SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2015 > Fire Viewing Windows

Whether round or angular, more than 1,000 different geometries of SCHOTT ROBAX® fireplace viewing panels create entirely new design ­options for fireplace manufacturers and enthusiasts. Photo: SCHOTT

Angular Design is very popular

The results from a consumer study are clear: those interested in fireplaces fall in love with angular bent fire viewing windows made of a single piece of glass-ceramic. SCHOTT ROBAX® makes these dreams come true thanks to advanced bending technology.

Thilo Horvatitsch

Special fireplace windows inspire fireplace lovers and make them more willing to reach deeper into their pockets to better indulge in their passion. This conclusion can be drawn from a recent survey of 300 consumers who plan to purchase a new fireplace in the next five years. As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of glass-ceramic fire viewing windows, SCHOTT commissioned this survey that was conducted in November 2014 by an independent market research firm.

The survey showed that 90 percent of the respondents consider a fire viewing window to be important or even very important. What is even more interesting, however, is that design and the style of the viewing panel are also criteria that are to no small extent relevant to the purchase. The participants in the survey were presented with flat, curved and angular bent panels. At the end, the majority of the respondents seemed to be particularly convinced of the angular bent fire viewing windows made of one piece of ROBAX® glass-ceramic as presented by SCHOTT. 44 percent of the fireplace lovers ultimately chose this product. In contrast, 25 percent preferred curved and 17 percent flat fire viewing windows. 12 percent favored viewing windows with multiple flat panels that were positioned next to each other in an angular manner.
glass-ceramic  Robax®
A study shows that 44 percent of those interested in purchasing a fireplace prefer angular shaped viewing panels made of a single piece of glass-ceramic like this ROBAX® panel. Photo: SCHOTT
In the eyes of the respondents, angular shaped fire viewing windows made of one piece of glass-ceramic were most popular, due not only to attributes such as aesthetics and a more modern appearance, but also because of functional benefits, for instance easier cleaning and higher safety and robustness. But that's not all. According to the survey, most of the people interested are willing to invest more in a fireplace that comes with this type of viewing window. Approximately 80 percent of this group would spend up to 500 euros more and 20 percent even up to 1,000 euros more.

”We are pleased to see these innovative window shapes meet with such high acceptance. This also suggests that fireplace lovers are increasingly looking for a powerful fire experience – even if it costs more. Our product line supports exactly this trend,” notes Isabel Eymael, Marketing Manager for SCHOTT ROBAX®. ”As early as 1979, SCHOTT was significantly involved in the change from cast-iron to transparent glass-ceramic fireplace doors. Today, the transition from multi-piece fire viewing windows to angular shaped one-piece glass-ceramic panels is clearly the logical development,” she adds.

Improved bending process, larger sizes

This is all based on a special bending technology that has now been optimized. With this technology, it is possible to produce fire viewing windows made of a single piece that have up to several parallel edges. ”We have used our 20 years of experience and followed our customers' preferences to advance this technology. We test all requested shapes and are now able to produce new, larger and more complex one-piece panel formats,” explains Ruban Harikantha, Head of Marketing and Sales for SCHOTT ROBAX®.

Now even the largest stock size with a stretched length of approximately two meters can be formed in an angular shape. SCHOTT can produce more than 1,000 different geometries. This diversity offers completely new options for fireplace designers and manufacturers and gives fireplace lovers the best possible panoramic views of their fires. <