Standard Float glass is referred to as ‘Clear’ glass but it is far from clear. All normal float glass units have a natural green tint in them due to the iron content in the manufacture of raw annealed glass. This green tint is then present within the glass unit through all subsequent glass processing such as toughening and laminating.
Low Iron Glass is a float glass manufactured using carefully selected and specialised raw materials to reduce this iron oxide content. The resulting glass panels are much clearer and more neutral than traditional float glass with a higher light transmission.
The applications for such glass panels are wide reaching, from uses on listed or conservation buildings where glass needed to appear as ‘invisible’ as possible to areas of glazing where high transparency is essential such as shop fronts and car showrooms.
Another application of Low Iron Glass is within structural glass elements. As low iron glass can be toughened and laminated as standard float glass it is suitable for use on large glass areas and structural glass assemblies. Here glass sheets are generally thicker and can be layered and laminated for extra strength. If standard glass where to be used the green appearance would be compounded by the extra thicknesses of glass. Using low iron glass creates a much more natural appearance to such constructions, such as glass beams or glass floors.
When decorating glass using decorative interlayers or paints on the glass surface, a low iron glass panel will allow for a truer representation of the colours involved due to its more neutral colour. This is especially true when using lighter colours like white or pastels.
Low Iron Glass also has a higher UV transmission than standard float glass. This allows the glass units to be used on areas of glazing where UV light is needed to travel through such as solar cells and photovoltaics panels.