Volume 39,  Issue 11,  November 2004

Recapping the Glass Association of North America’s 2004 Fall Conference

by Ellen Chilcoat

For the third consecutive year, the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Fall Conference fell in the midst of prime-time hurricane season. The remnants of Hurricane Frances had made their way through Eastern Tennessee only days before the meeting took place in Nashville, September 18-21 at the Lowes Vanderbilt Hotel.

Approximately 100 people gathered to discuss and debate such topics as insulating glass standards, point-supported glass, educational opportunities and more.

“Saturday and Sunday meetings consumed 15 hours of divisional discussions of glass industry issues and opportunities. The level of participation in weekend meetings showed the value of industry involvement,” said Greg Carney, GANA technical director. 

“Members were updated on association technical activities and actively participated in discussions on industry standards, building codes and product certification. In addition, our members took positive steps forward for the industry with agreements to publish new industry reference resources, identifying new technical projects and planning for divisional education programs.”

Reflecting Efforts
During the mirror division meeting members made strides in several areas. For example, the technical committee voted to publish the recently updated Mirrors: Handle with Extreme Care document, which was originally published by the former North American Association of Mirror Manufacturers (NAAMM). The document provides information about safe storage, handling, fabrication, shipping, cleaning and installation of mirrors. 
Other technical activities discussed included the possible publication of mirror informational bulletins, which would be similar to the glass informational bulletins published by other divisions. Proper mirror cleaning procedures will be the topic of the first bulletin, and a draft is expected to be presented during Glass Week 2005.
Concerning standards, Lee Harrison of Walker Glass reminded the group that the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) had withdrawn the Canadian National Standard CAN/CGSB 12.5-M86, Mirrors, Silvered. The mirror division’s Canadian standards board had petitioned the CGSB to withdraw the standard saying it was out-dated. Canadian mirror manufacturers have also voted to adopt ASTM C 1503-01 Standard Specification for Silvered Flat Glass Mirrors. 

Flat Glass News
Members of the flat glass division also met during the conference. Currently, the division has two key projects in the works. One focus is on updating the Specifier’s Guide to Architectural Glass. The division expects to have the document complete by the end of this year. The flat glass division is also in the process of creating an educational PowerPoint presentation for the architectural community. Once finished, the division plans to send the presentation to AIA for accreditation. 

Insulating Discussions
A number of topics and issues were discussed during the insulating division meeting.
One such matter involved the ASTM International insulating glass standards. During the meeting the division voted to endorse the use of the newest ASTM standards, E 2188-02, Standard Test Method for Insulating Glass Unit Performance and E 2190-02 Standard Specification for Insulating Glass Unit Performance and Evaluation. The group also voted to encourage the ASTM task group E 06.22.05 on sealed insulating glass to allow the two new documents to supersede previous documents, E 773-01 Standard Test Method for Accelerated Weathering of Sealed Insulating Glass Units, and E 774-97 Standard Specification for the Classification of the Durability of Sealed Insulating Glass Units. The E 06.22.05 task group is responsible for the development of IG standards.

Another topic discussed was the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) move to develop a non-residential certification. Since each component of an IGU is certified through the NFRC’s program, this matter could prove to be costly for fabricators that have numerous products. 

In a move to learn more about the program, the group decided to extend and invitation to Jim Benney, NFRC executive director, to speak at Glass Week 2005. Benney has since accepted and agreed to speak to GANA insulating division members during the upcoming conference about NFRC’s move toward non-residential product and component certification.

A panel discussion on coatings also took place during the insulating division. Fred Wallin, AFG Industries; Chris Dolan, Guardian Industries Corp.; Scott Hoover, Pilkington North America; Mike Rupert, PPG Industries; Brad Austin, Viracon; and Mauro DiFazio, Visteon Float Glass were all panelists. Presentations covered a variety of topics ranging from handling and processing coated glass, the differences in hard- and soft-coated glass and energy codes.

Laminating News
Members of the laminating division, point-supported glass task group, are continuing efforts toward creating a glass informational bulletin (GIB) that would serve as a “do’s and don’ts” guideline for the use of point-supported glass. Since the completed document will also affect GANA’s building envelope contractors and tempering divisions, the group agreed it was important to gain input from the other divisions. Task group chairperson Bill Coddington of W.S. Coddington Consulting LLC, brought the document to the tempering division meeting later that day for discussion. In the tempering division, standards and engineering committee meeting, there was some concern regarding the bulletin’s recommendation that fully tempered glass be heat-soak tested. Since there is no recognized U.S. standard for heat-soak testing some felt there was not a clear way to recommend it. In response to these concerns, Coddington agreed to modify the draft before it is balloted. 

Coddington also discussed with both the laminating and tempering divisions the possible need for a “hole and notch” quality standard for point-supported glass applications. 
“The size and quality of the hole has a significant impact on the strength of glass,” said Coddington. “Does GANA think we need a task force to talk about glass fabrication as it relates to holes and notches?” Members agreed to address the matter at future meetings.
The product labeling task group, now being chaired by Pete Anderson of Viracon, is also working toward creating a GIB. The document will focus on building code issues in regards to product labeling.

A task group was also formed to develop an in-plant ball drop test for laminated glass. The quality-control test method will be similar to the center-punch fragmentation test. Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia will be leading the task group’s efforts.

John Kent of the Safety Glazing Certification Council (SGCC) then addressed the laminating division in regards to testing and certifying glass.

“SGCC is asking GANA: Where do you want the testing bar to be? What do you feel comfortable having your competitors do to show [their] products’ compliance?” asked Kent. Some possible actions include certifying a range of thicknesses, initially testing all make-ups and testing a percentage of all products on re-certifications. GANA staff will survey membership to determine a fair testing program for laminated glass fabricators.

Tempering Talks
As in years past, the issue of roll wave distortion was again a major debate during the tempering division meeting. The ballot for the recommended maximum specification for clear architectural glass passed at the standards and engineering committee and will next be voted on by full membership. There were, however, a number of differing opinions concerning the numbers in the specification. Some felt the numbers were randomly selected and that there was no scientific basis of acceptance levels, while others agreed with the numbers.

Also during the roll wave meeting members continued to discuss areas on which they should next focus efforts. At Glass Week 2004 the subcommittee had agreed to collect data about all types of glass and substrates (i.e. colors, coatings, etc.) from members. The subcommittee seemed interested in continuing to apply the standard test method to evaluate clear products, but voted to not further pursue data on other substrates at this time. 

Other discussions during the tempering division meeting centered on the development of future GIBs. Task groups were formed to work toward creating bulletins on iridescence in heat-treated flat glass and thermal stress in today’s architectural glass.

The division is also working on drafting a bulletin that cautions against post-fabrication of heat-treated glass products.

General Sessions
The first two days of technical meetings were followed by two days of general session seminars and presentations.

Hollice Stone of Hinman Consulting Engineers lead the first presentation, and talked about her work with the General Services Administration on emergency egress and ingress for firefighters. Making firefighters aware of and familiar with these products is an important safety concern.

“[Resistant] windows are trying to keep something out and firefighters have to get in,” Stone said. The research project is designed to teach firefighters about different types of impact-resistant windows.

The next presenter was Roger Skluzacek of Viracon, who is also the current chairperson of the Glazing Industry Code Committee. Skluzacek provided an update on the 2006 International Building Code. Among the changes to the IBC that were discussed was the subject of wired glass usage. In the 2006 IBC the use of wired glass in hazardous locations will be limited (see the October 2004 USGlass, page 32 for related article). 

Mike Ondrus of Atwood Mobile Products next talked about glass used in applications other than architecture. Transportation is one area in which glass is being used increasingly, such as in minivans, buses, recreational vehicles, farm equipment and boats. The furniture industry, he said, is also growing in terms of glass usage.

According to AFG’s Fred Wallin, who provided a glass industry economic forecast, consumer confidence is starting to improve, but there’s still a way to go before it’s back to the “euphoria” of the late 1990s.

Wallin said that for the commercial market glass demand will likely improve. “There is demand,” he said, “but with high vacancy rates a lot is being absorbed.” The strongest areas of growth for the commercial market are health care and education. Low-E penetration is also expected to be more than 50 percent by 2006-2007. Laminated glass penetration is also growing.

The issue of foreign imports continues to be a concern for U.S. glass fabricators. Wallin explained that in 2003 imports exceeded exports for the first time (see related story in the October 2004 USGlass, page 30). Wallin said one of the biggest changes we can expect to see is in raw glass, because China is making so much of its own. We can also expect to see more safety glass coming in to the United States.

New Products and Updates
There were also several presentations that provided information on new products and technologies.

Kevin Turner of SAFTI Fire Rated Glass talked about different fire-rated glass product options, such as gel-filled and multi-laminate glass, wired glass and ceramics.
Stephen Morse of Standards Design Group provided information on the Window Glass Design 2004 Software. The new software version includes the 2004 update of ASTM E1300 and is used to determine load charts for different shapes, sizes and interlayers.

The final two presenters were from Robert Maltby of R&D Reflections Inc. and Charles Bayha of Zircon Corp. Maltby talked about his company’s InspectorG software, a distortion measuring system that can show various optical characteristics such as roll wave distortion. 

Bayha discussed his company’s new hurricane-resistant glass system that features a resin layer that is cured without ultraviolet light.

Ready for Next Year?
At press time no dates or locations had been announced for the 2005 Fall Conference. GANA’s next meeting will be Glass Week 2005, taking place February 5-10 
in Orlando, Fla., at the Royal Pacific Resort, a Lowes Hotel. To learn more about GANA visit www.glasswebsite.com

Ellen Chilcoat is the editor of USGlass magazine.



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