Products from Schott Glass’ innovative PYRAN S range of fire resistant glazing have been installed in an ambitious refurbishment of the Bavarian Museum of Textile and Industry in Augsburg. The result is a vivid and inspiring museum space, where the exhibits are perfectly showcased, whilst maintaining high levels of visitor safety and fire protection.
Designed by Professor Klaus Kada, from Kada Wittfeld Architects in Graz, Austria, the new museum layout incorporates two large exhibition spaces and a newly added two floor foyer section. In the main machine hall, visitors can experience at close quarters the frenetic sights and sounds of fully functioning looms and knitting machines, spanning more than 200 years of textile history.
To ensure visitor safety and to protect the historical structure of the building, the extensive machinery collection is contained behind full height glass partitions. In addition, floor to ceiling fire resistant glass panes separate the foyer from the main exhibition area. This 11m high partition, which runs down the central axis of the museum, is composed of 6mm thick PYRAN S fire-resistant glass panes, glazed into a delicate steel profile mullion-transom design to create an almost frameless effect on the large expanse of glass.
To gain entrance to the machine area, a glazed door with PYRAN S was installed within the glass partition. In this way, the whole glass structure fulfilled relevant fire protection regulations, with a self-closing and smoke-tight glass door, without detracting from the design’s overall delicate impression.
Made from borosilicate, PYRAN special glass is far superior to conventional safety glasses with a soda-lime composition. Borosilicate glass is able to withstand wider temperature differentials and has a much higher softening temperature, meaning it is self-supporting for more than 30 minutes. Therefore large panes and relatively minimal frame constructions are possible.
The low glass flow rate of borosilicate glass (which has a high viscosity and therefore less sensitivity to the effects of edge cover) result in longer fire resistance times in excess of 180 minutes. In addition, the chemical composition of borosilicate glass prevents harmful Nickel Sulphide (NiS) crystals from forming – ruling out the risk of sudden fracture caused by embedded NiS crystals. Furthermore, PYRAN special glass remains transparent even under high thermal loads, ensuring vital visibility in the case of fire, which makes it much easier to evacuate a burning building safely.