PPG Industries will begin manufacturing Starphire ultra-clear glass using oxy-fuel furnace technology at its float glass plant in Fresno, Calif. The glass was formerly manufactured only at PPG’s central Pennsylvania plant.
According to Patrick J. Kenny, PPG director of marketing, flat glass, West Coast production of Starphire glass will yield two significant environmental and supply chain benefits. First, it will enable PPG customers purchasing the ultra-low-iron glass products to get them made using the most environmentally-advanced float glass furnace technology.
“As far as we know, Starphire glass will be the only ultra-low-iron glass in the world manufactured on an oxy-fuel float glass line,” Kenny says. “That will make this already Cradle-to-Cradle Certified (CM) product even more attractive to architects and product designers who want to use the most sustainable products available.”
Second, according to the announcement, adding production in Fresno will create a more local and reliable supply of Starphire glass for architects, fabricators and independent glass shops in the western U.S.
“By producing Starphire glass in California, we will dramatically reduce the potential for transportation-related supply disruptions for West Coast customers, and we may enable projects within 500 miles of Fresno to incorporate Starphire glass and be considered for LEED® regional materials credit,” says Kenny. “That will give our current and potential customers even greater incentive to take advantage of the performance benefits this extraordinary product offers.”
According to the announcement, PPG’s Fresno plant is one of only six flat glass production facilities in the world to incorporate oxy-fuel furnace technology, which employs oxygen instead of air to help combust raw materials used in the manufacture of float glass. Oxygen-fired glass furnaces consume 15 percent less natural gas than conventional air-fired furnaces while reducing carbon emissions by 10 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 50 percent.
The Fresno plant will produce Starphire glass in thicknesses of 3 to 12 millimeters, which will be available by mid-summer.