Innovation in glass

Pilkington UK recently won the Innovative Solution category of the glass industry’s Glass Focus 2018 awards, organised by the British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation.

Sponsored by Glass Technology Services (GTS), the award was presented in recognition of Pilkington’s AviSafe development – a coated glass that aims to prevent bird/window strikes.

Developed by Pilkington’s UK-based research and development technology centre, Pilkington AviSafe uses a patterned UV-enhanced coating to make the glass visible to birds while maintaining the optical transmission of the glass.

Simon Slade, a keen ornithologist based at the R&D technical centre, said: “Millions of birds die each year when they fly into glass in homes, offices, and bus shelters. This is a growing challenge for the glass industry, architects and specifiers.

“Reflection strikes, when birds fly toward something reflected by the glass such as the sky or vegetation, are the main cause of the problem; some existing products are effective, but reduce the transmission of the glass and the view from inside the building.”

Although Pilkington AviSafe has not yet been commercially released, it has been tested on jumbo plates of glass, and Pilkington expects the coating to be applied in other applications including solar control, safety and security, and noise control.

Philip Marsh, business development manager at GTS, presented the award and said: “Congratulations to Pilkington UK on this innovation, which through research comparing human and avian vision in the visible and ultraviolet spectrum enabled a patterned coating to be developed and applied to the glass that is visible to birds without any significant detriment to the aesthetic properties of facades and glazing.”