QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Is it true that Pilkington Activ™ is only for use in domestic situations?
No. Pilkington Activ™ offers benefits for domestic, light commercial, public sector and high-specification commercial
applications. It is particularly beneficial in areas which are difficult to access for cleaning such as upper floor
windows, conservatory roofs, other sloping roofs, atria and any building where the occupants find it difficult to clean
their windows safely.
Can Pilkington Activ™ be used in shop windows?
Yes, however it should be noted that Pilkington Activ™ needs both daylight and rainfall to work effectively. Shops are
often situated in covered walkways or arcades where large projecting canopies may prevent sufficient daylight and rain
reaching the glass.
Is it OK to use Pilkington Activ™ to achieve other performance benefits?
Yes. Pilkington Activ™ must be on surface 1, the external surface of an IGU. Once incorporated into an insulating
glass unit, Pilkington Activ™ can be used in combination with an extensive range of products offered by Pilkington to
achieve the required benefits.
For thermal insulation, Pilkington Activ™ can be incorporated into IGUs with
Pilkington K Glass™ or Pilkington Optitherm™ SN. If it is necessary to have another glass as the inner pane, then the
dual coated Pilkington Activ Optitherm™ SN can be used.
For solar control, Pilkington Activ Blue™ can be used. This
is a light blue tinted glass with Pilkington Activ™ on one surface. The Pilkington Activ Suncool™ products are also
available. These are dual coated products with Suncool on the reverse side to Activ.
Pilkington Activ Optilam™ Brown, a solar control laminate can also be used. Pilkington Activ™ can be toughened or laminated for safety or security applications.
For noise control, Pilkington Activ™ can be combined with
Pilkington Optilam™ Phon. Pilkington Activ™ can be laminated to Pilkington Stippolyte™ for decoration.
Pilkington Activ™ can be combined with Pilkington’s fire products such as Pilkington Pyrostop™ or Pilkington Pyrodur™.
Is Pilkington Activ™ suitable for internal use?
No. Pilkington Activ™ needs daylight and rain in order to work properly so it may only be used externally.
Can Pilkington Activ™ be used with frame-less glazing?
Pilkington Activ™ can be installed in a frameless glazing system such as Pilkington Planar™. It requires the use of
specialist sealants that don’t leach silicone. Information on these products are listed on the Technical Update that is
available on www.pilkington.com or by calling 01744 692000. It is also possible to butt joint panes of Pilkington
Activ™ using the specialist sealants listed above. It is not currently possible to install Pilkington Activ™ in a structurally
bonded or “stuck back” type system.
Is it acceptable to use Pilkington Activ™ in Single Glazing?
Yes, providing that the system meets the requirements of the relevant Building Regulations. Pilkington Activ™ can be
provided in annealed, toughened and laminate forms.
Can I buy or make Insulating Glass Units (IGUs);
- with Internal Georgian Bars?
Yes. However, where it is the intention of the customer not to replace all glazing with Pilkington Activ™ the customer
should be advised that the visual properties of Pilkington Activ™ are different to clear glass. Therefore internal
Georgian bars may look slightly different from those with clear glass.
With Applied Bevels?
Yes, but the adhesive used to apply the bevels to the glass must be one that has passed Pilkington’s compatibility tests.
These products are listed on the Technical Update that is available on www.pilkington.com or by calling 01744 692000.
For Timber framing systems?
Yes but only with sealants or glazing tapes, which have passed Pilkington’s compatibility tests. These products are
listed on the Technical Update that is available on www.pilkington.com or by calling 01744 692000.
Note: Pilkington test regimes only confirm product compatibility with Pilkington Activ™. Sealant suppliers are
responsible for testing the life span and/or recommending the suitability for purpose of the glazing.
With Applied Leads?
Yes, but the make of leading used, and the adhesive used to apply it to the glass must have passed Pilkington’s
compatibility tests. These products are listed on the Technical Update that is available on www.pilkington.com or by
calling 01744 692000. The customer should be made aware that applying leading, in effect breaks up the window into
many small windows and this will change the water sheeting effect.
With Duplex, Cottage or Applied Georgian Bars?
Yes, but the tapes used to adhere the bars to the glass must have passed Pilkington’s compatibility tests. These products
are listed on the Technical Update that is available on www.pilkington.com or by calling 01744 692000. These decorative
bars, once installed, may act as a dam causing a build up of residual dirt along the edges of the applied bars.
Can I sandblast the Pilkington Activ™ coating?
No. Any processing of this nature to the coated surface will result in the loss of self-cleaning characteristics permanently
wherever the coating is damaged or removed.
Can we safety mark toughened Pilkington Activ™ on the coated surface?
Pilkington recommend that wherever possible, the application of any safety mark should be to the non-coated surface.
Where this is not practical however, the coated surface may be marked but great care is necessary.
Does the toughening process affect the colouring of Pilkington Activ™?
Only in cases of excessive temperatures.
Can a Pilkington Activ™ IGU be manufactured with a silicone seal?
Yes with care, so that there is no silicone contamination on the glass surface. A silicone sealed unit is normally glazed
to ensure that moisture could not reach the seal and eventually drain onto the glass.
How do you cover the sealant from UV attack in a stepped unit?
We normally apply lead strip on the outer leaf.
So what do you do with Pilkington Activ™?
We would still recommend covering the step with a lead strip. The lead should be treated with Leadshield™ or
Patination oil to reduce potential of carbonate run off. In this type of application, run off is generally not an issue as
the stepped edge is normally at the bottom of the glazing.
Conservatories, however, pose a greater potential risk of run off, carrying lead carbonate from flashing onto the glass
roof below. This can lead to marking of any glass type, not just Pilkington Activ™.
What is the current situation regarding compatibility with dry gasket glazing systems?
All glazing systems where the gasket is lubricated with silicone oil are incompatible with Pilkington Activ™. Leaching
from these product types onto the glass coating will create a hydrophobic area around the edge of the glass known as “picture framing”, which is unacceptable to customers. The same is true of many silicone based rubber gaskets.
However, there are many gaskets that are compatible with Pilkington Activ™, e.g. gaskets that are part of a co-extruded
system, a dry gasket used without lubricant, or a gasket using an alternative lubricant such as glycerine oil. These
products are listed on the Technical Update that is available on www.pilkington.com or by calling 01744 692000.
Are EPDM gaskets silicone-free?
Some are. A list of gaskets that have passed Pilkington’s compatibility tests can be found on the Technical Update
that is available on www.pilkington.com or by calling 01744 692000.
How do we comply with Part L in units requiring Texture Glass for privacy and Pilkington Activ™?
By using new Pilkington Activ Stippolyte™ Laminated Glass as the outer pane of the IGU and Pilkington K Glass™ as
the inner pane. Details can be obtained from your local Pilkington branch. It is also possible to manufacture a triple
glazed unit with Pilkington Activ™ on the outer pane, the Pilkington Texture Glass of your choice as the middle pane
and Pilkington K Glass™ as the inner pane.
Does Pilkington Activ™ clean off finger prints?
Pilkington Activ™ will clean off finger prints but it may take a period of time, dependent upon environmental conditions.
It may take as long as several weeks. Pilkington suggest customers avoid touching the glass wherever
possible, as fingerprints may act as a key for inorganic dirt to stick to and therefore appears worse. Pilkington also
recommend that installers wear gloves for avoidance of fingerprints and traces of contaminants from other glazing
compounds, silicone in particular, which may be more difficult to remove.
Is it true that more dust and dirt sticks to Pilkington Activ™ than to normal float glass in dry weather?
In dry weather, Pilkington Activ™ destroys organic dirt, but inorganic dirt is not washed off. However, there is no
difference in the amount of dirt or dust that sticks to Pilkington Activ™ compared to normal glass. This has been
shown in laboratory tests and real life tests in the dusty Arizona Desert.
What effect do PVC cleaners have on the coating?
Several brands have been tested. If and when used, the agent needs to be rinsed off the glass with warm soapy water,
which should ensure that the coating remains unharmed. There is a list of suitable cleaners on the Technical Update
that is available on www.pilkington.com or by calling 01744 692000.
Is Pilkington Activ™ Nanotechnology?
Pilkington Activ™ has been cited as an example of Nanotechnology. Whilst the coating is nanometres thick it is really
a development of thin film technology, rather than being a specific Nanotechnology product. The name nanotechnology
is usually applied to the scientific investigation or application of particles and/or structures, which have sizes of less
than one hundred nanometres. Particles or structures of this size can have unique properties compared to bulk
Pilkington Activ™ is based on a thin film of titanium dioxide rather than particles of titanium dioxide and
the film is approximately 15 nanometres thick. Whilst falling under the broad definition of nanotechnology we feel it
is best referred to as a development of thin film technology. The coating is applied by a process called chemical
vapour deposition which involves the pyrolytic addition of chemicals on a hot glass substrate to form a thin film. This
process is conducted as the glass is manufactured.
Does silicone permanently damage the coating?
No it just blocks the effectiveness of Pilkington Activ™. Small amounts can eventually be broken down by Pilkington
Activ™ but large amounts may need a special chemical silicone remover.
Will my Pilkington Activ™ glass ever get dirty?
When there are long dry spells there will not be any rainwater to wash off loosened organic dirt and organic particles.Light use of a hosepipe can simulate rain and clean the glass.
Is Pilkington Activ™ suitable for coastal areas?
Salt deposits from sea spray are inorganic. Rain normally removes this but if there is a long dry spell then you may
have to resort to using a hose pipe to simulate rain.
Why is there a limit for the slope of roofs and Pilkington Activ™?
Pilkington Activ™ needs both daylight and rain to work effectively. When the roof angle gets too low the rain does not
wash the loosened dirt off as effectively. A good flow of water across the glass is beneficial. Pilkington Activ™ still
gives better results than ordinary glass with low angle roof applications.
Does Pilkington Activ™ use bacteria to break down the deposits?
No. On the contrary the process is photocatalytic and is anti bacterial. This prevents fungi and mould growth that
might start to build on ordinary glass.
Will each Pilkington Activ™ unit arrive wrapped or protected in some way other than the normal protection pads?
This depends on the decision of the IGU supplier. Pilkington Insulight Activ™ units will generally not be supplied
with any special protection, other than standard protective pads. Care should also be taken when choosing protective
film especially where the film may be adhered to the unit for long periods of time. A list of suitable protective films
can be found on the Technical Update that is available on www.pilkington.com or by calling 01744 692000.However,
correct handling, transportation, storage and installation of Pilkington Activ™ units should mean that the product
does not require protective film.
Will Pilkington Insulight Activ™ units be supplied with edge tape?
Will we be permanently marking Pilkington Activ™?
No, every Pilkington Activ™ unit will be labelled on surface 4 with a Pilkington Activ™ instruction label for Installer
and Consumer. The installer should leave these labels intact whilst installing and beyond as proof to the customer that
they the product contains Pilkington Activ™. Consumers should always be left with a copy of the cleaning and
maintenance guidelines, which are included in the back of the A5 Consumer brochure.
Are there any plans to issue certificates of installation for Pilkington Activ™?
Yes, this is something that it available exclusively to members of Pilkington ProActiv™.
I am concerned about cleaning off sealant deposits:
Sealant deposits should be removed before they dry using a suitable solvent according to procedures outlined in the “Handling and Processing Guidelines for Window Manufacturers”. Residual deposits of cured sealant will be more
difficult to remove and abrasive materials must not be used to aid cleaning.
Does the unit come with the Logo on or does the Installer have to apply it?
All Pilkington Activ™ units should have the logo label with Installer and Consumer instructions applied by the IGU
What is the life-span of Pilkington Activ™?
The Pilkington Activ™ coating will last as long as the glass.
Were real life tests carried out on Pilkington Activ™ before it was released?
Yes, glass was installed and monitored at various locations round the world. These were chosen to test the glass under
a variety of weather conditions. The glass was tested for six months in the Arizona Desert, six months in Florida,
twelve months in Ohio in the USA, twelve months in Gelsenkirchen in Germany and thirty months outside our
Technology Centre in the north west of England.
What were the results of the real life test?
The longest real life test was in the north west of England and lasted thirty months. During that time, measurements
of how dirty the glass looked were taken every two weeks. During the thirty months, there was only one occasion
when the Pilkington Activ™ looked dirtier than the normal glass.
Is there a British or European Quality Standard for self cleaning glass?
As self cleaning glass is such a new product, there is not yet a quality standard to measure it against. Pilkington is
working with other glass manufacturers, Standards Institutes and universities to formulate recommendations for such
a standard. At present, Pilkington Activ™ is tested against EN 1096 Part 2 but this concerns the durability of the
coating not how good it is at self-cleaning.
How do I know Pilkington Activ™ has been supplied?
The glass may carry a label on one of the surfaces stating that there is a Pilkington Activ™ coating and specialists may
carry a Pilkington Activ™ coating detector. A simple test is to spray water at the surface and compare it with ordinary
glass, see it sheet off the glass rather than form lots of rivulets. Silicone contaminated surfaces will also form rivulets
similar to non Pilkington Activ™ glass.