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  • Writer's pictureMr Whitehorn

Instrument Glasses | Functions of Glass

Whether in construction (buildings), automotive (cars) or transport (buses and trains), the

window area is constantly increasing. Because apart from transparency, glass has many other

properties that can be combined to make it a truly multifunctional material.

Instrument Glasses, glass manufacturer in Hertfordshire, explains the functions of glass and why it’s the best for versatility.

Comfort and energy control

Coated glass, whether laminated or assembled into double or triple glazing, gives increased

protection against cold (by reflecting heat back into the building) and against heat (by reflecting

away the rays of the sun). In fact both functions are generally combined, thus assuring not only

better energy control but also protection of the environment. Such types of glass make an

important contribution to "zero energy" buildings while letting in daylight everywhere. In the

automotive industry they reduce heating in the passenger cell by blocking out the sun's infrared


Active glass with variable light transmission switches from clear to dark at the touch of a button.

The amount of light and heat getting into the car interior can be constantly varied to suit the

needs or the moods of the moment.

Safety and health

Laminated or toughened safety glass guards against injury and protects property against

vandalism or break-in. Fire-resistant glass protects against fire by reducing or even entirely

blocking heat radiation for anything from 30 to 120 minutes, depending on its composition.

Acoustic insulation glass protects against external noise nuisance and contributes towards the

health and peace of mind of the building occupants. Finally, anti-UV glass helps to prevent skin



Glass enhances building exteriors and the design of vehicles. Inside it contributes light and

space and permits personalisation. In fact there are endless decorative possibilities for

combining the aesthetic with the practical: glass can be mirrored, lacquered, screen-printed,

patterned, electroluminescent, anti-reflection, highly transparent.

Sustainable energy

In laminated form incorporating photovoltaic cells, glass is able to generate electricity while

letting in light. The amounts of energy and light can be varied according to the number and

arrangement of the cells within the glass. This offers an economic solution when such glass is

used to replace structural elements (e.g. roof panels) rather than being added to them.

Electricity can also be generated by mirror glass focusing light onto a central element connected

to a generator.

Infotainment and communication

Glass with built-in LEDs without visible wiring can be used to create images, for example in

signs (illuminated logos) or even animated images on building facades. Another application is

head-up displays for cars, where the instruments appear to float in the windscreen. Glass with

built-in antennae permits a range of services (traffic information, entertainment etc.) and

connects between one vehicle and another or between the vehicle and roadside infrastructure.

Finally, the protection and light transmission properties of glass come into their own in high-tech

touchscreen applications.

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