Volume 43, Issue 12 - December 2008
From the Fabricator
Something for Nothing
We learn at a very early age that there is a price of one sort or another for everything. The fact that there is no free lunch has become a clichť with which most grammar school kids are familiar even if they are not quite sure what it really means. Yet as grown-ups and mature adults, we still keep waiting for Ed McMahon to show up at the house with a million dollar check from Publishers Clearing House. We spend zillions for lottery tickets because we are sure we are going to hit the big one. All while in the back of our minds, deep down, we know that there is no free lunch and we are not very likely to get something for nothing.
I suppose expecting perfection in the glass business is not quite the same. We are not expecting something for nothing. The idea of a perfect piece of glass is a pipe dream resulting from the quality of float glass that has forever spoiled us and made us believe that seeds and strings and reams, sometimes acceptable glass flaws in the old days, are forever left in the past. And it practically is, so I guess thatís not quite the same as something for nothingóbut expecting perfection in low-E glass is.
Look Away from the Low-E
A wavelength selective performance product, obviously by definition, has to have some impact on the full spectrum of visible light, so why are people surprised if there is some visible evidence that there is something on the glass doing the work? Please remember that you canít get something for nothing. Yes, sometimes under certain light conditions from certain angles the glass does not look like itís quite clear. Yes, under some extreme conditions the colors of the rainbow seem to show up. Yes sometimes it may appear that there is a coating on the glassówell, surprise, surprise, there is. Get used to it. Thatís what does the work. As with the float quality, the glass is too good. Contemporary coatings are color-neutral and, while performance levels constantly increase, the coating remains so light and so ďinvisibleĒ that people donít want to believe itís there. Well, sorry guys, it is, and sometimes you even get to see it. Itís sort of like going to see a magic show and finding out that itís not magic at all and David Copperfield canít really make an elephant disappear, itís only a trick. Maybe we should all approach the market from the other side by saying that there is all this stuff on the glass but by means of some industry trickery we are hiding it. If you chance to see it, you have peeked behind the magicianís curtain and have been privy to a seldom-divulged trade secret that you have to take with you to the grave. Calling the supplier and complaining about the coating on your glass definitely is not acceptable.
What, Glass Breaks?