SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2010 > Profile Glass Tubing

Photo: perfecta

Frame Systems Made of Glass

Patented direct drawing from SCHOTT-Rohrglas GmbH results in an attractive window concept.

Michael Bonewitz

A company based in Swabia, Germany, ”perfecta Fenster Vertriebs- und Montage GmbH”, has brought a product to market maturity that is designed to set completely new aesthetic accents in the area of window construction, help windows retain their value and offer greater durability. The product is called glyon and it is a form-matched outer shell made of glass that is mounted onto the outside of window frames. ”Time and time again, our customers have pointed to the fact that their window panes are just fine even after decades, but the frames look weather beaten,” explains Franz-Josef Leix, Managing Director of perfecta.

”If the pane is so weather resistant, then why don’t we just make the frame out of glass too?”

Managing Director of perfecta

Conturax® Pro profiled tubes can be further processed to the highest precision. For instance, they can be cut down to the next millimeter using a laser, drilled into or be polished. Photo: SCHOTT/J. Schleicher
Together with project developers, perfecta decided to start working on a strategy for a new window generation. ”If the pane is so weather resistant, then why don’t we just make the frame out of glass too, we asked ourselves,” Leix explains. He then decided to contact SCHOTT. The Bavarian subsidiary SCHOTT-Rohrglas GmbH in Mitterteich had developed a unique new technique for drawing glass and applied for a patent. For the first time ever, it was possible to manufacture triangles, squares and hexagons using the drawing method, and not just circular tubes. Their surface is highly resistant to scratches and impervious to cleaning agents. Not even rapid shifts in temperature cause any problems for profiled tubes from SCHOTT. After all, they are weatherproof. Other characteristics include high planarity, a high-quality surface finish, dimensional accuracy for precise workmanship and manufacturing with the help of a continuous patented manufacturing technique.

”Our product comes in a broad spectrum of shapes and sizes. This means customized angular dimensions can be realized. In addition, profiles can be applied to its surface,” explains Hermann Tietze, responsible for sales of technical tubing at SCHOTT-Rohrglas. The profiled tube Conturax® Pro was the starting material. SCHOTT and perfecta worked together closely on refining the idea of the frame. In the meantime, pentagonal profile tubes are used from which individual segments are cut out. Here, perfecta uses a laser cutting machine developed by SCHOTT. A profile rail twelve meters in length is needed to complete one window. A profiled tube 4,000 millimeters in length with a wall three millimeters thick weighs nine kilograms. 5 x 4 meter profile rails can then be manufactured from this.

Customers who opt for the new windows get to see wooden, plastic or aluminum frames inside their rooms, depending on what they prefer. The glass shells that are mounted onto the outside of the window with the help of an adapter are stove enameled in the desired color. ”The curvature of the glass profile results in a phenomenal depth effect and unique brilliance,” explains Franz-Josef Leix. ”This gives us an extremely attractive product that fascinates even those customers who don’t normally care that much about design,” he adds.

The premier product was successfully introduced at the International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva and a construction exhibition in Dubai. Now, it is to be gradually introduced to the market. Efforts aimed at further developing it for use in various types of bonds, double door or two-part windows, for instance, are underway.