Innovative Industrial Glass Solutions

Cincinnati Gasket and Industrial Glass

Windows in homes have traditionally been built to withstand rain, snow, sleet, and maybe even a hurricane. But none were typically built to withstand chemicals, molten lava, or extremely cold temperatures. Yet for Cincinnati Gasket and Industrial Glass, manufacturing windows that tough is a daily occurrence.
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Cincinnati Gasket and Industrial Glass (CGIG) was founded in 1907, originally designing gaskets – the sealers that help to keep things airtight, like the rubber ring on a jar.

By the 1970s, with the American economy continuing to lead the world in manufacturing and heavy industry, CGIG made the move to industrial glass and specialty window fabrication. For decades, CGIC has been delivering customizable, precision-cut, heat- and blast-resistant glass products to virtually every major U.S. industry including steel mills, chemical plants, machine tool shops and power generation plants. Using a steady-growth model built on manufacturing the highest quality products in the business, the company currently claims 75 percent of the market share in the industrial glass fabricators market.

For clients looking to purchase top tier glass, CGIG has many options such as laminated, patterned and case glasses, but its specialty is heavy duty glass that can withstand blasts, corrosive chemicals and extreme temperatures.

CGIC’s glass ceramic line performs well in extreme heat, and has UV blocking with almost zero thermal expansion. If windows need to be shock-proof and endure extreme weather changes, an upgrade to fused quartz is in order. Borosilicate, one of the strongest products on the market, is manufactured on site, and it can withstand temperatures as high as 450°C while maintaining exceptionally high transparency. This incredibly strong glass is most often used in steel mills, chemical plants, machine tool shops, and power generation plants where glass is exposed to a variety of hazards. For those looking for low temperature protection, soda lime is a perfect fit.

Glass is cut and designed for all industrial needs using a waterjet cutting system that can cut into glass as thick as six inches and can “form complex designs on delicate glass to precision piercings in heavy-duty glass,” according to the company’s website. CGIC’s specialty glass is used in many industries such as military defense equipment, aerospace, construction equipment, mining equipment and medical components. According to its website, “our complete list of services includes surface and [Outside Diameter] grinding, O.D. polishing, drilling, sawing, surface polishing, CNC machining, waterjet cutting, coating, and sandblasting. Specialty glass features include UV blocking and infrared reflecting heat shield.”

The durability and reliability of CGIC’s products keeps workers safe and workplaces productive. For example, the steel industry is reliant on the company’s Heat Shield Window System, used for front loaders and forklifts, which keeps workers safe every day by using a multi-layered, tempered heat resistant glass that can withstand impacts and high temperatures. CGIC has over 50 years of experience helping operators who dig and load in the slag and furnace areas of steel mills and foundries. The heat shield window system is used in steel facilities for crane cabs, pulpits and work stations; in aluminum facilities in pot room cranes, skimmers and furnace forklifts; and in foundries for hot metal carriers and pouring stations. The company’s patented quick-change wedge system makes installing new glass quick and effortless should it become damaged. CGIG’s custom designs have worked successfully in Caterpillar, Hyster, Gradall and Kawasaki equipment.

This is an area where CGIC really shines – the ability to manufacture glass products that are easy to install, clean and use. Its heavy-duty overhead roller window system combines the team’s gasket expertise with the glass expertise and half a century of working with industry leaders to design better and better products. It uses a rigidly constructed assembly frame with tight silicone seals and heavy duty overhead and side locks that seal airtight. They are available in H frame and CGIC’s own Kwik Release system that enables easy removal without any special tools.

These products are shipped to be easily welded and assembled and customers can purchase installations that will be custom fit to their needs. According to the company’s website, “there are as many variations of Cincinnati Gasket’s overhead rolling window system as there are different situations or types of operations requiring them.”

Another great example is a custom project CGIC highlighted last year on a barge unloader cab used in a power generation plant. Crane cab windows in this industry need constant cleaning as they are subject to lime dust that easily clings to the windows, is difficult to clean and hinders operator visibility. Before servicing, windows need to be removed and strong acid-based cleaners are applied. Only specialty glass that can endure acidic chemicals, like borosilicate, are used. An incredibly durable window is only half the solution; the other half is figuring out an effective cleaning process. Industrial glass tends to be heavy, as do the traditional window frames. This can make cleaning incredibly difficult because windows must be removed due to upward slope of cabs.

Recently, a client was looking to update their cabs to be better for workers and better for business. The cabs had studs around the window frames that protruded several inches into the cab – which was a catch hazard – and some were bent as a result of contact with workers. Not only that, the removable inner frame had a loose fit, allowing air, dust, rain and snow to get into the cab from the outside. Moreover, the windows and frames were heavy, making it strenuous and awkward to clean and maintain. CGIC met with the client at their place of work, took measurements, discussed and tested viewing angles and came up with a plan.

First, windows were fabricated using heat-reflective and tinted glass to minimize heat gain and glare. A stainless-steel inner frame was constructed to be resistant to potentially corrosive cleaning chemicals. The steel was welded using the Tungsten Inert Gas method, which is arguably one of the most difficult welding techniques. In TIG, welders use both hands to feed a metal filler into the weld area while manipulating the torch in the other. This precision technique leads to stronger, higher quality welds as it allows for better control than techniques such as shielded metal arc welding.

In order to make the windows easy to remove and clean, CGIC designed the windows with mullions to split the removable frames into smaller, lighter sections. While mullions can block sightlines, the height of them was custom designed to minimize their viewing impact. In fact, one could argue that it actually maximized sight lines by designing a system that encouraged regular, thorough cleaning by making it easy to do. Handles were added to the inner frames to make it easier to clean and change windows. The sealing system used silicone rubber seals to minimize leakage of air, dust, rain and snow. CGIG received extremely positive customer feedback that reported no interference in sight lines, easy cleaning and maintenance, and complete elimination of dust, rain and outside air. This led to a safer and more comfortable place of work.

Whether your company is looking for a generic fit or a custom solution, CGIC can deliver. For your gasket and industrial glass needs, go with a company with a proven 50-year track record and a plethora of design options.

Bringing Leaders in Manufacturing Together

The must-attend event of the year, the Generis American Manufacturing Summit (AMS) connects senior-level executives within the manufacturing industry. To be held at Chicago’s Westin Lombard Yorktown Center from March 26 to 27, attendees at the AMS represent strategy and technology leaders responsible for solving top challenges facing the industry today.

Past Issues

March 26, 2019, 7:15 PM EDT