Industry Glass Expert Joins Wintech

Glass Engineer Dr Richard Cave joins Wintech as an expert in the material of glass, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the façade consultancy. Dr Cave’s varied background includes a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a PhD in Chemistry, post-doctoral research in materials, and various roles within the glass industry.

Dr Cave started his professional journey in academia, researching biomacromolecules and cell scaffolds. He then started working within the glass industry, undertaking glass failure analysis and product testing and certification for a glass consultancy. A move into the flat glass manufacturing sector led to him supporting the coating line for a leading glass manufacturer followed by a move into product application support, including design and product processing. A shift within the industry led to a role with a broader remit, which included developing the company’s technical support capabilities, supporting research and development activity and undertaking technical advocacy as part of the GGF Standards Committee and the FGMA Technical Committee.

In Dr Cave’s opinion, there are gaps in knowledge and understanding throughout the glass and glazing industry. “Glass, as a construction product, presents some interesting and unique challenges, and the flexibility with which codes, standards and regulations can be applied to make glass design that bit more complex. Within the UK, the development of standards for glass has arguably failed to keep up with other materials; it has only been since 2019 that limit state design has become the norm with the publication of EN 16612. Thermal stress assessments are still carried out to several different methodologies, often producing wildly differing results. It is critical that glass as a material is understood to apply existing design methods correctly, or where required, create new ones.”

It’s not just with the design where the complexities lay; the application of the correct standards for the manufacture and processing of glass construction products can also present some issues. EN 14179-1, which defines the requirements for the production of heat soaked thermally toughened glass, has created a significant amount of confusion with regards to which version of the standard should be applied, and so ultimately what temperature the heat soak process should be carried out at. “It’s now been four years since the latest version of EN 14179-1 was published, with reduced heat soak temperatures. However, until an updated EN 14179-2 that references this version is published and cited within the Official Journal of the European Union, then the 2005 version, despite being withdrawn, still needs to be applied. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be close to being resolved.”

Dr Cave possesses a vast technical background, allowing him to understand glass as a material and consider its design and behaviour from an engineering perspective in order to support its application with regards to applicable regulations, codes and standards. Wintech recognises Dr Cave as a valuable asset to the team who can enrich the company’s knowledge of glass, from manufacturing through to installation, and covering design, testing and analysis. “With my knowledge and understanding of glass, I hope to increase the scope of how we can support our clients. For a long time, the design of glass has sat as a niche activity; however, for good design, it’s critical to consider it within the wider scope of the façade system, something Wintech is ideally placed to cover.”- Dr Richard Cave.