All thickset 60 really means is that a glass block is constructed thick enough to be able to withstand direct contact from fire for at least 60 minutes. The ratings are created and tested by the Underwriters Laboratories or UL. This independent organization develops testing procedures and classifications for many consumer products including glass blocks products. For glass blocks, their main area of testing and certification is the glass block’s ability to resist fire.
The Rating System
There are really three different ratings for fire resistance. These ratings are measured in minutes. The three common ratings are 45, 60, 90. That means that for a thickset 60 glass block, it is able to resist fire for at least 60 minutes. They offer the same properties as all of the other types of glass blocks within the category, but are able to withstand direct contact from fire for at least 60 minutes. This is typically great for any supporting structure within a building.
Construction of UL 60 Glass Blocks
A thickset 60 glass block is constructed in a similar fashion to all other types of glass blocks. It is the additional materials that go into the glass making that provide the extra bit of resistance as well as the thickness of the glass that makes a UL 60 rated glass block able to withstand at least 60 minutes of direct contact from fire. Now most manufactures keep the process of creating their heat resistant glass a secret, but the basics are pretty simple.
In order to create glass that is heat resistant, it usually involves adding some type of ceramic material or something with similar properties into the glass making process. Glass by itself has a high thermal expansion coefficient. This means that when heat is applied the glass expands rather rapidly. For heat resistance, this is a very bad thing.
Introducing ceramics or some other related material can help combat the normal thermal expansion properties of glass. These materials, when added will lower the thermal expansion coefficient. This means that the glass will expand much slower when heat is applied, thus making it more resistant to heat. These glass blocks will be able to maintain their structural integrity for a much longer period of time when in direct contact with fire.
The great thing about glass blocks is that most of them are constructed to be able to already withstand at least 45 minutes of direct contact with fire. This gives the glass blocks several key advantages. They offer something that is aesthetically pleasing while offering functionality in the form of providing more light to a room, and they offer greater safety in being able to resist fire.
The Quality Glass Block and Window Company has been one of the leading wholesale loose glass block suppliers since 1976. Some of the quality products include thickset 60 glass block for rooms, shower kits, entryways and more. A glass block wall or divider can really transform any room into something truly spectacular.