Frameless glass balustrades offer unobstructed views and minimal interference with the appearance of the building, without compromising on safety. Particularly homeowners with ocean, river or city aspects choose frameless glass balustrading to ensure they maximize the outlook from their balcony and home. Absolute Balustrades offer either A Grade toughened glass or toughened laminated safety glass in all of our glass balustrade products.
Toughened glass is treated using a thermal tempering process. This makes it more resistant to breakage than simple annealed glass. Also,if it does break, it doesn’t shatter, but instead, breaks into typically square pieces as opposed to more dangerous shards. Australian Standard AS1288-2006 requires all glass balustrade installations to have a handrail, where the glass balustrade is protecting a height difference of more than 1000mm. The handrail acts as a safety barrier in the event of accidental glass breakage. In a frameless glass system, the handrail must be interlinking and it must be supported so that in the event of breakage it can withstand loads of 0.75 KN. One way of doing this is by using 3 or more glass panels.
The only glass balustrade that doesn’t require a handrail, is toughened laminated safety glass (AS1288-2006). Toughened laminated glass is made of two or more layers of toughened glass with one or more "interlayers" of polymeric material bonded between the glass layers. Thus rather than shattering on impact, toughened laminated glass is held together by the interlayer, which makes it much safer. This is great if you are after the completely frameless look. However, toughened laminated glass is a premium product, and therefore, is more expensive than the toughened glass option. As well as safety and security benefits, other technologies can be added to the interlayer to give laminated glass attractive features such as ultraviolet filtering and sound dampening.
To find out more about frameless glass balustrade options call our sales team on 08 9302 1947 or visit our Products Page. Also, read our case study on Toughened Laminated Glass, which includes photos and details of one of our recent jobs.
Source: Australian Standard 1288-2006 on Glass Balustrading.