The UK’s first offline glass coating line has reached an historic landmark this month.
The 80-metre-long magnetron coater at Saint-Gobain Glass‘ manufacturing site at Eggborough has produced 100 million square metres of coated glass; the vast majority of which is energy efficient SGG Planitherm Total+, destined for the UK door and window market.
The glass coater became operational in 2004 and now produces up to 10 million sq m of glass each year. The coater produces 10 different coated glass products including solar control, self-cleaning and thermally efficient glass for commercial and residential buildings.
Ian Blatherwick, Manufacturing Manager Process, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the production expertise that we’ve built up over the past 14 years. The coater has been constantly maintained and upgraded as we’ve innovated and developed new high-performance coatings to meet the changing demands of the market. We now produce some of the highest performing glasses in the UK today ranging from 3mm to 12mm in thickness and sizes from 2.25m x 3.2m to 6m x 3.2m.”
Offline coatings are added after the basic float (or annealed) glass has been manufactured and cut. They result in a highly durable coating and has the capacity for extensive processability including bending and toughening.
The magnetron coater uses a technique known as sputtering to apply dielectric layers of material to the glass under vacuum conditions. This offline process allows a much wider range of formulas to be used, including those with reflective properties needed for solar protection and the most energy efficient forms of Low E glass. The result is a nanoscopically thin layer of coating which gives the glass superior clarity and transparency. Offline coated glass has a much more neutral and transparent appearance.