Saint-Gobain Glass Celebrates Five Years Of UK Innovation

Saint-Gobain's magnetron coater – the technology used to manufacture the SGG PLANITHERM range of coated glass – is celebrating five years of operation in the UK, and it is still the only one of its kind.

The magnetron coater is the technologically advanced piece of equipment that gives Saint-Gobain Glass’s SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL its exceptional properties. The market has responded positively to the benefits offered by SGG PLANITHERM. Since 2001, the demand for low-e glass has grown massively across the board, with offline coatings outperforming the more traditional online (hard coat) products. What’s more, Saint-Gobain Glass has a 66% share of the offline coated glass market overall, with Planitherm Total being the best selling low-e product in the UK and Ireland.

The first generation of products to be produced – SGG PLANITHERM Total 1.3 – had an optimum u-value of 1.3 w/m2K (hence the name). This was later improved to 1.2 W/m2K, and renamed SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL. This product was further improved specifically for Window Energy Ratings, introduced into approved Document L of Building Regulations in 2006, by increasing the g-value of the SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL coating by 2%. This meant it became the benchmark energy efficient low-e glass for Window Energy Ratings.

The success of SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL can be charted by the displacement of online coated sales at major sealed unit manufacturers which have chosen to switch to Saint-Gobain Glass based on the performance advantage it gives them without a negative effect on their process.

The third generation of SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL is due for release early in 2010 and will further increase the g-value to make top of the range A ratings even more easily achievable with double-glazing. It also keeps Saint-Gobain Glass at the forefront of innovation.

Susan Lambeth, Senior Product Manager at Saint-Gobain Glass, says that the creation of the Eggborough float plant and installation of the Magnetron coater has changed the face of the UK market: “The challenge has also been to develop levels of technical support and logistics that match our products and in this too we have achieved an excellent reputation. And all this in just five years - just think what the next five will bring!”


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