Exploring the Manufacture of Integrity & Fully Insulated Fire-Rated Glass

Exploring the Manufacture of Integrity & Fully Insulated Fire-Rated Glass

In the realm of fire-rated glass, the manufacturing process is crucial to ensure the material meets rigorous safety and performance standards. Integrity and fully insulated fire-rated glass are produced using two primary methods, each with its unique characteristics and applications.

1. Multiple Glass Layers with Silicate Interlayers

The first method, involves the use of multiple layers of glass and silicate interlayers, with the final product thickness ranging from 15mm to 50mm. This method has two distinct versions based on the intended application:

Internal Use Glass: This version is designed specifically for indoor applications where exposure to UV light is minimal. The silicate interlayers in this glass provide effective fire resistance but are sensitive to UV light, which can degrade their performance over time.

External Use Glass: To address the UV sensitivity of silicate interlayers, the external use version incorporates an additional layer of Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB). PVB is highly effective at blocking UV light, thereby protecting the integrity of the silicate interlayers and ensuring long-term performance even in direct sunlight.

The glass produced through this method is manufactured in sheet form and then cut to order, providing flexibility in terms of size and shape to meet specific project requirements.

2. Float/Toughened Glass with Fire-Resisting Gel Interlayer

The second method, utilizes two or more panes of either float or toughened glass with a clear, fire-resisting gel interlayer. This method has several key features:

Perimeter Sealing: A spacer is installed around the perimeter edge of the glass, along with an edge seal capping to prevent leakage of the gel interlayer. This ensures the gel remains effective in providing fire resistance over the glass's lifespan.

UV Stability: Unlike the silicate interlayers in Method 1, the gel interlayer used in Method 2 is UV stable. This means there is no need for separate internal and external versions of the glass, simplifying the manufacturing process and broadening its applicability.

Made to Order: Glass produced through Method 2 cannot be cut once it has been processed. Therefore, it is manufactured to the exact dimensions required for each specific application, ensuring precision and minimizing waste.

Performance and Thickness

The performance of fire-rated glass is generally correlated with its thickness. Thicker glass tends to offer longer fire resistance times, classified as 30, 60, 90 minutes, and beyond. This

means that the choice of glass thickness must be carefully matched to the fire safety requirements of the building or structure in which it is installed.


The manufacturing of integrity and fully insulated fire-rated glass involves sophisticated processes designed to meet stringent safety standards. Whether using Method 1, with its silicate and PVB interlayers, or Method 2, with its float/toughened glass and fire-resisting gel interlayer, each approach offers distinct advantages and is suited to specific applications. Understanding these methods allows architects, contractors, and safety professionals to make informed decisions, ensuring that they select the right type of fire-rated glass to protect lives and property while meeting aesthetic and functional requirements.