Monolithic Glass

Monolithic Glass

Monolithic glass (i.e. glass that consists of a single ply), more commonly defined float glass, is a colourless glass that was launched on the market at the end of the 1950s. As the name suggests, it is made by “floating” molten glass on a bed of molten tin to produce a glass sheet. This is then cooled in controlled conditions to eliminate any inner tension. The floating process enables glass of uniform thickness to be produced that has flat surfaces and is colourless. Float glass is available in thicknesses ranging from 2 mm to 19 mm and is the basic material used in all subsequent glass processing operations.

The most commonly used thicknesses are:
  • For doors and windows: 4 - 5 - 6 mm.
  • For "all glass" doors: 8 - 10 mm.
  • For shower cubicles: 6 - 8 - 10 mm.
  • For shelves, mantles and coffee tables: 6 - 8 - 10 mm.
  • For table tops: 10 - 12 - 15 - 19 mm.
  • For vanity unit tops and kitchen worktops: 10 - 12 - 15 mm.
Vetrerie Dal Pian uses glass in different colours and finishes, for example clear, extra-clear, tinted, mirror, reflective and satin finished to produce a variety of aesthetic effects. Other types of glass used by Vetrerie Dal Pian, with features that go beyond pure aesthetics, are ceramic and reflective glass.
Commonly defined as "ordinary" transparent glass, clear float glass is generally used for windows, doors, tables and mirrors. It has a slight greenish tinge determined by the presence of iron oxide; the thicker the glass the more pronounced this colouring appears.

Known as extra-clear, or erroneously as crystal*, this glass is practically colourless as it has undergone a special procedure to eliminate around 90% of the iron oxide. In order to produce extra-clear glass a selection of silica is made at the start of the process. This type of glass is more expensive, however it also gives superior aesthetic results due to its increased ability to convey light and outstanding results in terms of colour. This type of glass is popular in the medium- to high-end furnishing segment, especially when varnished, enamelled or screen-printed, precisely because of its superb colour and contrast effects.

*N.B.: Crystal glass (or simply crystal) has a lead content of up to 35% and is used for the creation of artistic objects such as highly valuable glasses. It is harder but also more fragile than other types of glass and is appreciated mainly because of its superb brilliance. Bohemia Crystal is crystal glass to which potash has been added.

Coloured glass is produced by adding metallic salts such as the oxides of iron, copper, chromium, cobalt, etc… It must not be confused with varnished, screen-printed or digitally printed glass, or glass decorated by hand or using enamelling techniques. These are all erroneously defined as coloured glass, but are basically clear glass that has undergone one of a number of colour application techniques to custom decorate the glass surface.
Mirror or silvered glass takes it name from the layer of silver adhering to the surface of a sheet of glass, which causes an optical reflection visible on the opposite surface to the one treated. Mirrors can be produced in a safety version by applying a safety coating which, if the mirror is broken, keeps the glass splinters attached to it thereby avoiding potential injuries.
Glass that is reflective on one side and clear on the other (“glare control”) is produced by coating the surface with a layer of metal oxides. The effect can be increased or reduced by increasing or reducing the thickness of the coating. This type of glass is used to provide large offices with natural light whilst preventing them from overheating: if the sun’s rays were not filtered, the temperature in fact would rise (mainly due to infrared rays). Using this system however around 30% of the sun’s energy is immediately reflected while 40% crosses the glass. The remaining 30% is absorbed by the glass itself, which heats up temporarily, and then transmits part of this heat inside and part outside. The demand for reflective glass comes mainly from the building trade; Vetrerie Dal Pian processes and customises reflective glass for the furnishing sector, particularly for office partition walls, interior doors, stairs, balustrades, and for creating special aesthetic effects in a range of other furnishing accessories.
Satin finish treatment is a process that consists of pouring special acids evenly over the glass surface. The effect achieved confers the typical satin finish whilst letting in light. Various levels of satin finish are available on the market, providing a variety of different degrees of opacity.
The distinguishing feature of ceramic glass is that it has an extremely low dilation coefficient, which enables it to withstand temperatures of around 800°C. It is used to construct doors for ovens, fireplaces, etc...