opt for a natural one instead of synthetics. They are firmer and more absorbent.

Wipe Clean with a Squeegee
Instead of rinsing the glass with water, wipe it clean with a squeegee. Before having another go at it, wipe the tool’s blade clean with a microfiber cloth or lint-free rags, such as old linen napkins or cloth diapers, to avoid streaks and water marks.

Swipe from Top to Bottom
Whether you are cleaning shower screens, windows, doors, or mirrors, it is important to note starting from the top and working your way down is the way to go it. And make sure to wipe it clean in one go. Otherwise, you risk leaving streaks along the glass.

Dry off the Drips on the Glass’s Edges
Remove any remaining soapy water on the edges of the glass and along the windowsill using a wrung-dry microfiber cloth or chamois.

To remove stubborn stains and spots that normal glass cleaning can’t, gently rub it with either a fine 0000 steel wool or a wet towel dipped in a cleansing powder that contains oxalic acid. Adding a coating of surface protectant after “super cleaning” it will get rid of the stains for good.

If a good, meticulous cleaning just isn’t enough, consider having it professionally cleaned, repaired, or replaced.

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

melbourne glazier

The Benefits of Safety Glass (Infographic)

Many people see glasses as an instrument to augment the appeal of a certain space. Be it an office or residential location, glass can provide functionality, as well as attractiveness.

In architecture, the use of glass has increased tenfold. Previously perceived as non-durable and fragile, glass today has been engineered to be safer, tougher and more secure for residential, industrial, and architectural applications.

Available in a variety of layers and thickness, the safety glass, as they come to term it, has a multitude of advantages and diverse applications without the hazards of conventional glass. The benefits of using safety glass include the following:

glass top table
melbourne glazier

Benefits of Splashbacks (Infographic)

Getting splashbacks for your home is a huge decision. It’s no secret that it can be more costly than traditional alternatives, so you could end up investing a sum of money in splashbacks. On the bright side, it can be a brilliant feature in specific areas of your home for years to come. Hence, with the right product and quality installation, they can be worth every penny! Plus, it provides many other advantages. Below, we give you a multitude of benefits that come with using splashbacks.

Below, we give you a multitude of benefits that come with using splashbacks.
glass repair melbourne
melbourne glazier