Civil Engineer / Content Writer
Glass is one of most the popular material which is used in construction. Nowadays glass is used extensively in doors, windows, façades, interior partitions, balustrades, railings for stairs and balconies, etc. Glass can be easily manufactured and cut in different shapes and sizes, which makes it more flexible and versatile.
Wired glass is used since many decades as a safety glass as it prevents glass from falling during fire emergencies. Glass is reinforced with wire mesh to make it more fire-resistant and durable as compared to float glass. Here we have given information on wired glass, its application and pros and cons, which homeowners must know before buying glass for their house.
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Wired glass, which is also known as Georgian wired glass, was invented by Frank Shuman. Steel wire mesh is placed in the glass during the manufacturing process. The wire mesh acts as a reinforcement. If the glass breaks due to impact, the pieces of glass are held by wire reinforcement in position.
Wired glass has high resistance to fire as it does not break when exposed to fire. Due to such property, it is also called fire-rated glass or fireproof glass. Thus in areas which are prone to fire, people prefer to install wire glass windows rather than float glass windows. The wire mesh is available in square grids as well as diamond grids.
Size & Thickness:
Wired glass is available in thickness ranging from 6 mm to 19 mm. The standard size of glass sheets is 1370 mm x 1370 mm. The maximum size of wired glass sheet available is 1981 mm x 2540 mm.
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The pros and cons of wired glass are as follows:
Pros/Advantages of Wired Glass:
- Due to wire mesh present in the glass, wired glass blocks fire and some to enter the building for some time. This provides people sufficient time to escape from the building and thus it helps in preventing life damage in case of fire emergencies.
- Wired glass can break through impact, but the fragments of glass stick to the wire mesh and hence help in preventing a burglary or a theft.
- It has high resistance to thermal and electric shock as compared to float glass.
- Wired glass is less expensive as compared to other safety glass such as laminated glass, so it is used as a cheaper fire-rated glass or cheaper safety glass.
- Wired glass can also be used in the form of tinted glass and patterned glass. Hence it can also impart decorative aesthetic to the windows.
Cons/Disadvantages of Wired Glass:
- Most people think that the placing of wire into the glass makes it stronger, but in fact, the wire in the glass actually weakens the glass from the strength standpoint and makes it more susceptible to breaking.
- Upon breakage, the sharp wires in the glass are exposed, which may serious injuries to persons in the vicinity of the glass. Hence it is not recommended to install wire glass windows areas where kids are frequently visiting such as schools, institutions, vicinity of gardens, etc.
- If a clear view is desired, wired glass cannot be used as wires in the glass obstructs and distorts the view.
- Wired glass does not have high durability in areas which are exposed to more rain and humidity, as the wire in the glass will rust eventually.
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- It is widely used in places where nominal fire resistance properties are required.
- Wired glass is used in windows and partitions of schools, institutions, public buildings, government offices, hotels, etc.
- Wired glass is generally installed in windows of fire escape routes of the structure, to gain time for evacuating people in case of fire emergencies.
- Windows in stairwells and in hallways are prime examples of emergency exits where fire rated wire glass is a smart addition.
- It is used in roofs, skylights, fire resisting doors and windows.