Pilkington Pyrolytic Advantage
For years, glass manufacturers and fabricators have been changing the appearance and performance properties of float glass by applying coatings to it.
Usually, coatings are applied after the glass is produced, cut, bent or otherwise fabricated, by a process called "sputter coating", where various chemicals are deposited on the surface of the glass, forming a layer on the outer surface of the glass that changes its aesthetic or performance properties. These coatings are sometimes referred to as "soft coats", because the coating can be susceptible to scratching and degradation over time, and may require special handling. Soft coat glass products have a limited shelf life, cannot be heat treated after coating, and require edge deletion for insulating glass fabrication, all of which adds to its processing costs and longer lead times.
While most of the industry was focusing on soft coat glass products, however, Pilkington decided to go in a different direction, developing an entirely new way of coating glass during the float glass manufacturing operation called "pyrolytic" coating. As the name implies, a pyrolytic glass is one where the coating is chemically-bonded to the glass at the molecular level while it is still in the semi-molten stage by a process we call "Chemical Vapor Deposition." This results in an extremely durable and stable coating that is impregnated right into the surface of the glass, pyrolytic products are often referred to as "hard coats".