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Structural silicone glazing—sometimes called flush glazing, stopless glazing, or just structural glazing—is a method of fixing glass to its supporting framework by an adhesive. This fixing method results in a smooth, uninterrupted surface of glass, which significantly improves the appearance of glass walls.
Use of the method has grown considerably since it was introduced in the early 1970s. Currently, nearly 30% of all commercial glazing in the United States is fixed in place using silicone on at least two edges of the glass.
Many people, however, are concerned about the safety aspects of the method. The industry has responded with improved materials, improved quality control procedures, and improved designs.
One of the most recently designed systems which addresses the safety issue uses a special insulating glass unit with a recessed channel around all four edges of the lite. The recess is then used to hook or clip the unit to the supporting mullion. The installation then gives the appearance of structural silicone glazing without relying entirely upon a silicone tensile bead.
The evolution and growth of structural sealant glazing, safety aspects, and the design, testing, and safety of the new method are presented.
structural spacer (glazing), structural silicone (glazing), structural sealant (glazing), adhesive, pressure equalization, testing, insulating glass, curtain wall, glass
President, Vision Engineering & Design, Inc., Toronto,