Advances in glass technology will once again be on show at the upcoming glasstec 2014 exhibition in Düsseldorf in October this year.

To be held over four days from 21 October to 24 October, glasstec 2014 will provide a view into the future of glass, showcasing all the current trends in glass products and applications as well as new development potential.

Considered the most significant international trade fair for the glass industry, glasstec 2014 will provide glass processors and finishers, architects and construction engineers along with façade planners and interested trade visitors from associated trades with a unique insight into the current sector developments and trends and also a far-reaching look into the future of glass.

glasstec 2014 will, in addition to the broad product and service spectrum presented by exhibitors, feature a diverse support programme for trade visitors from across the world. A major highlight at glasstec 2014 will again be the ‘glass technology live’ special show (gtl) along with the supporting trade symposium.

To present glass technology for the coming years, glass technology live is being organised by Prof. Stefan Behling and his team from the Institute of Building Technology, Construction and Design (Institut für Baukonstruktion) at Stuttgart University. Under the motto ‘Intelligent Glass’, gtl will showcase trend-setting glass products and applications in a space of 2,500 square metres. The main theme areas this year are: Innovations in Glass, Intelligent Building Shells, Façade + Energy, and Glass Design.

Innovations in Glass

In addition to new glass products, the focus of the main theme ‘Innovations in Glass’ will also extend to innovative production, processing and finishing possibilities. Companies, universities of applied science/technical colleges and research institutions will be presenting their current projects connected with glass. The focal points of this themed sector include glass as a supporting construction material, hot and cold-bent glass, laminating and adhesive technology, joining technology along with thin and light glass applications.

The combination of new technologies and hybrid components has led to an enormous increase in the efficiency of glass applications. Visitors to the trade show can view an approximately 9m-long bridge made entirely of glass, resting on pre-stressed glass supports with filigree stainless steel cables. The walk-on bridge is part of a current research project being conducted by the Institute of Building Technology, Construction and Design at the Technische Universität Dresden (University of Applied Science), which involves optimising the interfaces of the glass/stainless steel material combination and developing a modular support system for various spanning widths.

According to Dipl.-Ing. Architect Jutta Albus from the organisation team at Stuttgart University, the newly built headquarters of gin producer Bombay Sapphire, part of the Bacardi Group, impressively demonstrates the current possibilities in the area of glass bending and use of glass in the implementation of exceptional design concepts and highly complex glass architecture. The two highly transparent glass buildings at company headquarters are characterised by ultra-light, folded shell structures using minimalistic steel girders and double-bent glass panels with stabilising function. An original segment of the façade can be closely viewed in Düsseldorf.

The Innovations in Glass segment is rounded off by exhibits and presentations of new types of insulation glass, coatings and multi-functional glass products.

Intelligent Building Shells

The ‘Intelligent Building Shells’ theme takes a look at all the aspects key to future-orientated, energetically efficient and sustainable building shells in glass. The glass technology live segment shows how modern heat insulation and solar protection glass along with switchable glazing can be installed in building shells very efficiently and with the highest aesthetic standards.

According to Dipl.-Ing. Architect Stefan Robanus, also a member of the organisation team at Stuttgart University, one of the highlights of this year’s special show is the ‘seele iconic skin’ modular structured glass façade, a brand-new development by German company seele, a specialist in exceptional glass façades. The external and internal façade surfaces of the seele iconic skin appear to be completely homogenous, without any visible transoms or pillars, lateral supports or mountings and fastenings. The double-skin structure with integrated profiles is fitted with a patented, self-conditioning pressure compensation system, which ensures passive ventilation through interaction with the external climate. The new glass sandwich element façade offers excellent heat and sound insulation and enables the integration of sun protection elements.

Josef Gartner GmbH has also developed a different type of functional, standalone façade, CCF-Façade featuring an integrated cavity between the glass elements. The space between the inside and outside skin is completely enclosed. In order to avoid condensation on the façade, dry, clean air is continuously fed in, reducing the energy consumption of the façade. gtl is showing a 2.70m by 3.50m mock-up of the CCF façade.

Façade + Energy

The theme focusses on the latest developments from the solar power and solar heat segments. In addition to presentations on thin-layer photovoltaics and organic photovoltaics, PV modules in large and special formats offering maximum effectiveness will be displayed along with module design.

Building Integrated Photovoltaics will be one of main focus areas in this segment in view of its extensive architectural possibilities and positive effects on the energy efficiency of buildings. Application examples show how this future-orientated technology can play its part in decisively shaping the architecture of the future. One of the sustainable concepts to be showcased includes the bio-reactive façade (algae façade) wherein micro-algae is grown in the space between panes exposed to sunlight. Their by-products, biomass and biogas are used to produce electricity.

Glass Design

The individual design of glass products is a key component in the glass boom in building shells and interior design. Today, the latest silk screen technology, digital printing and film laminates enable the realisation of glass designs, which were perceived as impossible for a long time.

The glass technology live show will present a pane in a spectacular 3.20m x 14.00m format finished using the ceramic digital printing process. The colour application is much thinner than silk screen printing, while translucent printing and colour graduations are also possible. Ceramic digital printing offers the advantage of fast and cost-effective reproducibility of designs, making the process attractive for individual façade design. The exhibit is being presented by German glass finisher sedak, which can print panes up to a size of 15m by 3.21m.

Laser system manufacturer Cerion is showcasing glass finishing using laser technology. Laser enables highly efficient and extremely precise glass surfaces to be individually designed, and the concentrated light beam can be used for engraving three-dimensional structures and motifs in the glass interior.

gtl is presenting spectacular examples of glass design featuring integrated light sources with possible applications for this technology extending from illuminated glass shelves, tables and walls up to the large-format media façade with colourful moving images. In combination with glass-integrated fabrics or special films, the innovative light sources can also be used to produce highly attractive 3D effects.

Technical Symposium

The glasstec 2014 show will also feature a trade symposium featuring high-ranking speakers from leading research institutes, associations, companies and architects’ who will be presenting on various themes. Each day of the trade fair will be dedicated to a different key theme.

The main themes for 2014 are:

Tues: Batch, Melting and Forming (Hüttentechnische Vereinigung der dt. Glasindustrie e.V./ Research Association of the German Glass Industry) and Deutsche Glastechnische Gesellschaft e.V./ German Society of Glass Technology)

Wed: Production technology for the processing and refining of glass (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V./ German Engineering Federation, VDMA)

Thurs: Transparency – State of the Art Technologies (Stuttgart University)

Fri: New perspectives and market opportunities for the glazier trade (Bundesinnungsverband des Glaserhandwerks, Federal Association of German Glazing Guilds, BIV) and Glass in Windows and Façades (Bundesverband Flachglas, Federal Flat Glass Association).

The symposium is open to all trade fair visitors free of charge within glasstec.

Broadly structured support programme

The supporting program at glasstec 2014 presents a whole range of top-class features. Directly adjoining glass technology live, the Façades Center with the Professional Center Glass + Façade is offering insights covering all aspects of the latest developments in the area of façade technology.

In the Crafts Centre the focus is on the entire service spectrum offered by the glass-processing crafts and trades. At glasstec 2014 this once again includes the glass exhibition ‘glass art’ and the Autoglas Arena as well as the new feature ‘Handwerk (Crafts) LIVE’, which invites visitors from the glass-processing trades to participate.

The diverse support programme at glasstec 2014 is rounded off by three top-class trade conferences:

On 21 and 22 October, a specialist conference organised by the partners of the fair, TU (University of Applied Science) Dresden and TU Darmstadt, will be presenting the ‘engineered transparency’ theme in all its facets and possibilities.

On 22 October at the Architects’ Congress under the motto ‘Glass 5.0 - Design, Function, Emotion’, the capability of the material will be on the agenda. The Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe, TU Delft and the North-Rhine Westphalian Chamber of Architects (Architektenkammer Nordrhein-Westfalen) will be actively involved as organisation partners of Messe Düsseldorf.

On 20 and 21 October, the specialist conference ‘Solar meets Glass’ will be focusing on the interface themes of the glass and solar industry.