From Bird-Friendly Glass to Digitally Printed Glass
In recent years, glass fabricators have made significant advances in their technologies, creating a range of applications that are increasingly specified by architects who seek distinctive, colorful or visually interesting designs.
Starphire Ultra‑Clear® Glass
Due to its unmatched color fidelity and ultra-clear appearance, Starphire Ultra‑Clear® Glass by Vitro is ideal glass for decorative applications. Whether you're designing acid-etched, bird-friendly glass, digitally printed glass or any other decorative application, Starphire® glass allows the true colors and distinctive patterns to shine through, without the green cast inherent in ordinary clear glass.
Types of Decorative Glass
Dichroic glass displays reflected color in different lighting conditions, creating brilliant color shifts and the effect of color movement. Effects can be enhanced by using textured glass as one or more of the glass lites, or muted by using acid-etched glass. Dichroic glass is available in both translucent and opaque options and is suitable for both interiors and exteriors.
Ceramic frit can be applied to glass and fired into a permanent, opaque coating. Ceramic frit helps reduce glare, heat gain and visible light, while providing exteriors with a distinctive look, with patterns ranging from simple shapes and gradients to intricate designs. Ceramic frit can be combined with any number of coatings, tints and reflective glasses in insulated and laminated applications. It can be applied via the silk-screening or spandrel glass fabrication process.
To offer an alternative to ceramic frit to achieve vibrant color for spandrel, wall-cladding and insulating glass applications, Vitro partners with ICD High Performance Coatings, which offers a spectrum of OPACI‑COAT‑300® colors that harmonize with Starphire® glass and Solarban® solar control low‑e glasses.
Digital Ceramic Printing
Digital ceramic printing involves digitally printing images directly on glass. Virtually any full-color design can be reproduced on glass. Digital ceramic printing is generally used for interior applications, with print on the first (#1) or second (#2) surface of the glass lite.
Digital printing also can amplify the color fidelity of low‑iron glasses like Starphire® glass. The design can be laminated and/or printed on heavy glass. Vitro does not recommend digital ceramic printing for low‑e coated glass.
Acid-etched glass is treated with an acidic material, such as hydrofluoric acid, to produce a surface finish that diffuses transmitted light, reduces glare and has a “frosted” appearance, usually in a pattern. Interior applications include dividing walls, wall coverings, office partitions and enclosures, shower and bath enclosures, floors, stairs and railings and doors. Exterior applications include spandrels, skylights, canopies, atriums and doors.
Acid-etched glass includes bird-friendly glass. The American Bird Conservancy estimates that up to one billion birds die from glass collisions in the U.S. annually. To help solve this problem, Vitro Architectural Glass partners with Walker Glass to offer a full selection of bird-friendly, acid-etched and decorative glass solutions utilizing Solarban® solar control low‑e glass coatings and Starphire® glass.
Fabrication & Availability
Vitro Architectural Glass partners with complementary decorative glass fabricators and manufacturers to produce a range of decorative glasses. For assistance with your decorative glass specification, please reach out to your Vitro National Architectural Manager.
Use the Vitro Construct Tool to estimate the performance of glass configurations with various frit percentages and colors.