Product Knowledge

The Science Behind Laminated Glass in Hurricane Impact Windows

Brief explanation of the type of material is used within the laminated glass in hurricane impact windows.




December 28, 2019

Decoding the Material within Laminated Glass

When discussing the realm of hurricane impact windows and doors, one question seems to come up more often than any other: What exactly is inside that laminated glass making it so robust against violent storms? Understanding this component is crucial not only for professionals in the industry but also for homeowners who want to ensure their houses are as protected as possible against the fierce power of nature.

Laminated glass, which is the cornerstone of impact-resistant windows, isn't just a single piece of glass. It's a layered composition. Typically, a laminated glass panel consists of an outboard annealed glass, an interlayer, and an inboard glass. This might sound simple, but the strength of the laminated glass largely depends on the interlayer, the 'middleman' of this trio.

Now, the two major players in the interlayer domain are Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) and SentryGlas Plus (SGP). Let's delve a little deeper into them.

PVB: The Multifaceted Protector

Produced by DuPont under the trademarked name Butacite, PVB serves a crucial function in laminated glass: it holds onto the shards of glass when they shatter. This means that even if an impact-resistant window does break under the force of a storm, the dangerous shards won't go flying everywhere. Instead, they'll stick to the PVB layer, reducing the risk of injury.

DuPont offers PVB in a range of aesthetics, from clear to translucent white and even solid tints. In sun-drenched Florida, translucent white PVB is especially favored in places where a combination of protection and privacy is essential, such as cabana bathrooms. For those unfamiliar, these are bathrooms that directly access outdoor spaces like backyards or swimming pools. Want to maintain privacy without resorting to completely opaque glass? Translucent white PVB is your answer.

SGP: The Fortified Defender

SGP, another marvel from DuPont, takes strength to a whole new level. It's sturdier and more resilient against tearing than its counterpart, PVB. But what sets SGP apart is its ability to allow for minimal glass deflection. This feature is pivotal in hurricane zones, where windows need to withstand not just the impact of flying debris but also the immense pressure of gusting winds.

Recognizing the superior protective qualities of SGP, many impact window manufacturers incorporate it into their larger window designs, or specifically those crafted to endure the most extreme wind zones.

Closing Thoughts

When you look out of your hurricane impact window, you're not just seeing the world outside; you're peering through layers of meticulously engineered protection. Both PVB and SGP interlayers play their unique roles in ensuring that your windows don't just stand up to storms but offer safety and style in equal measure. As you contemplate installing or recommending impact-resistant windows, understanding the nuances of these materials can help you make the best choice for the challenges ahead.