There are various materials that can replace glass. Acrylic sheet is among the top on my list. Crystal clear view with the surroundings. 92% of light is passed through acrylic sheet. In case of mineral glass it’s only 80-90%. That means you will have a “premium” crystal clear view on your surroundings. Your senses will tell you that you are in the great outdoors. You will see real and true colors without big distortions. You will never be able to look happily out of a glass window again :))
Acrylic sheets that where manufactured a few years back would have yellowed under the UV rays of the sun. Today that is not a problem anymore as modern technology has solved it. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to specify to the manufacturer that you’ll want to use it for your windows.
Read this 5 times. Don’t buy it alone!!! You need a really-really good engineer.
Be aware of the engineers that say it can’t be done … they are probably not the best and they are probably too lazy to do their homework. Search for a good one! This job it’s not for an average engineer. Google www.alibaba.com and search for acrylic sheets or products. The most popular place where you can see acrylic sheets are: huge aquariums filled with sharks, large swimming pools or airplane windows. If you ever seen people walking on a crystal clear “glass” tube over the fish … then you know what I’m talking about.
Heat insulation: It’s 0.19W/mK Compared to mineral glass (normal glass) that means: “no condensation” and very little “heat loss”.
You see, it’s not the glass that makes most of the insulation. Most of the insulation is created by layers and layers of air that is trapped between the sheets. Basically if we would put nylon sheets or vinyl sheets it would do the same job. The problem with these materials is that they “melt” in the heat or you can’t clean them with a sponge.
Or that your cat will find its way to get in. 3- 4 layers of air as insulation would be an overkill even in the coldest blizzard in Iceland. I highly recommend insulated shutters. Acrylic density is 1150-1190kg/m3, which is “similar” to water 1000kg/m3. Normal glass ranges between 2400-2800kg/m3. This means that acrylic it’s 1/2, 2/3 times lighter than glass. It may not sound like much at first but it is a significant difference.Transportation and assembling is a lot cheaper as well.
Your kid runs into “glass” … now what? It’s not shattering. If your neighbor’s child runs into your gorgeous windows with their bicycle nobody will end up in jail. Nobody will end up in the hospital either. You’ll give the child a glass of water and vanilla ice cream. Everybody will be just fine. You’ll laugh at the child’s playfulness with their parents. Like in the automobile industry. Acrylic glass it’s not shattering. It was popular material for submarine windows.They use it in airplanes at well. Lightweight and extreme strength is a powerful combination.
It is 17 times stronger and 2-3 times lighter than glass. That changes everything. This changes the rules once and for all. The material can be shaped in endless ways just by heating it up a bit. You can “mold it easily” even in your “garage”. Note: it scratches easily compared to glass. Really-really easy! However: unlike glass: it’s easy to repair after an incident. Don’t use it in high traffic commercial places where people bump into it with sharp objects all the time. This material puts glass windows to shame. Think about a huge south-facing facade that has the perfect view.In the case of mineral glass you have 2 problems:
1) a huge, heavy frame to sustain the glass.
2) min 1-3 cm thick glass to sustain its own weight.
And that’s not the bad part? No matter how thick it is: 1 layer of glass does “nothing” regarded to insulation. It is the gap of air that makes most of the insulation not the glass. Putting 2,3 layers of glass would be just the bare minimum. And we are not speaking about zero energy houses. Even these 2,3 layers of glass and the frame would cost a fortune. You would be able to buy a “castle” in that price range.That would mean 2,3 layers ok 1,2,3cm thick glass to “cover” the southern facade.
That is absurd in so many ways!!! You would not be able to see through 5-10 cm of glass. It would weigh tons. The structure alone would cost a fortune. You would need cranes, fancy equipment and specialized teams to manufacture it. I would go with the acrylic instead. Put “just” 2-3mm thick acrylic sheets for the outside and for the inside layers. 2 layers of 1.2-1.5 mm on the inside. Yes that’s roughly 8-10mm in total.
Don’t take the numbers literally! Obviously you have to talk with the engineer first.These are examples to show and demonstrate the benefits and the huge difference in strength. I would choose a HUGE glazing with 4 layers of sheets. That means 3 layers of insulation (air between) and a shutter.
What about the weight? It would be 8-10mm in total. That’s similar with the weight of 3-4 mm of glass. You could “get away” with this thickness because: as mentioned before, acrylic is 16-17 stronger than glass and does not shatter.
won without a race
Read this article: (keep it simple). Most of the windows are fixed (like in skyscrapers). The benefit is that the frame will be “very cheap”. Just think about it. Read this article as well, it’s about the air leakage and insulation (30/30/30 rule). How much money can a thin piece of wood cost; a beam that holds a 2mm acrylic sheet in its place? Cut to the chase …what about the costs?
The material itself costs roughly the same as mineral glass. But we need way-way less. It can be extremely thin. (it’s 17 times stronger). The assembly and the transportation are way cheaper in the acrylic sheets favor. Because it’s lightweight and strong, the structure that holds it can be almost or literally “missing”. That reduces the overall cost significantly. Read this article (keep it simple)
Let’s talk numbers.We made a test house on the computer. For the test house we “needed” 290 square meters of acrylic sheet. Shipped from Mainland China to the nearest port in Europe + the assembly + the sheets themselves costs us the same amount of my friend’s windows. My friend has a small and typical house with small windows. He has 2 layers of mineral glass. We had 4 layers of acrylic sheets. I’m pretty sure of the price. I contacted over 50 factories to get the price right … with shipping included.
Mineral glass vs acrylic sheets. You can’t even compare it. It’s like comparing a McLaren Mercedes with a little donkey that follows a carrot. It’s like pulling a dirty rope in the dust or taking the curve with 240km/h on the racetrack. Seriously it’s that big of a difference.
Perfection | picture perfect views Just look at the doors and windows that your friends, boss, former classmates, enemies:) have. They are limited to a certain size. Making them bigger would increase the glass’s thickness and would cost a fortune.The thickness would give this green tint to anything. Light would not make it to interior and the colors would be distorted. You would need thick, strong, huge frames and an impressive super expensive concrete foundation that holds the weight.
I can’t accentuate enough how easy it is to work with acrylic sheets. You can bend it, mount it, cut it easily. And it costs the same as normal glass. Just go and order it on www.alibaba.com. Make sure you pick a manufacturer with a good reputation. This way with a medium budget you can get extreme insulation with beautiful views. You’ll be confused about the surroundings. You will feel just like on the outdoors. Nature will “flow” within the building if it makes sense.
Even in the toughest blizzards its performance will be amazing. Acrylic sheets lets in more light. It heats up the house a lot easier in the winter. Read about the greenhouse effect. Most of the heating “bills” will be taken care of by the Sun, for free. Learn about the direct benefits of using insulated shutters.
Read about the Arduino system Check out how we store the heat. Another good read is: the chimney effect. How to reduce your monthly bills significantly. Misconception about the heat loss (thermal mass). Read about the negatives of acrylic sheet.