Heating Glass

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Standard tempered glass that can be converted to a heating element

What is this?

The item pictured (on the photo of the sample) is a transparent heating glass. The copper bars on each side carry electricity which then runs through a transparent metal oxide coating (fluorine doped tin oxide) on one side of the glass, heating it up.

This is not the first transparent conductive coating to have been invented; indium tin oxide has been around for years, but it is quite expensive. This glass, on the other hand, can be used anywhere glass is used; it is less expensive and meets all safety glazing, electrical, and safety code requirements.

The heat can be precisely controlled both by the thickness of the oxide layer and the amount of electricity applied. It can reach temperatures of up to 350°F (180°C). The glass is tempered so it is safe. Also, compared with conventional technologies it offers more uniform heating.

This heating glass can be used in a variety of applications. It is used to make transparent towel warmers for bathrooms, food warming shelves in restaurants, a warming spot between burners on a stove, and even as window glass in offices to minimize heat loss.

Inventables samples were provided by Engineered Glass Products. The glass is available in a wide range of sizes, thicknesses, and in both colored and mirrored glass. Pricing has not officially been set but it will be under $50 per square foot, not including the electrical power supply.

Applications for Heating Glass

Existing Use

Towel Warmer – An appliance for your bathroom that gently warms towels and sheets.

Proposed Use

Transparent Toaster – This appliance allows you to see the bread while it is toasting so you’re never surprised by toast that comes out too dark. This idea is based on a transparent heating glass technology. Although the glass does not currently get hot enough to toast bread, the vendor explained that, with some R&D, this application may be possible. The concept was developed by the Inventables Concept Studio.