Looking out of your windows, you would never know that glass technology has evolved so much over the past 60 years. Looking back over these years, we can see innovations that have completely changed the composition, design and manufacturing development of windows, so let’s take a look at five of the innovations that have revolutionised window-making.
By floating liquid molten glass on top of a bath filled with molten tin, Alastair Pilkington of British manufacture Pilkington Brothers came up with float glass in the late 1950s. This technological breakthrough resulted in a flatter glass than had ever been created before and was a crucial step on the road towards the energy-efficient windows of today. Pilkington got the idea from a floating plate in his sink at home.
Patented back in 1865, the first insulating glass products started to appear in the 50s when they were called Thermopane. The initial products were made of two panes of glass welded at the edges and featuring a quarter-of-an-inch space of dry air between them. Within ten years, half of all the windows in the UK were manufactured with insulating glass; today, around 90 per cent of all windows have insulating glazing.
The first commercially produced vinyl windows appeared in Germany thanks to window manufacturer Trocal; however, it took a number of years for vinyl to catch on and it was not until the 1980s when they started to make an impact on the new housing market. In 2017, at least 50 per cent of all window sashes in the US were made of vinyl.
Clad windows appeared in the late 1960s and heralded a completely new form of window. First introduced to the public in 1966 by Andersen, clad windows look like traditional wooden windows on the interior; however. the exterior is made of a weatherproof material that does not require painting. The low maintenance nature of these windows has made them a very popular option for conservatories Tewkesbury from specialists such as www.firmfix.co.uk/conservatories/.
Used for upgrading double-hung windows that had a decent frame but needed the sash replacing, these were a cost-effective method that meant you didn’t have to replace the whole window.