Protection against injury and falling

Glass can be used everywhere in buildings and allows natural daylight to enter the building. Awareness is beginning to grow that an incorrect specification of the glazing can lead to a treacherous situation once the glass has been broken.  When annealed float glass is submitted to a shock or a load that exceeds the designed material strength, it can break suddenly and has sharp dagger-like broken pieces that can cause injuries and damage.
In some applications, glass is used as partitions or balustrades between areas having a difference in walking levels. In case of glass breakage, the glazing should remain in place to help prevent people from falling, but also, glass shards, from the broken glass, should be prevented from falling and causing injury or damage to those people and materials below.
When used in laminated glass, the PVB interlayer tends to hold the glass pieces in place after breakage, avoiding the liberation of glass shards and helping to reduce injuries.  When the laminated glass is glazed to stay in the frame post-breakage, the risk of falling through the broken glazing is also reduced.


What is laminated safety glass?

Laminated glass consists of a tough protective interlayer made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) bonded together between two sheets of glass under heat and pressure. Once sealed together, the glass "sandwich" behaves as a single unit and looks like normal glass. Annealed, semi-toughened, strengthened, or tempered glass can be used to produce laminated glass. Laminated glass provides durability, high-performance, and multifunctional benefits while preserving the aesthetic appearance of the glass. When impacted, laminated architectural glass will typically remain intact and may help prevent further damage caused by shattered glass.


Laminated glass can be used virtually anywhere standard glass is used with very few exceptions. Some of the most common applications are: Interior applications: partitions, doors, windows, skylights, furniture, balustrades, retail shelving, and flooring Exterior applications: doors, windows, curtain walls, wall coverings, and overhead glazing


Recommended end-use applications

Laminated safety glass provides protection from cutting and piercing glass shards when glass is broken and can help mitigate the risk of falling through the opening for several  applications:

  • Windows in private houses
  • Shop windows
  • Internal partitions 
  • Doors and windows in public buildings
  • Bus stop, street furniture
  • Overhead and sloped glazing
  • Floor to ceiling (full height),
  • ​Façade windows
  • Internal windows, partitions or balustrades 
  • Floors and staircases

Which products fit in?

Eastman has experience with multiple interlayer products being used in the design of laminated safety glazing:

  • Saflex Clear, the conventional PVB interlayer can be used for:

Safety: in case of glass breakage from human or accidental impact, the shards of broken glass will remain adhered to the interlayer providing a reduction in cutting or piercing injuries.  With properly glazed laminated glass in a framing system, fall through protection may also be provided.

Storms:  laminated glass with adequate interlayer thickness is capable of thwarting wind-borne debris from penetrating the façade and subsequently allowing destructive internal pressurization in severe windstorms such as tropical cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes.   The ability of the interlayer to contain the glass shards after breakage has been demonstrated to contribute to enhanced glass retention during seismic activities as well. 

Security: a laminated glass configuration can be incorporated into a system to provide a sufficient level of protection against man-made intentional attacks, including vandalism and burglary, explosion resistance and ballistic assault.

  • Saflex Acoustic is an engineered tri-layer interlayer that provides enhanced sound damping between 1000 – 4000 Hertz (Hz) as compared to conventional PVB interlayer.   The enhanced performance may allow the glazing construction to be designed using less air space and/or thinner glass to achieve the same sound reduction rating versus conventional and historic practices.

  • Saflex Solar, a solar absorbing PVB interlayer, brings improved solar control by reducing solar heat gain versus clear and conventional laminated glass without coatings.  Saflex Solar can also be incorporated into single unit laminated glass with low-emissivity hard coatings or into insulating glass units (IGU) with or without low-emissivity glasses.  

  • Vanceva® Earth Tones collection and Vanceva Colors interlayers bring forth the possibility of using a large range of color in a façade or as interior glazing without having to increase glass thickness to achieve color intensity, be delayed waiting for colored glass campaigns or ordering large quantities of custom colored glass. Both products provide the flexibility to customize or modify and improve the aesthetic of the façade.

  • Saflex Structural PVB interlayer can be used in laminated glass configurations targeted for floors, stairs, fins, balustrades, guards and canopies.

  • Saflex High Protection (HP) and Saflex Storm interlayers can be used when enhanced protection from tropical cyclones, typhoons and hurricane force winds with windborne debris are needed.

The various types of Saflex and Vanceva interlayers mentioned above can be combined between two pieces of glass or in the same glazing configuration to improve the overall performance of the glazing system and contribute to the optimum performance of the laminated safety glass.

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