Finnglass develops 50 cm thick laminate to open possibilities for architechure and design

Alavus, Finland, October 15, 2018 - “It is more beautiful than I ever expected!” said Professor Matti Rautiola from the Finnish Association of Architects when he first saw the exhibition piece of thick laminate. This newcomer in the glass industry was developed as a response to Mr. Rautiola’s challenge to enable more ambitious use of glass in architecture. The end result is a horizontally stacked multilayer laminate that lets light, shadows and moving shapes be seen through translucently, while being suitable to be used as a load-bearing structure. 

What started as a need from architects and designers has led to the development of a 50 cm thick laminate composed of 31 layers of tempered, ultra-clear Pilkington Optiwhite glass, with each layer 15 mm thick. Once the layers are assembled together, the strength of the resulting laminate can challenge concrete. Thick laminate gives architects and designers new possibilities to realise their artistic visions without compromising the beauty and simplicity of glass with supporting concrete or steel structures. 

It all began when Mr. Rautiola found it hard to find solutions that allowed for more ambitious use of glass in load-bearing structures and state-of-the-art facades. When such constructs seemed hard to build with existing products and methods, Mr. Rautiola challenged the glass industry to develop a solution to meet demand. Finally, Mr. Jorma Vitkala from Glass Performance Days (GPD) put Mr. Rautiola in contact with Finnglass from Alavus, Finland. 

“We took on the task, seeing increasing potential for the use of structural glass in the construction business,” says Mr. Timo Saukko, CEO of Finnglass. “We leveraged our expertise in glass processing and heat transfer models to solve problems, such as how to transfer heat into the massive laminate structure during the manufacturing process. It took a combination of technical problem-solving and hands-on experience to put the solution into practice. Our showcase piece of thick laminate is just an example of what we can achieve in this field.” 

In the future, Finnglass will be optimizing their manufacturing processes and pursuing opportunities to demonstrate the value of thick laminate in constructing architectural masterpieces – alongside further growing their decades-long experience in applying electrically heated glass in diverse demanding architectural projects. 

Get in contact with us to learn more about thick laminate. 

Timo Saukko

CEO Finnglass Oy

Tel.: +358 40 7494 693


The translucent glow of thick laminate’s exhibition piece.