RESOURCES for specifying frameless glass balustrade
AS AN ARCHITECT, YOU'LL FIND ALL THE RESOURCES YOU'LL NEED TO WORK WITH PURE VISTA PRODUCTS ON THIS PAGE
Our products are unique, high-quality with patented technology
All our balustrade systems can be installed as completely frameless
All products are fully accredited from 0.36kN – 3.00kN
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A quick reference guide to our complete product range
See our most asked product-related questions
When glass is toughened it can curve or bow, preventing the panels from aligning neatly across the top of the balustrade. An adjustable balustrade mechanism will enable perfect alignment of the balustrade panels. Similarly, if the fixing surface isn’t completely flat it will affect the alignment of the glass, something that can be managed with an adjustable balustrade system.
All of our main profiles are made out of aluminium. We use stainless steel for some of our internal components and end caps. The clamps are made out of plastic.
The majority of our products are available in one finish, a stainless steel effect. This is a great option for any contemporary glass balustrade.
We have also recently launched a new POSIglaze channel in a brushed matt black effect.
If neither of these options are suitable for your install, it is possible to powder coat your aluminium channel. Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing dry powder. The main difference between a conventional liquid paint and a powder coating is that the powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. With powder coating, a huge range of colours are available through the RAL colour chart. N.B. there may be colour variations per paint batch, so it is important for aesthetic effect that each order is treated collectively.
Please note, we do not supply pre-coated aluminium, as the risk of handling greatly increases the probability of damage to the pre-coating.
We have designed our frameless balustrade systems for minimal maintenance, however, with any aluminium product it will need some level of routine cleaning.
In areas where the aluminium is in the direct influence of marine or aggressive industrial emission sources, the aluminium should be cleaned at least every three months. In relatively cleaner environments every six months. Even in interior locations, to limit discoloration through grime, smoke and other deposits aluminium should be cleaned at least every year.
At the installation stage:
Grease marks, dirt or mastic spillage may be removed using white spirit or an approved solvent which will not adversely affect the anodised finish. DO NOT use aggressive abrasive materials such as wire wool.
It is recommended that all cut bar ends, mitres, butt joints & drill holes should be coated with an air-drying primer/corrosion inhibitor, to provide protection against the initiation of corrosion where the aluminium is exposed, especially in coastal locations.
Installers should take maximum care during assembly, transit & fitting, not to damage the anodised coating. On an ongoing basis the frequency of cleaning relates directly to the decorative standard which the owner wishes to maintain as well as the particular environment where the balustrade is fitted.
Wash down with clean, warm water containing a non-alkaline liquid detergent (in a concentration which can be handled safely with bare hands). Use a non-abrasive cloth, sponge or soft bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Dry using a soft cloth or leather.
After drying, apply furniture cream or wax to maintain the highest quality finish.
Anodised surfaces which have been neglected for considerable periods of time will often require a more aggressive cleaning procedure. Unfortunately, abrasive cleaning does cause some removal of the anodic film and the objective is to minimise the amount of abrasive cleaning to achieve the desired standard finish.
Wet glazing is the accepted term for a resin set balustrade system. It is when the glass is placed into, most commonly a standard U-shaped channel and a resin is poured into the system. It is then left to harden which can take many hours. The time delay can be an issue since wind (or any other force against the glass) could push the glass out of line. Other pitfalls with wet glazing systems are that if the wrong resin is used, there is potential for issues further down the line as some ingredients react with certain glass types. Also, the variance in expansion rates can allow for cracking around the edges. The biggest problem with a full wet glaze balustrade is if there is ever a reason for deglazing (such as a broken panel or glass thickness change), it is no easy feat removing glass that has been fully set with resin. For these reasons, all Pure Vista products have been designed to be dry-glazed – although some of our products can be wet glazed, if required.
In recent years the UK has seen an increase in the use of glass balustrades without the installation of handrails. BS 6180:2011 clarifies these issues, which we have listed below, if you need any clarification please contact your local building control.
If using monolithic toughened glass a handrail must also be used, in addition, it must be adequately secured to act as a secondary barrier should the glass fail i.e. the handrail should remain in-situ if a panel breaks.
If toughened laminate glass is used then it is permissible to have no handrail as long as the following aspects are put into place;
- The glass used must meet the design load, this will be a; line load, uniformly distributed load and a point load test (detailed within BS 6180:2011.)
- Manufacturers of glass, have to provide the technical requirements on required glass thickness on meeting the required loadings.
- Should a panel break and not meet the required criteria then guarding must be fitted immediately.
- The glass selected must resist the appropriate design load and provide containment.
- On staircases, where there are three or more steps, a handrail is required to be installed between 900mm and 1000mm.
Choosing the correct glass for your balustrade is paramount. In any scenario, safety glass will always be required. Normally toughened glass is the standard option, this being up to 10 times stronger than the same thickness of clear annealed glass.
A second option is toughened laminate glass; this is when two panes of toughened glass are bonded together to form a single pane. This offers the benefit that should one pane break, the other remains to safeguard any potential fall, plus it also reduces the potential of injury from falling glass.
Glass is toughened (tempered) by putting a cut to size piece of annealed glass through a kiln that heats the glass to molten point then rapidly cools the glass. This causes compression on the outer surface thus increasing its strength. Another benefit to toughened glass is that if it does break it shatters into very small pieces rather than large sharp shards.
One issue with toughened glass is a small risk of nickel sulphide (NiS) crystal forming within the glass, this can on rare occasions create a spontaneous breakage, which can happen at any time after installation. The risk of this happening is greatly reduced if you ask for heat soaked glass, this is an added process where the toughened glass is re-heated to a reduced temperature and then cooled slowly.
Pure Vista specialises in balustrade systems, the gripping mechanisms that hold glass panels in place. We do not supply glass, however, most of your local glass suppliers or double glazing suppliers will be able to source suitable glass. Alternatively, we work with a number of reputable partners within the UK who may be able to help with this aspect of your project. If you are overseas, your local distributor may also be able to help.