Glasstec opens

Sahely Mukerji
October 21, 2008
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Glasstec opened Oct. 21, at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany, with more than 1,300 exhibitors from 48 countries. Exhibitors have reserved 68,493 square meters of net exhibit space in nine halls, according to a Messe Düsseldorf North America release.

To date, approximately 890 exhibitors are from countries other than Germany. The largest foreign exhibitor contingents are from Italy with 206 companies, China with 152 companies, and the United States with 64 companies.

The U.S. companies will display their products within the North American Pavilion, organized by Messe Düsseldorf North America and co-sponsored by the National Glass Association, McLean, Va. The show will run until Oct. 25.

At glasstec 2006, more than 30 percent of the visitors were interested in solar energy themes. Consequently, solar energy will be a key topic this year with the special show “Glass Technology Live.” In addition to the classic areas such as laser technology, functional coatings, technical glass, bent glass and special glass, glasstec will be devoted to the themes of photovoltaics and solar thermal energy (Click here to read about the photovoltaic industry in the U.S.).

Glass Technology Live
The theme of solar energy will be covered in detail at the specialist symposium “Glass Technology Live.” For the first time, two of the five conference days will exclusively deal with photovoltaics and solar thermal energy. Renowned architect firms, companies and research institutes will showcase the latest product developments, manufacturing processes and technologies, as well as current research results and forward-looking architectural projects in the areas of glass and solar technology. The spectrum ranges from visionary studies to concrete solutions ready for mass-production. Glass Technology Live will be organized by Stefan Behling, Professor at the Building Construction and Design at the Stuttgart University, according to an MDNA release.

The topic of this year’s glass technology show will be “Glass and Energy,” subdivided into the four exhibit areas “Photovoltaics,” “Solar-Thermal Systems,” “Thermal and Solar Protection” and “Light and Transparency.” The exhibition will demonstrate possible applications for innovative glass products in energy-efficient and integrated façades and building skins. The “Lehrter Bahnhof” station by architects Gerkan, Marg & Partner and the Monument to the Victims of M11 in Madrid by the Spanish architect FAM and the engineering office Schlaich Bergermann & Partner, are two of the highlights of this special exhibit, according to an MDNA release.

Held in connection with the glass technology live show will be a high-caliber technical symposium with lectures and presentations from research and development. a different topic will be addressed each day of the trade fair. The lecture series will start with “Glass for Energy-Saving and Generating Applications.” On the following days a variety of talks will be held on themes such as "Current Architectural Projects," "Active-Solar Building Skins," "Thermal and Solar Protection” and “Saving Energy with Glass.” Officials from the Berlin architect firm Armand Grüntuch will present a current building project, Saint Gobain officials will lecture on glass wool insulation materials and the Window Engineering Institute officials will provide information on new applications for triple glazing. Solar thermal applications also play a key role and Schott Solar officials will talk about “Solar Façades and Building Integrated Solar Roofs – Pre-Report on Trends, Status Quo and Perspectives for the Solar Industry”. In addition, there will be a session of papers describing manufacturing technologies for thin-film modules,according to an MDNA release.

Glass bridge
The Glass Technology Live show also will feature the first transparent bent bridge made of cold-molded glass with a span of 7 meters (23 feet). The seele company in cooperation with Prof. Stefan Behling and Dipl.- Ing. Andreas Fuchs (IBK Reasearch + Development, University of Stuttgart) and Dr. Ing. Stefan Peters (ENGELSMANN PETERS Ingenieure) will present the exhibit.

The glass bridge, which visitors can actually walk on, consists of individual four millimeter-thick (0.15 inches) bent glass panes, each with a dimension of only 3.7 centimeters (1.4 inches) total lamination. These material-optimized panes are connected by using a special laminating technology and therefore withstand extreme stress and strain. At the widest point the bridge measures 2 meters (6.5 feet), is transparent and also light weight: 1.7 tons of glass support a 7.2 ton load over a span width of seven meters (23 feet), according to an MDNA release.

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