Determining how to cut laminated glass in your manufacturing facility depends on the features of your end product. What material is your interlayer made of? Do you require straight, curved, or custom cuts? The technical nature and demanding uses of laminated glass necessitate a tailored cutting solution that guarantees the reliable performance of your product for years to come.
What is Laminated Glass Used For?
Laminated glass is both transparent and reinforced, a unique combination of features that make it ideal for a variety of applications. The material, depending on its specific makeup, can resist impact, dampen sound, filter UV radiation, and withstand heat. These characteristics offer numerous advantages, including:
- Safety: Laminated glass is impact resistant, protecting buildings and vehicles from break-ins, bullets, and inclement weather. If an object does break the glass, the glass does not shatter because it’s attached to the interlayer material.
- Versatility: The many characteristics and configurations of laminated glass make it a versatile building material. Designers can use laminated glass in both flat and curved applications with varying opacity, as well as meet other application requirements.
- Clarity: Depending on the application, transparency and visual clarity remain just as important as other features of laminated glass. With the right interlayer material, laminated glass has little visual distortion.
Thanks to these advantages, engineers, architects, and other design professionals rely on laminated glass across industries. Laminated glass is used in architecture for windows, skylights, and walls. The material is also used in the automotive, aerospace, marine, and solar industries.
How is Laminated Glass Made?
Laminated glass is composed of multiple layers; usually, there is a single interlayer sandwiched between two layers of glass. Potential interlayer materials include, but are not limited to, PVB (polyvinyl butyral), SentryGlas™ (SG), EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). The three layers are first manufactured, cut, washed, and dried separately. The glass lamination process begins when the layers are assembled. Then, the vinyl or fabric interlayer is bonded to each piece of glass using the heat and pressure of an autoclave.
How to Cut Laminated Glass
The technical nature of laminated glass interlayers requires specialty cutting and material handling solutions.
The technical applications of laminated glass, from architecture to aerospace, necessitate high-quality and incredibly accurate cuts. Miscut interlayers can wreak havoc at each stage of the glass lamination process and have lasting effects on the quality of the end product. Inaccurate cuts can lead to delamination and weakness, which affect the reliability of your product.
Eastman customizes its cutting systems and accessories to a manufacturer’s specifications. Production facilities determining how best to cut laminated glass for industrial applications are no different. Our automated cutting machines cut laminated glass with the precision required in industrial applications. A computer-controlled cutter reduces labor costs, minimizes human error, and decreases material waste. They also allow for straight, curved, and custom cuts.
Our automated cutting machines can be configured with both drag and round knives based on the interlayer type and application. Eastman tool heads can be fitted with two or three spindles, further increasing the versatility and productivity of the cutting machine. Cleanroom configurations are common when working with laminated glass components; Eastman offers various system options to meet these contaminant-free standards. Smooth, easy-to-clean yet durable urethane cutting surfaces help manufacturers achieve quality cuts and defect-free end products. Eastman also provides material handling solutions that keep direct contact with technical interlayers to a minimum and further reduce manual labor while increasing cutting efficiency.
To learn more about our industry-specific solutions for cutting laminated glass, check out our Laminated Glass Brochure.
Every Eastman cutting solution is paired with personalized technical service. Our expertise allows us to help manufacturers improve cutting room efficiencies and best determine how to cut laminated glass interlayers in their facilities. Contact our experienced technical team to find the right cutting products for your application.