Spandrel Glass Guidelines
Spandrel glass is the glass that conceals structural building components such as columns,
floors, HVAC systems, electrical wiring, plumbing, etc. Spandrel glass is typically located
between vision glass on each floor of a building.
Curtainwall and structurally glazed designs often require the use of spandrel glass to achieve
a designer’s vision of the finished project. Spandrel glass applications can be complimentary
or contrasting in colour when compared to the vision glass appearance. Spandrel glass
must be heat-treated to avoid thermal stress breakage. Guardian has extensive experience
with spandrel glass applications and can help architects and building owners achieve the
desired appearance while reducing the risk of thermal stress breakage.
When high-light-transmitting or low-reflecting vision glass is specified, achieving an exact
spandrel match is generally not possible. Daylight conditions can have a dramatic effect
on the perception of vision to spandrel appearance. For instance, a clear, bright sunny day
provides a higher reflective appearance, which will improve the vision to spandrel match.
A gray, overcast day may allow more visual transmission from the exterior and produce
more contrast between the vision and spandrel glass. Guardian recommends that full-
size outdoor mockups be prepared and approved in order to confirm the most desirable
spandrel option for a specific project.
1 2 3 4
Spandrel glass is typically an insulated glass unit with a SunGuard
coating on the #2 surface and either ceramic frit or silicone paint on
the #4 surface. Please see the adjacent diagram. In some cases, the
spandrel can be monolithic glass with paint or frit. Matching vision glass
with monolithic spandrel is difficult unless the vision glass has light
transmission of 14% or below and is also high reflecting. In some cases, Exterior Interior
reflective coated glass can have ceramic frit or silicone paint applied Coating Ceramic Frit or
directly to the coated surface for a monolithic spandrel. The primary
advantage in doing this is cost savings; however, matching vision
and spandrel can become more challenging with monolithic coated spandrel applications.
Please contact Guardian for more information.
CERAMIC PRINT SPANDREL GLASS
Enamels have been developed carefully for printing and firing on normal soda lime based float glass. During
the tempering process of the glass, these enamels melt and fuse permanently to the glass surface to form a
coloured ceramic layer.
SunGuard® coated glass, equipped with the special Silacoat® layer system, can be printed with ceramic
Glass enamels may react during firing with coatings causing some hazy appearance or even complete
destruction of the coating. Therefore it is necessary to test the compatibility of enamels with coated glass
under production firing conditions in order to get optimum results. It is recommended to run preliminary tests
with the selected colour/glass combination using the available production furnace and the intended glass
geometries and ceramic covered areas. Unfavorable temper conditions could be the reason to get bad
results (gloss, colour, homogeneity, durability, density).
Compatibility and suitability tests are essential for each project. Any print on a coated glass surface can
create colour deviations after firing. Proper mockups are advisable.
The processor is responsible for the final product and has to control its quality.
SunGuard® products can be printed with ceramic paint for various purposes:
Pattern dots or lines that are applied to the coating by silk screen printing. Decorative coatings on High
Performance products must be made into an insulated unit.
MONOLITHIC SPANDREL PANELS
SunGuard Solar Series products can be used as a monolithic spandrel panel with or without a full coverage of
ceramic frit or silicone paint.
SunGuard High Performance Series products can only be used as a monolithic spandrel panel in combination
with a full coverage of ceramic frit or silicone paint. The ceramic paint needs to cover the SunGuard coating
completely in order to ensure an effective protection against environmental influences of any kind. Otherwise
the coating needs to be protected inside an insulated unit.
- Covers up construction elements in the edge area.
- Offers protection of IG sealant against UV radiation.
- No common approval in combination with SunGuard®
High Performance products. Please contact Guardian!
- Edge enameling of SunGuard® High Performance
products with a width over 5cm is not recommended. SunGuard® Solar and HP SunGuard® Solar SunGuard® HP
glass SunGuard® ceramic paint sealant
Since the various ceramic paints contain different
chemicals, tests must be made in advance. Do not glue anything on the enamelled coating
without making compatibility tests.
REQUIREMENTS ON ENAMELING OF SUNGUARD
After performing extensive internal tests, Guardian recommends the following procedures:
- All enamels must not contain following ingredients:
lead, cadmium, graphite, lithium, carbonate.
- Minimum thickness of the wet coating after printing with correct adjusted processing viscosity:
o 70 µm by silk screen printing (e.g. silk screen type “T 34”)
o 90 µm by enamelling with roller coating
- A sufficient slow and complete drying of the enamel has to be ensured before firing.
- The final thickness of the enamel coating after firing should not be less than 30 µm.
- The ceramic frit must melt without bubbles under normal temper conditions for flat glass in order
a dense and compact cover with a minimized porosity.
- Minimum quality control of the final product:
o All test methods recommended by the enamel manufacturer
o Scratch resistance and adhesion (test with Erichsen-pen)
o Porosity and adhesion (iso-propanol-test)
o Melting behavior and surface roughness (gloss test with gloss meter)
o Uniform and dense coverage (detection of pinholes in transmission – halogen lamp test**)
- The processor must follow specific processing instructions supplied by the enamel producer.
Installation of a halogen lamp (min. 100W) in a distance of max. 50 cm from the glass. Evaluation of the glass pane in
transmission, viewing on the enamelled side regarding number, dimension and distribution of the pinholes (selection of
the worst area, not more than 30 pinholes/dm2, single holes not larger than 0.2 mm in diameter). The distance of the
observer to the glass should be not more than 50 cm.
CERAMIC PRINT WITH FERRO PAINT SYSTEM 140
Ferro and GUARDIAN have tested all “System 140” colours using recommended solvent “Medium
80 1022” or “Medium 80 1026” on GUARDIAN SunGuard® High Performance and Solar Series
RECOMMENDED GLASS-ENAMEL COMBINATIONS FOR SUNGUARD SPANDRELS
SunGuard® Vision Ceramic frit spandrel – mono Ceramic frit spandrel – insulating glass
Light Blue 52 Light Blue 52 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Light Blue 52 on #2 + Frit on #4
Neutral 34 Neutral 34 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Neutral 34 on #2 + Frit on #4
Silver Grey 32 Silver Grey 32 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Silver Grey 32 on #2 + Frit on #4
Royal Blue 20 Royal Blue 20 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4060 on #2 Royal Blue 20 on #2 + Frit on #4
Silver 20 Silver 20 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Silver 20 on #2 + Frit on #4
Green 52 Green 52 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Green 52 on #2 + Frit on #4
Green 34 Green 34 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Green 34 on #2 + Frit on #4
Green 32 Green 32 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Green 32 on #2 + Frit on #4
Aquamarine 20 Aquamarine 20 on #2 + Ferro System 140 12 4060 on #2 Aquamarine 20 on #2 + Frit on #4
Green 20 Green 20 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Green 20 on #2 + Frit on #4
ClimaGuard N70 Light Blue 52 on #2 + Frit SG 70 HS on #2 ClimaGuard Neutral 70 on #2 + Frit on #4
Neutral 60 Silver Grey 32 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Neutral 60 on #2 + Frit on #4
Neutral Plus 50 Silver Grey 32 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Neutral Plus 50 on #2 + Frit on #4
Neutral 40 Silver Grey 32 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Neutral 40 on #2 + Frit on #4
Royal Blue 40 Royal Blue 20 on #2 + Ferro System 140 12 4060 on #2 Royal Blue 40 on #2 + Frit on #4
Silver 35 Silver 08 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Silver 35 on #2 + Frit on #4
CG Green 70 Green 52 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 CG Green 70 on #2 + Frit on #4
Green 60 Green 32 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Green 60 on #2 + Frit on #4
Green Plus 50 Green 32 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Green Plus 50 on #2 + Frit on #4
Green 40 Green 32 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Green 40 on #2 + Frit on #4
Aquamarine 40 Aquamarine 20 on #2 + Ferro System 140 12 4060 on #2 Aquamarine 40 on #2 + Frit on #4
Silver Green 35 Silver Green 08 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Silver Green 35 on #2 + Frit on #4
Super Neutral 70 Light Blue 52 on #2 + Frit SG 70 HS on #2 Super Neutral 70 on #2 + Frit on #4
Super Neutral 62 Light Blue 52 on #2 + Frit SG 70 HS on #2 Super Neutral 62 on #2 + Frit on #4
Super Neutral 51 Royal Blue 20 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Super Neutral 51 on #2 + Frit on #4
Super Neutral 40 Royal Blue 20 on #2 + Ferro System 140 15 4001 on #2 Super Neutral 40 on #2 + Frit on #4
These are recommendations only – a mockup is advisable.
Recommended enamels: FERRO “System 140” – other enamels (e.g. PEMCO) and corresponding colour codes on request.
Because of the increased energy absorption in IGU spandrels both lites will require heat treatment. For
special applications, please consult GUARDIAN.
These guidelines are for information purpose only and GUARDIAN does not provide any warranty with
respect to their content. GUARDIAN provides only a limited warranty for SunGuard® products and not
regarding the intended further processing or end product, which remains the full responsibility of the