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All about Acid Etched Glass (Part I)
Published:2015-10-18 16:37:35    Text Size:【BIG】【MEDIUM】【SMALL
Summary:Acid -etched glass is becoming trendy in design and construction. The consistency and durability of the finish can reduce glare and reflection, add privacy, increase light transmission, and provide texture. It is important to select the right acid-etched glass for an application, and avoid marking issues during its storage and fabrication.

Acid -etched glass is becoming trendy in design and construction. The consistency and durability of the finish can reduce glare and reflection, add privacy, increase light transmission, and provide texture. It is important to select the right acid-etched glass for an application, and avoid marking issues during its storage and fabrication.

Although the glass-etching process is generally consistent, variations in chemistry and other parameters create different surfaces with distinct visual and performance characteristics. Glass is etched with an aqueous solution of hydrofluoric acid, which attacks the silica and roughens the glass surface. Generally, the more whiteor opaque the finish, the more rough and porous the surface is.

When choosing distinctive and unique types of glass, architects and designers often have specific objectives in mind. With acid-etched glass, these goals can related to:

l  Light transmission;

l  Light diffusion;

l  Privacy;

l  Visual appearance;

l  Integration with surrounding objects; and

l  Energy efficiency through increased day lighting.

An etched surface with rugged peaks and deep valleys absorbs and diffuses light, rather than transmitting or reflecting it – the result is a rich , white, opaque appearance. In contrast, an etched surface with smooth, rounded bumps enhances light transmission and creates a more transparent glass, characterized by reduced reflective glare and a soft translucent appearance.

 

Acid-etched surface finish

Acid-etched finishes vary by manufacturer. The type selected for a glass substrate renders a different level of opacity and smoothness and creates varied visual effects. It also impacts performance ratios such as:

l  Glass;

l  Visible light transmission (VLT);

l  Visible light reflectance;

l  Shading coefficient;

l  Solar direct transmission;

l  Solar direct reflectance; and

l  U-value.

The visual effect of the acid-etch finish on mirror varies depending on the extent of etching performed. A lighter-etched mirror has more reflection whereas a deeper etch creates a matte finish and more depth in the glass.

 continuing...

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