Even after 40+ years since its introduction and implementation in architectural designs, specifications for structural silicone glazing (SSG) continue to increase year after year. This ability to attach glass to the metal framing of a curtainwall with a flexible silicone sealant provides both protection from air and water infiltration as well as the necessary adhesive strength to hold the glass in place; withstanding all of the loads and forces for which the configuration was designed. The two most widely selected SSG configurations are two-sided and four-sided.

With two-sided structural glazing (2SSG), two opposing sides of the lite or unit are mechanically captured and the other two opposing sides are bonded to the frame with an approved structural silicone sealant. With four-sided structural glazing (4SSG), all four sides of the lite or unit are bonded to the frame with the approved sealant and without mechanical capture.

In both cases, the structural sealant manufacturer may require review and approval of the structural glazing joint designs. This approval process, conducted prior to commencing work on the glazing, is generally referred to as a "Project Review." The type of sealant used, substrates, mechanical fastening, adhesion testing and compatibility between sealants and other components must all be evaluated and approved. It is imperative for architects and contractors to ensure this review has been done and that the project-specific quality guidelines are followed exactly.

With specific regard to compatibility, it is important for all parties to understand that compatibility testing provided by individual suppliers is usually a single product-to-product test and not a complete matrix test and approval of all components used in the glazing. Complete approval can be sought and provided through the project review process—which can include results from supplier single component compatibility testing. Collecting this data is essential to ensuring project success. Why? Because not all glazing components may be compatible within the entire configuration—even if they may be perfectly compatible as one single product with another single product.

ICD’s OPACI-COAT-300® is suitable for use in two-sided structural glazing (2SSG) configurations where an approved structural silicone sealant is used and where a project review to both the sealant manufacturer and ICD has been submitted and approved.  With such 2SSG approval, OPACI-COAT-300® does not require cut backs (edge deletion) along any edges of the coated glass.  When desired for four-sided structural glazing (4SSG), OPACI-COAT-300® may only be used if the coating has been cut back (edge deleted) from all four edges of the glass.  OPACI-COAT-300® has been an outstanding choice in structural glazing configurations for over 30 years.  Call ICD, at 360-546-2286, for more information—we have a team of people prepared to guide you through the process and help ensure your project’s success.

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Written by: Jeff Nicholson