Volume 47, Issue 12 - December 2012
Arnold Glas has developed a bird-protection glass and earlier this year Los Angeles-based Glasswerks Inc. formed a partnership with Arnold Glas through which it is now the exclusive North American fabricator of the glass, called Ornilux.
According to Welch, the product’s development was based on a theory by which you look to nature to solve human problems. Developers, she explained, looked at a web and how spiders use ultraviolet (UV) reflectance to alert birds of their webs. “They looked at how spiders and birds coexist in similar environments,” she says. “Ornilux is a coating; a patterned UV reflective coating that is manufactured similarly to other sputter coatings,” says Welch, adding that though birds can see it, people can not.
This was about 12 years ago when the company came up with the idea; that was followed by five or six years of research and development. It worked closely with ornithologists on testing and in 2006 the first generation was released in Germany. The second generation was released in 2009 and the glass became available wide scale in mid 2010 in North America.
“We believe this is a major issue,” says Ed Rosengrant, Glasswerks vice president of sales and marketing. “I was flabbergasted by the stats once I learned about them. So it’s important to help mitigate that.”
With so many, from architects to consumers, hearing about Ornilux, Welch says there have been many questions to answer. In fact, she says one hurdle they’ve faced is people don’t necessarily understand what it is; some think it’s an interlayer, others a film, etc.
“So the challenge [has been] giving a clear explanation of what the product is,” she says.
And testing is ongoing. Every fall/spring is bird migration season and Welch says they test different thicknesses, etc. to find an even wider range of configurations. The product can be used in many glass types, including insulating glass units, laminated glass, etc.
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