Volume 39, Issue 4, April  2004


Low Maintenance?

Dear USG,
In the January 2004 USGlass the Issues@Hand column (see page 4) regarding the term self-cleaning glass included some valid comments.

Granted, at first impression one might think that “self-cleaning glass” is always sparkling clean. So, as not 
to oversell self-cleaning glass, Pilkington has always been careful not to over promise what self-cleaning glass does. Maybe we have been too careful. 

But, contrary to what was stated in Debra Levy’s column, Activ™ self-cleaning glass is truly a self-cleaning glass. The non-biased British Consumers’ Association, similar to the United States-based organization that publishes “Consumer Reports,” tested Pilkington Activ Glass and supported the “self-cleaning” attributes.

As Pilkington has always emphasized, self-cleaning glass has two product characteristics:

• Photocatalytic: The titanium dioxide applied to the surface of glass is activated by ultraviolet radiation to continuously and gradually loosen, dissolve and remove organic matter (pollen, resins, insect droppings, etc.). In other words, the glass is cleaned by the photocatalytic process.
• Hydrophilic: The same titanium dioxide also increases the wetting action of water, and causes it to spread over glass, sheeting down to wash away un-dissolved dirt and inorganic matter.
Self-cleaning glass is always cleaning. It’s a continuous, gradual process. A good parallel example is a self-cleaning oven. Is the oven not self-cleaning because you have to wipe it down after the self-cleaning cycle is complete?

Pilkington coined the self-cleaning glass category to differentiate Activ glass from other “low-maintenance” glass products that would come after its introduction. These other glasses are definitely low-maintenance. They offer only the hydrophilic action and do not have the photocatalytic properties.

Self-cleaning glass such as that produced by Pilkington and PPG (the primary U.S. manufacturers of self-cleaning glass) are self-cleaning because of their photocatalytic and hydrophilic actions.

Product name descriptions explain the product’s functionality. In the case of Pilkington Activ self-cleaning glass, the name accurately describes what the product does. Please do not cause confusion by mixing self-cleaning glass with low-maintenance glass.
Stephen Weidner
Vice President – Sales and Marketing Pilkington Building Products North America Toledo, Ohio.

The Great State
of New Jersey

Dear USG,
I’m sorry Lyle Hill feels the way he does about the state of New Jersey (see the July 2003 USGlass, page 84). Obviously, he does not know the facts about our fine state and its people, so I’ll take a moment to enlighten him about some New Jersey facts.

• New Jersey has the most diners in the world.
• The light bulb, phonograph and movie projector were all invented in New Jersey.
• The Miss America pageant is held in New Jersey;
• The longest boardwalk in the world is in New Jersey;
• The first drive-in movie theater was in New Jersey;
• New Jersey has the most shopping malls in the nation;
• The tallest water tower in the world is in New Jersey;
• The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Jersey;
• New Jersey natives include Frank Sinatra, Grover Cleveland, Jack Nicholson and Jon Bon Jovi;
• New Jersey is the largest chemical-producing state in the nation.

But obviously, he didn’t research these fascinating facts. Instead, he made fun of our state flower being the violet, yet Illinois has the same state flower. And, speaking of Illinois, isn’t Chicago best known for wind, mobsters, a devastating fire started by a cow and political corruption?

In good faith, I won’t be sending him the $5 he requested. As I stated previously, while I enjoy his articles, I think the Mickey Mouse dollar was more than an applicable payment for his work. 

And if he happens to encounter a slithering glass salesman who claims to bear a $5 bill from me, don’t believe him—I didn’t give him the money. In fact, this imposter is not even from New Jersey; he is from Pennsylvania. 
But we won’t even go there. Pennsylvanians are like a cross mixture of West Virginians and people from Chicago—corruption and inter-family marriage seem to be the norm.
Eric P. Ulrich
Almond Glass Works Inc.
Collingswood, N.J.


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