On this day in science history: wire glass was patented

In 1892, wire glass was patented by Frank Schulman. Wire
glass, as the name suggests, is simply a wire mesh inserted during the plate
glass manufacturing process to create a single monolithic glass with properties
useful where fire safety requirements apply.

In recent years, new materials have become available that
offer both fire-ratings and safety ratings so the continued use of wired glass
is being debated worldwide. The US International Building Code effectively
banned wired glass in 2006.

Canada’s building codes still permit the use of wired glass
but the codes are being reviewed and traditional wired glass is expected to be
greatly restricted in its use. Australia has no similar review taking place.

Broken tempered glass showing the shape of the granular chunks. By George Slickers (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://ift.tt/Xoxvyb), GFDL (http://ift.tt/KbUOlc) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://ift.tt/gc84jZ)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Wired glass is still utilized in the U.S. for its fire-resistant abilities, and is well-rated to withstand both heat and hose streams. This is why wired glass exclusively is used on service elevators to prevent fire ingress to the shaft, and also why it is commonly found in institutional settings which are often well-protected and partitioned against fire.  The wire prevents the glass from falling out of the frame even if it cracks under thermal stress, and is far more heat-resistant than a laminating material.

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Posted on September 20, 2016, in Useful Information. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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