Intelligent laminating film

Tony Mallick, RegaLead’s market manager for Glass Processing, reports on why evguard EVA laminating film is becoming the choice of architects, and explains what the UK’s glass industry can learn from global developments.

I recently returned from the annual global network meeting for distributors of evguard at the manufacturing facility of Folienwerk Wolfen based near Leipzig, Germany. During the two days, as delegates we got sight of new evguard products and had the opportunity to share information and industry insights from our own regions. The meeting is always a great chance to expand my knowledge of the products and applications, so I can share exciting and relevant, new laminating solutions with customers across the UK.

EVA has seen a huge growth in the UK in recent years, with its popularity driven by changes in legislation and relatively low start up costs. With its resistance to moisture penetration, easy storage parameters, and simple processing characteristics, it is now being used across a broad range of interior and exterior architectural applications. However, the UK market has lots to learn to ensure that the correct glass construction is being specified and installed.

This is essential to consider if potential costs to replace glass in the future are to be avoided.

Much of this understanding starts with testing and certification. Most in the glass industry will be familiar with the basic requirements for laminated glass including EN356, EN12600, and EN12543. However, for extra peace of mind that the EVA products being used are genuinely fit for purpose, companies like Folienwerk Wolfen have gone further to support UK customers with additional testing and certification.

Barrier testing BS6180. A test was recently performed to understand how evguard performs when laminated and installed into a floor-mounted balustrade channel. The tests were conducted at the premises of CR Laurence and observed by John Colvin of JCGC. The results were positive, with evguard outperforming standard PVB, with excellent deflection values being recorded for 0.74kN/m and 1.5kN/m barrier loadings.

Shear Modulus – prEN 16613. Shear Modulus is a value given to the interlayer to show how it performs when subjected to vertical loadings under a range of temperatures. It is essential to consider this when calculating which glass construction to use. As we all know, glass can reach very high temperatures for prolonged period of times, and if shear strength is not adequate, there is a greater possibility of glass failure and potential danger to people within the vicinity of the installation.

evguard provides low deflection and high shear modulus. Thus, for architectural calculations, overall laminate thickness can be reduced significantly. evguard, unlike PVB, offers safety properties in a broad temperature range, not only at room temperature, but also at temperatures above 50 °C.

Acoustic testing ISO10140-2. Often due to the location of installations, sound reduction needs to be included within the specification and we learned in Germany that evguard achieves an outstanding sound reduction of 37db with just a 44.2 assembly. This completely outperforms other EVAs on the market and standard PVB, which only achieves 34db. Of course, specialist sound reducing PVB can be used, but this much more expensive.

Yellow Haze Index. Since our attendance at Glass Processing Days earlier in the year in Finland, we have been approached by a number of architects and specifiers about concerns that they have regarding yellowing. Discolouring of EVA happens when glass is exposed to weathering (UV) and can result in huge costs to replace and install new glass. Thanks to the due diligence of Folienwerk Wolfen, evguard has been accredited to ASTM standards, showing no sign of discolouration after 3,000 hours of exposure to UV and humidity.

Salt spray test. Laminated glass is now being used in more demanding environments such as salt-laden coastal and marine applications. In accordance with ASTM B117, evguard demonstrated excellent corrosion resistance following 3,000 hours of exposure to the test conditions. It is worth noting that the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology (CWCT) recommends that only non-corrosive materials should be used within these coastal locations.

The most exciting part of the conference for me, is always when we start hearing about new products and solutions that I’m able to bring back to the UK for RegaLead customers.

One such innovation is a high performance, structural interlayer, called MPE. Now available by the roll or metre from stock at our HQ in Manchester, we’re delighted to offer MPE. This specialist and printable, modified polyester insert is designed for heavy impact resistance or for projects that require additional safety and strength if the glass is broken in situ.

While ionoplast products have traditionally been the leader of high strength laminates, Folienwerk Wolfen has developed MPE for customers wanting additional stability to laminating structures which, when used in conjunction with evguard, have passed the most rigorous of test standards.

Also new to the UK market from RegaLead is evguard UV380. Developed in recognition that every glass application requires different levels of protection against ultraviolet radiation, part of the solar radiation spectrum with wavelengths falling between 100nm and 400nm, UV380 offers an increased UV cut-off to provide higher protection. It is ideal for specialist applications such as museums or other locations that are exposed to prolonged UV.

And finally, colour. In addition to the new black, which is perfect for audio visual equipment and other glass furniture, it’s now possible to manufacture evguard in any RAL colour.

Available made to order (subject to minimum orders) this broadening of the portfolio of colours on evguard perfectly dovetails with RegaLead’s mission to add decoration and value to glass.

Described as the intelligent laminating film, glass laminated with evguard already offers a unique product with a high safety factor, perfectly suitable for all applications, inside and out. Its properties also make it a perfect solution to manufacture decorative glass using inserts such as stone veneer, wood veneer mesh, fabrics, etc. These latest developments by Folienwerk Wolfen, and partners like RegaLead, pay testament to our combined commitment to continue to be pioneers within this market.