G.James Extrusion Facility


G.James Extrusion Co. Pty Ltd, (G.James) has in recent times reinvested and modernised a major part of its Extrusion Warehousing, Packaging and Surface Finishing operations. With these projects now complete, G.James’ management have turned their attention to investing further in its Extrusion Press operations.

A greenfield site, known to most in Brisbane as the “old Ford Factory”, will now be recognised as 990 Kingsford Smith Drive (KSD). This site will house a purpose-built 20,000 sqm facility, which will be the principle location of G.James’ Extrusion Press operations.

The new Extrusion Plant will bring with it improved efficiencies by significantly reducing the number of manual tasks associated with our existing processes. One such task is the Die Management System which will see the extrusion dies retrieved from storage, moved to the oven, and finally into the press all achieved through automation.

The Extrusion Plant will include all of what is expected from modern day extrusion press technology. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • a vertical log storage rack
  • a log manipulator
  • a log brusher
  • an efficient log furnace with gas taper
  • a hot log saw
  • a short stroke front loading press
  • a complete new handling system with full quenching capability
  • a double run out table
  • a stretcher
  • a saw and profile stacker
  • a scrap removal system.

Automated cranes will control the movement of baskets throughout the plant, including the processing through ageing ovens. All production will be controlled by the Manufacturing Execution System (MES), including recipe managers and PLC control of plant and equipment.

The new Extrusion Plant will allow G.James the ability to utilise our resources more efficiently. With this improved productivity, it is expected that G.James’ two new presses will generate comparable capacity to that of our four existing presses. Coupled to the labour cost savings are significant energy savings. The new plant will operate under the latest generation power saving devices, providing us an opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint and increase our ‘green’ credentials.

If you wish to learn more about this project – either as a supplier of goods and services or a potential customer, please contact us.

Project Stella Maris

stella_marisAs you approach the main entry of this church you are greeted with a stunning image printed on glass of “Madonna and Child” by Giovan Battista Salvi, “Il Sassoferrato”.

Madonna and Child

ColourLite Image digital ceramic glass printing by G.James offered the architect a cost effective and long term durable solution, creating a signature dimension.

“The image of the Madonna and Child is all embracing as we enter the front door of Stella Maris Catholic Church.  This age old image draws us like the Child to His mother. The curtain walls bring light and shade to the sanitary.  The two columns of glass are a symbol of water.  Water is symbolic of our Christian faith.”
– Sonya Slater, Stella Maris Catholic Church

©SBPhoto_Stella Maris Church _025“The original concept was achieved and that was the building was to be a building within the park and the park within the building. We were able to produce large pieces of glass which had high resolution that has longevity and is easy to maintain.”
– Lee & Sandra Dunne, Architect

“G.James assisted greatly at the design stage of this project. This made the process of ordering and supply of the products so much easier, with our client being thrilled with the final product.”
– Dave Stewart, NGA

Location Broadbeach, Gold Coast, QLD
Glass GJ ColourLite Image 13.52 mm

Heat Strengthened Laminate

GJ ColourLite Graphic 13.52 mm

Heat Strengthened Laminate

Architect Patrick McGuinness and Lee Dunne, Architects. Sandra Dunne, Interior Designer
Builder Stokes Wheeler
Glazier NGA
Photographer Scott Burrows

Victoria University – Printed Glass Façade

Digitally printed glass facadeThe printed design portray a design concept of human movement and bio mechanics with abstract images of a man running. Functionally the printed glass allows for light transmission while controlling thermal performance. The architect opted for digital ceramic glass printing for its short lead time, print consistency, and freedom of design where they could alter the design without the considerations of traditional screens.

The façade features 348 printed panels comprising a total area of 1600m², and utilises 24mm G.James TwinGlaze Ultra ETherm 60 glass.

ARCHITECT: John Wardle Architects

Next Generation ColourLite Technology

Cardboard CathedralG.James Glass & Aluminium has recently enhanced its ColourLite ceramic printed glass range and capability with investment in the next generation ceramic on-glass printing technology. This process is renowned internationally as one of the world’s leading digital on-glass printing systems.

Australian architects and designers now have access to a new world of high-definition, full colour glass printing capabilities, including photo-realistic images that will redefine the role of printed glass as a design showpiece for façades, feature walls, interior fit outs, signage and other architectural highlights.

On-glass digital ceramic printing differs from other printed glass technologies in its vivid richness, hardiness and imaging flexibility. The digital ceramic inks are made from microscopic glass particles and inorganic pigments that are fused to the surface of glass through the glass furnacing process. The result is an extremely durable product that is highly resistant to fading. ColourLite ceramic printed glass is a truly robust imaging system with the capacity to handle the most expressive, forceful design ideas.

Lewis Saragossi, Managing Director and Chairman of G.James, says as a local manufacturer, he and his team are delighted to introduce new ColourLite capabilities to Australian architects and designers.

“We are very excited to add this new technology to our extensive product line and offerings,” he says. “We have spent a great deal of time evaluating the various technology options to find the one that would best match the needs and demands of the Australian market as well as current and future design trends. Our customers are impressed with the short lead time, available from our three local manufacturing facilities in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.”

ColourLite Examples

This new imaging software allows designers to accurately portray single images over multiple glass panels, and there is flexibility to present different designs. For example, the printing system allows for a continuous design to cover the full extent of a building façade for maximum impact. This includes the possible use of full perforated imaging to the vision panels. The unique digital system caters for either individual or multiple panel printing without the excessive cost and limitations of a silk screen.


Whats New?

  • High definition 720dpi printing
  • Glass thickness from 4mm to 19mm
  • Automatic inline pre mix colour range
  • Sizes from 300 x200mm to 4000 x 2300mm

1. Cardboard Cathedral Christchurch New Zealand Image supplied by Dip-Tech Photography by Bridgit Anderson 2. Fletcher Hotel Amsterdam, Holland Image supplied by Dip-Tech 3. G.James Glass & Aluminium Cairns, Australia Photography by Mark McCormack

Soul Apartments, Surfers Paradise

Soul tower, Surfers Paradise - Balustrades, sliding doors and fixed windowsSoul Apartments were constructed at an exclusive location by the water at the heart of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. The tower reaches 77 storeys, including 2 levels of commercial premises at the base, one level of leisure facilities for the resident population and the tower above devoted to lifestyle apartments.

The 243m high building was designed by DBI Design PL and built by Grocon, under the direction of the Juniper Group.  The tower is situated at the end of Cavill Avenue – the popular shopping strip at Surfers Paradise. G.James Glass & Aluminium won the contract to supply the design, fabrication and installation of the glazing – including windows, doors, louvres, curtain wall, sun blades and balustrades.

The Residential Tower Facade

The residential tower consists of 288 apartments with a variety of glazing types – a curtain wall face, balconies with sliding doors and windows. The sheer curtain wall façade was produced using the 650 Series glazing system, and fitted between the concrete support columns. Sky blue laminated glass contrasts well with the white columns in the marine setting.  The majority of the project’s extrusions were powder coated (finished) in Eternity Steel – a dark finish that blended into the shadow lines.

The balcony glazing utilizes the 445 Series sliding doors, 450 Series fixed windows and 415 Series louvres. The balustrading for the tower was done with 571 Series. At the top of the building, the shape of the balustrade glass was raked from level 60 and above to support the curved aspect. The raked balustrades required special layouts and bracketry specific to the level they are installed on to make the curve regular.

The tower colour scheme contrasts vivid blue sections with predominantly white areas.  The blue areas were created using sky blue glass, the same as the sheer wall. The white areas use a Cool Grey glass. The Balustrades match the colour coding of the area they fall in, and intensify the look with a reflective coating.

Sun blades are installed on the upper portion of the tower.  The south face at the sub penthouse level has large angular alpolic blades fitted to the Juliet balconies, creating a visual feature and angled to block harsh glare.

Commercial Levels

On the lower commercial levels, 3 floors high, G.James supplied the ceramic printed toughened glass (installed by others) and balustrading. The ceramic printed toughened glass for the awnings has a creeping fern pattern.  The 571 Series balustrades for the first 3 floors were internal and external, and include the the shopping plaza. 

QuickAlly Access

QuickAlly Access Solutions (a G.James business) supplied scaffolding to replace damaged balustrade, recently.  The affected glazing occured on level 6 and level 75.  Both balustrade glazing occur on balconies with limited space to provide a cantilever, so solutions were suggested and engineered to find the best approach. Ladder beams and other Systems Scaffold products were used for a suspended platform to provide safe access to the high risk heights.

The Effect

The glazing on this project makes a stunning impression from inside and out, and could not be accomplished without a high level of design and coordination. It was a great opportunity to contribute to an iconic building.

Capturing Light in an Urban Space

natural light -elev - east This residence has recently been constructed in one of the laneways of Fortitude Valley, just outside the Brisbane CBD in Queensland. Using smart orientation and well designed glazing features, a light and airy modern house has been constructed.

This urban block with an area of about 200m², fits a house with an approximate 90m² footprint. The architect, Andrew Wiley proposed a house that is naturally lit with a spacious feel in this confined perimeter. This was done working with interior designer Benta Wiley, to maximise the effect of light play on the artworks and sculptures intended for the house. The builder, Nick Chatburn & Co, worked in conjunction with G.James Glass & Aluminium to provide the glazing for the project.


There are two façades taking advantage of open areas outside to maximise views and natural sunlight entering the 3 storey building. In particular the east elevation has a glass wall the height of the building.  This wall provides naturally light to an atrium that every room in the house opens into. Glass fins support the expanse of frameless glazing. The effect of this light well gives the house a spacious feel, enhancing the flow and communication between living spaces.

Blue glass intensifies the colouration of the sky outside – used in the atrium and sliding door/windows on the north and east faces. These large windows are made from sliding doors that enable 2100 high windows.  As a safety barrier, glass balustrade is installed to the interior. This maximises the amount of light that flows into these rooms.

Shutters sit on the outside of these windows, promote a modern feel to the houses exterior.  Internally the shutters provide an insulative shade barrier, blocking the harshest rays yet letting light filter through the gaps and cooling air that flows between them. The detailing for these doors was developed at G.James – they sit on a large structural angle that is fixed to the outside of the building to give them the floating appearance.

Natural Light Features

Natural light penetrates from one side of the house to the other with the use of glass internal doors, slit windows strategically positioned to the south and west faces, and glass roof lights. There are two of these with opaque glass on the ground level that give the office and laundry a bright lift.

The third glazed sky light is a glass canopy located at the top of the stairs, leading onto the roof. An opening at the top of a space such as the atrium draws rising hot air up and out, naturally cooling the entire house and enhancing air flow through it. The glass canopy leads to a stunning outdoor area overlooking the neighbourhood, made of self cleaning glass.  Being completely see through, it doesn’t create a visual barrier in the centre of this space, but divides the different areas up for their individual uses.

Bringing the Best of the Outdoors Inside

The entire house incorporates the enjoyment of being able to make the most of the Queensland outdoors and lifestyle – starting as you enter the house.  The front door to the property is through a wide frameless glass door.  This electronically operated pivot door opens into what seems like a courtyard complete with a well planted pond. Over the pond is another frameless sliding door operated automatically, allowing lush green plant life outside to become part of the welcoming committee. This space is in fact the inside of the atrium.

Interior Inspiration

The house is an inspiration, and a beautiful example of what can be achieved with limited space in a medium density urban area.

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Products by G.James

  • Entry – toughened clear glass into 475 series surround framing with frameless pivot door
  • Atrium – Structurally glazed laminated blue glass with fins into 450 series surround framing. (External blind by builder)
  • Hinged Internal and Back Doors – Toughened glass frameless doors into 475 series framing and glass channel hydraulic hinges.
  • Auto Sliding over fish pond – Toughened glass frameless door with 475 series glass channel surround frame.
  • Dining Window – 131 series offset sliding window, 3.6m long with a 1.2m sash.
  • Sliding window / doors – 245 series commercial sliders with blue laminated glass. Sliding shutters are made from G.James extrusions by a third party, and incorporated into the 245 sliding track. The glazing sits on large angle bracketry on the external face of the building to give it the seamless appearance.
  • Down stairs sky lights – white translucent glass structurally glazed to stainless steel pressings.
  • Glass roof / canopy – Sides are Low E  heat strengthened laminate on Stainless steel stand off.  Roof top glazing is self cleaning, Low E heat strengthened  laminate with polished SS pressings.
  • Fixed glazing – white translucent glass in 450 series framing.
  • 3 Shower screens – frameless shower glazing – one of each style -bay window, single shower screen panel and square base.
  • Extrusions finished in a stone grey powder coat.

Glass for a V.I.P. – Very Important Polar bear

G.James Glass supply for Polar Bear Cub Viewing Panel

Polar bears are one of the most popular bears that we endear ourselves to.  Large and cuddly, yet so fierce. It is with fascination and awe that we can look on these creatures and catch a glimpse into their lives. Here in Australia, you can only do this from a viewing platform that has a clear, wide and very secure glass barrier.

With news of the resident female polar bear, Leah’s, pregnancy, Sea World engaged the builders, Astute assist them with the construction of a new polar bear enclosure. G.James Glass & Aluminium were sought for the supply of the glass viewing panels.

A new addition to the Sea World Polar Bear family

Leah has been living with Nelson and Hudson (who are twin brothers) in a large enclosure at Sea World. The prospect of the cub came as a little surprise, as Leah was not known to be pregnant until late into her 8 month gestation period.  Cub twins were born in May 2013 to Leah and father, Nelson. Unfortunately, only one has made it to this age, but Henry is doing very well. A new enclosure was required as the mother and cub needed to be separated from the male bears. Leah needs to care for her offspring and males have been known to try and eat cubs.

Designing a New Enclosure

Work on a new enclosure was started immediately. The planning and layout for the enclosure began 10 years ago, but the final design still needed to be resolved.  It was done in cooperation with the polar bear keepers, Sea World officials and biology professionals to ensure the safety and well being of the new inhabitants.

The majority of the enclosure is concrete and timber with the glass viewing panel making up the majority of one wall – all products need to be non toxic. The layout was designed to be aesthetically reminiscent of a polar bears natural habitat and in keeping with the existing enclosure.  It includes two ice wells (ponds where ice can be left for exploration and play), a waterfall, chilled sea water pool, trees and three cooling misters. The pool has loops in the bottom of it which toys can be attached to for the polar bears to play with.

The polar bear entrance is a wide area that is partially hidden from the viewing area, and so rocks have been strategically positioned to discourage the polar bears from hiding in this corner.  This area was in its final stages of preparation when we visited, and mobile scaffolding made by QuickAlly Access Solutions was being used to support the workers completing the job.

The more serious aspects of the pen are an isolated waste catching system, security door locking mechanisms, and a safety escape niche. Polar Bears are never tamed. Keepers cannot be in an enclosure with them, as they are at risk of being attacked.   The security door prevents the polar bear door to open while keepers are in the enclosure, and in case of failure, the niche only fits a person, and has an alarm button in it to highlight help is required.

The risk factor when in close quarters with bears makes the viewing panel not only important for visitors, but it is the only area they can be easily watched by their keepers at eye level.  All photography for recording the animals behaviour and publicity purposes are taken through this panel.

The Viewing Panel

The type of glass used in the polar bear enclosure is specified. The glazing has to be thick and secure enough to ensure the safety of the polar bears, and visitors. Four layers of glass, laminated together ensure this. The glass is around 40mm thick and each of the 8 viewing panes weigh 495kg. Polar bears will scratch at the glass, and these scratches need to be polished out every couple of years. The edges of the glass, and gaps in between need to be specially designed. Polar Bears will test edges and explore gaps, so they are constructed to minimise their ability to grip and claw areas.

On completion of the enclosure, officials from the Australian Institute of Marine Science inspect the final result. Any potential hazards or dangerous surfaces are highlighted and addressed prior to the polar bears being introduced to their new surrounds.

The Cubs Entrance to Public Life

Leah has been monitored daily since the birth of her cubs. She was living in her “maternity ward” and exercising in a special enclosure for the polar bears until September. Her new home was opened to her in mid September, and it was expected she would explore it for a week or two before she and the cub were comfortable with their new surroundings.  It has since been opened to the public.

G.James Glass supply for Polar Bear Cub Viewing Panel

In Comparison to a Wild Life

In the wild, a mother will lie in a dormant state (similar to hibernation) in a den made inland of snow and ice for about the second half of the gestation period. After birth, the cubs are reared in the den for the first couple of months of their lives before being introduced to the world. The cubs have about 2 weeks to gain their strength and learn to walk over distance and run before journeying to the sea. They spend between 1 ½ and 2 ½ years with their mother before going out on their own.

Click on the images for more Polar Bear facts.

Guest Post: Comparing the energy efficiency of ‘Esky’ buildings to passively designed buildings

Breezway Louvres

This month’s guest post is by Clinton Dickens of Breezway, and discusses energy efficiency of passively designed buildings.

Years ago I attended a week long training course in the conference centre of a large hotel right on the beachfront. The food was pretty good but the conference room felt a bit like a dungeon! There were no windows at all and one of the presenters had this cruel theory that making the air conditioning extra cold would ensure that no-one fell asleep during the after-lunch sessions.A few years later I attended another conference at a different venue that was also only 100m from the ocean. In contrast, this venue had windows looking out to the ocean and we could enjoy the fresh ocean breezes.

These two different conference venues do a pretty good job of illustrating two of the main schools of thought regarding the best way to design energy efficient buildings. The first school of thought is sometimes called the ‘Esky’ approach where buildings are tightly sealed and well insulated to improve the efficiency of the air conditioning systems (just like ice boxes seal tightly and are well insulated to keep the ice frozen). Because windows are generally small, or of a type that does not open, these buildings generally require the air conditioning systems to run whenever the building is occupied. Situations where the ‘Esky’ approach is the most sensible building design includes city centres and industrial areas where the combination of noise and air pollution make natural ventilation impractical.

The other approach is known as ‘passive design’ and includes close attention being paid to things like shading, adjusting the building’s orientation and maximising natural ventilation so that the building is naturally comfortable. Passive design can still incorporate air conditioning systems for use during extreme weather but good design can minimise the frequency of air conditioning being required. Passive design is well suited to schools, homes, resorts, suburban offices and apartments.

Breezway Louvres

The openable windows required to maximise natural ventilation in passively designed buildings generally do not seal quite as tightly as the fixed windows generally used in ‘Esky’ style buildings. Therefore the air conditioning systems in passively designed buildings will generally run less efficiently than the air conditioning systems in ‘Esky’ style buildings. The big question then is whether a system that runs efficiently, but for many hours per day uses more or less total electricity than a system which runs less efficiently, but for few hours per day.

In an attempt to answer this question, Breezway commissioned a study to compare the annual electricity required for the cooling and heating of two identical buildings, one of which had fixed windows to maximise air conditioning efficiency, and the other had Altair Louvre Windows to allow some of the cooling requirements of the building to be met using natural ventilation at the expense of reduced efficiency when the air conditioning system was used.

The modelling showed that the benefits of the great ventilation through the open Altair Louvre Windows far outweighed the reductions in air conditioning efficiency and the building with Altair Louvre Windows used almost a quarter less electricity over the course of a year to cool and heat the building.

The Breezway Technical Bulletin “The Impact of Air Infiltration And Natural Ventilation On Annual Air Conditioning Load” contains more details on the modelling study.


All texts, pictures and tables by Breezway unless stated differently.

Clinton Dickens is a Product Manager for Breezway. This article was originally published at Breezway.

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Bushfire Risk, Assessment and Glazing Solutions

Australia has a love hate relationship with bushfires. It has been so much a part of the natural history here it has become an endemic part of existence; without bushfire certain plants wont propagate, although the rest of anything living, fears it. It’s just one of the many parts of the Australian lifestyle that needs to be taken in a serious light – and be prepared for.

Assessing Bushfire Risk

There have been major developments in ways to protect in the case of bushfire – from household escape plans, to continuing technology in fire fighting strategies and more recently since dramatic fire events, building design. Australian Standards have developed AS 3959, and as part of that, a system that determines your Bushfire Attack Level or BAL. In the BAL, it gives a provision for products in the building industry to be rated according to their resistance to bushfire attack.

The BAL rating for your situation can be determined by referring to AS3959 or guides provided by your local services. NSW Rural Fire Service has a comprehensive user guide as an Application Kit to the BAL for reference. You will attain one of six rated categories. Your risk is assessed by looking at type and proximity of vegetation, and the slope of the land your property is on. Your calculated BAL rating is used to select building products. Products will be rated with the same figures, offering protection for that level of BAL rating.

BAL Rated Glazing Options

G.James Glass & Aluminium has developed a BAL manual to guide people through making the right decision when looking at glazing products. It outlines the G.James glazing suites that should be used for buildings in the following high risk categories:

  • BAL 19
  • BAL 29
  • BAL 40

The G.James BAL manual outline the glazing system, glass type, hardware, gaskets and mesh requirements for the individual systems according to your BAL rating. As an example, if you have a rating of BAL 29, and need a double hung window, we will suggest you use the following:

The 136 Series Double Hung Window with a minimum of 5mm toughened glass, standard mohair, glazing vinyls and other hardware, and external screens require a fire retardant spline with aluminium or steel mesh with an aperture of less than 2mm. This is an example only, and you need to confirm details with G.James staff that can ensure these are the products you need for your individual situation.

Your selection of glazing should not be limited. G.James have BAL glazing solutions for sliding doors, louvres, double hung windows, fixed windows, hinged doors, bifold doors, awning windows, casement windows and sliding windows. When you talk to G.James personnel, they can guide you through the options.

Requirement for Buildings

There is no requirement to alter existing building materials, but if you plan on building or renovating, you will need to implement the recommendations of the the BAL report. It is a wise idea to be aware of the rating your property would get even if you aren’t looking at building in the near future. Finding out the weak points, you can make minor adaptions to the building materials or surrounding vegetation to give yourself a better chance in case fire ever threatens your neighbourhood.

Be aware of the different ways you can keep knowledgeable about risks in your area. Know your local brigade and SES, having their contact details on hand. Check your states fire services for more information.

During recent fire incidents when the heat was on, communication became difficult due to cut lines, and websites being bombarded and going down. The NSW Rural Fire Service had a great system of reporting regular updates on their face book feed. Know where to keep up to date on the latest details and leave emergency lines free for those that require it.

Be prepared and stay safe.

Glass By Definition – Part 1

Glass Bike - Glass Definitions - G.James Glass and AluminiumThis article will assist in demystifying the types of architectural glass used in buildings. The names we use for the different glass types are generally attributed to some part of the manufacturing process. In part one of this two part series, we look at basic glass products to highly processed glazing options.

Some History on Architectural Glass

Since clear glass was being first made in about 100 CE, in Alexandria, the Romans began using it architecturally. This began the long list of manufacturing methods and specialised names attributed to the different types of processes – Broad sheet, Crown, Polished Plate, the list goes on. In 1848, a crude form of float glass was patented by inventor Henry Bessemer by pouring glass onto liquid tin, but it was very expensive. It wasn’t until 1959 that this idea for float glass was made in a practical method – a discovery by Sir Alistair Pilkington that now dominates the worldwide commercial production of architectural glass products.

Basic Float Glass Products

The differences between the basic glass types are formed in the glass making “float process”. Soda, lime and silica as well as broken glass called cullet are the major components used in the manufacture of glass. These components are mixed into a batch before being heated to approx. 1500°C in a furnace. The molten glass is then floated on a “tin bath” –  a layer of molten tin.   As the glass begins to cool it solidifies and is drawn out of the float tank in one continuous ribbon.  The glass enters the annealing or cooling lehr – it is the controlled cooling (annealing) of the glass that allows it to be cut and further processed.

Float Glass or Annealed Glass

These terms are interchangeable and refer to the respective glass manufacturing processes.  They describe glass in its basic form, before secondary manufacture.  In a general sense, Annealed Glass is used when comparing heat treated glass to non heat treated glass.

Clear Glass

Clear Glass is a piece of transparent float glass, typically uncoloured.

Tinted Glass

Tints are glass with metal oxides added to give it a specific hue. The tint or colouration is through the body of the glass and therefore darkens with an increase in thickness.  Apart from aesthetics, tinted glass is used for reducing heat gain through the glazing system. Common tints include green, blue, grey and bronze.

Super Tints

Super Tints are designed to reduce heat gain while allowing the maximum amount of light through making it a performance product. The heat absorbing qualities also make them prone to thermal stress (caused by temperature difference), and a thermal safety assessment is recommended to determine if heat treating is required (see Secondary Manufacture below). Colours include Azuria, Super Green and Super Blue.

On Line Coated Glass

Sometimes referred to as pyrolytic glass, metallic oxides are deposited onto the glass surface in the float glass tank during manufacture. These coatings can increase the performance of the glass with a range of reflective and low E products available. They are extremely hard and durable, and can be used on their own or heat treated without affecting the coating.

Low Iron Glass

The green colouration in glass is due to the iron content found in silica or sand. Low Iron Glass has less than 1/10th of the iron content of standard glass and are considered ultra clear. Low Iron Glass is ideal for use in display cases, painted glass applications like splash backs or in areas where high clarity is required.

Deli Bend or Curved Glass (Annealed)

Glass can be curved as float, by laying the glass over a mould before annealing begins. It is commonly used to make butcher or delicatessen benches (hence the name), furniture and curved architectural glass that is to be laminated.

Processed Glass

Glass requires finishing before it can be used in location, or sent for secondary manufacture. Commonly, this includes cutting to size, and edging, but there are many alternatives in both these fields.


Almost all glass will require cutting to the job size requirements, but this process also includes cuts to produce as irregular shapes, such as raked windows, shower screens with cut outs for fittings, glass walls needing spider fittings and custom profiling.

  • Various regular and irregular shapes required are cut with a CNC machine.
  • V Grooved cuts in the face of glass, or brilliant cut, provides an alternate decorative finish.
  • Drilling – Holes from 5mm to 100mm can be drilled into the glass, but the hole diameter must be equal to or greater than the glass thickness. Holes can include a countersunk rim. The hole edging has a ground finish.
  • Shaping – glass can be cut at special shapes or profiles to custom requirements.

There are edge clearances that are relative to the glass thickness for the size and location of cut outs and holes drilled into a sheet of glass. Please contact your manufacturer for exact positioning limitations.


Edging provides a range of options for the perimeter of the glass to suit its application. Different edges are applied for ease of installation, to assist with further processing or to achieve a look.  One common process is arrissing – a term used to describe the method used to grind the sharp edges of glass to make them safer to handle.

  • Plain cut glass, is called Clean Cut
  • Glass to be toughened requires Rough Arris edge work – arrissed edges with a rough ground finish.
  • Smooth Arris is similar to the rough arris, but with a smoother finish to the edge.
  • Flat Grind or Flat Smooth edges are machined smooth edges suitable for silicone butt jointed applications.
  • Flat Polished is the neatest finish used for exposed edges of glass.
  • Mitred Glass has a 45 degree bevel on one side with an edge finish suitable for mitred silicone butt joints.
  • Round and Polished edge work gives the glass a curved edge for exposed perimeters.

Secondary Manufacture

Secondary Manufacture takes the various types of float glass and changes the properties in a range of production processes.

Heat Treated Glass

A general term used to describe the process of further strengthening or testing glass in a second heating and cooling process. Its is the way or speed in which the glass is cooled gives the glass stronger properties, and length of heating to test the glass.

Heat Strengthened Glass

Heat strengthening is a treatment of glass that induces a high compression layer on the surface.  This is done by cooling the reheated glass at a specific rate. This process makes glass twice as strong as annealed glass, although it is not considered safety glass.

Toughened or Tempered Glass

Toughening glass also induces a high compression layer in a similar process to heat strengthened glass. To toughen the glass, the heated glass is cooled very quickly. This makes it 4 to 5 times stronger than annealed glass of the same thickness. Certain thicknesses are considered A grade safety glass – refer to standard AS 1288.

Heat Soaked Glass

Toughened glass can spontaneously shatter due to small imperfections in glass called Nickel Sulphide inclusions. They are rare, but undetectable, and so, to ensure the glass will retain its form, heat soak testing is done. The glass is heated for a period of time which induces the Nickel Sulphide inclusions to rupture if they are present.  Glass that passes the test, has a markedly reduced possibility of failure once in location.

Curved Glass (toughened)

Curved Glass that requires toughening is bent in the toughening process.  A series of rams fold the glass to the desired shape. Tighter corners and soft curves are achievable.

Off Line Coating

High performance glass has a coating applied to its surface. Different looks can also be achieved with colour and reflectivity. Although large steps in technology over the last couple of years have increased the durability of off line coatings, some are quite delicate, and cannot be heat treated.  Others need to be used in an IGU, so the coated side of the glass is sealed from the elements and physical damage.

Laminated Glass

Laminates are made of two or more pieces of glass permanently bonded together with interlayers. Interlayers are made up of various materials to give the completed glass additional properties, for example, acoustic, colour and UV eliminating. Laminated glass is considered A grade safety glass.


IGUs consist of two panels of glass fitted together with a hermetically sealed air space in between to provide an insulative layer protecting against thermal and acoustic issues. The air in the gap is dried to prevent condensation issues.

Other common glass terms

The following terms are not processes done to manufacture glass, but are descriptions of how they are classed, rated and used.

Double Glazing

Double glazing is when two pieces of glass are used with an air gap in between. Special framing suites with glazing pockets front and back are considered double glazed, as are jockey sashes and IGUs.

Monolithic Glass

Monolithic glass is a single pane of glass as opposed to laminated, double glazed or insulated glass units.

Safety Glass

Safety glass is processed glass that is manufactured to satisfy the requirements of AS/NZS 2208 for safety glazing. Laminated and toughened glass are rated Grade A. Wired glass is rated Grade B.

Security Glass

Security Glass is designed to repel violent attack. They are usually combinations of laminated glass that incorporate toughened or polycarbonate combinations. They are not necessarily considered Safety Glass.

Part two to be released in November –

I hope you found these descriptions useful. In part two of this article, thermal glazing terms and properties will be discussed. It will include the terms used to measure and describe performance, what basis the measurements are made from and a comparison of data commonly used – glass only vs whole of window data.