The applications of glass grinding machines: safety issues and design possibilities

There’s no doubt that glass has come to be seen as a far more versatile material then it used to be. No longer confined to the simple manufacture of laboratory or home glassware,  it is employed in a great number of fields, not least of which furnishing and architecture – where both technical advancements and a certain evolution of aesthetical sense have greatly widened its range of application. Such new applications, however, come with their own different challenges, mostly tied to the size of the glass panes employed therein; and far from all having to do with the aesthetic side of things, some of the most important are actually related to actual safety. We’ve asked for a few pointers on the matter from the technicians at Angelo Schiatti, a leading Italian Company which manufactures glass grinding machines.

Is glass grinding so important in glass processing? And why?

Glass grinding is absolutely fundamental in the manufacture of large glass panes, and  the reasons for companies to employ glass grinding CNC machines are twofold; while one of them is mostly design-related, the other is actually a significant safety issue, both for operators and for final users. No company dealing in this field can skip the glass grinding phase.
The safety issue is probably more pressing. What is it about?

One of the other essential phases in glass pane processing is cutting, an cutting glass inevitably results in extremely sharp edges; there is no safe way for such edges to be handled safely, both in a factory setting and once  brought to their final site of installation. The grinding process smoothes these edges without damaging the glass pane itself, resulting in smooth profiles which present no risks.


What are, on the other hand, the aesthetical implications of glass grinding?

In itself, glass grinding is not a complex procedure; it consists of the abrasion of the glass pane edge in order to dull and smoothen it. The introduction of CNC glass grinding machines, however, has allowed for operators to program more complex procedures, leading to a range of different profiles which can have a significantly different final effect in design; the basic “pencil” edge, simply rounded and smooth, is just a basic option, but waterfall edges, designed to avoid light refraction, or Ogee profiles with a double-curved edge which is alternately concave and convex, allow designers a far wider range of possibilities to work with.

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