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Technology / MADRAS® CHEMICAL ETCHING
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Chemical etching permanently modifies the surface of glass to produce special visual and tactile effects. By exploiting the exceptional physical-chemical properties of glass, our exclusive Madras® chemical processes can now deliver the value of such aesthetic effects with extraordinary functional performance too in terms of high resistance to fingerprints, scratches and abrasion, friction and light transmittance.
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02-b2-tecnologia-vetro-madras-storia-01.jpg An ancient technique

Historians attribute the invention of glass chemical etching to Heinrich Schwanhardt - son of master wheel engraver Georg - who in 1686 used it to etch an opaque background as foil for his decorative work. This technique began to spread around the middle of the 19th century and was also used by Emile Gallé. But given the heritage of know-how on which it was based, it remained a jealously guarded secret in the workshops of the master glassworkers.
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An ancient technique
Historians attribute the invention of glass chemical etching to Heinrich Schwanhardt - son of master wheel engraver Georg - who in 1686 used it to etch an opaque background as foil for his decorative work. This technique began to spread around the middle of the 19th century and was also used by Emile Gallé. But given the heritage of know-how on which it was based, it remained a jealously guarded secret in the workshops of the master glassworkers.
02-b2-tecnologia-vetro-madras-picture-no-7-760x560px.jpg It wasn’t until the beginning of the 1960s that that it was taken up again and applied on an industrial scale by Vitrealspecchi, which patented a process for satin-finishing and decorating plates of float glass. It chose the name Madras® for the glass it made in this fashion because the rippling produced by the chemical corrosion recalled a particular style of Indian silk and its lustrous effects.
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It wasn’t until the beginning of the 1960s that that it was taken up again and applied on an industrial scale by Vitrealspecchi, which patented a process for satin-finishing and decorating plates of float glass. It chose the name Madras® for the glass it made in this fashion because the rippling produced by the chemical corrosion recalled a particular style of Indian silk and its lustrous effects.
Technology / MADRAS® QUALITY STARTS WITH THE GLASS
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Madras® is made with UNI EN 572 1-2 standard float glass, i.e. perfectly flat plates of glass supporting transformation processes such as tempering and laminating, which are now mandatory for many applications.
For special applications, above all in interior design, Madras® processing techniques can also be used on laminated, lacquered, coated, magnetronic and mirror float glass.
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• Plate dimensions: 1800/2250/2400/2550 x 3210 mm (see individual products).
• Thicknesses: 3/4/5/6/8/10/12/15/19, 33.1/44.1/55.1 mm (see individual products).
• Float glass colours: extra-clear, clear, pink, green, bronze, grey, blue, extra-clear/clear/bronze/grey silvered, lacquered pure white.
Technology / RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT IS A BASIC VALUE FOR MADRAS® .
The value of Madras® glass is also based on its eco-compatibility. Vitrealspecchi, the manufacturer, has developed exclusive know-how and uses a high technology system for treating residues from the etching process. So its glass fully complies with the provisions of Italian and European environmental protection legislation.
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Technology / THERE’S A MADRAS® GLASS FOR EVERY NEED. WE’LL HELP YOU CHOOSE IT.
Current safety laws require the use of tempered and/or laminated glass, while energy saving and acoustic isolation needs have made insulating glass units indispensable. The chosen Madras® glass must also be compatible with the processing that its intended use will entail: cutting, drilling, tempering, bending, double glazing, laminating, etc. Our offices will be happy to provide any technical-commercial information and consulting you may require.
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Technology / MADRAS® GLASS IS EASIER TO CLEAN
Madras® chemical processing techniques give glass surfaces a special silkiness that makes them far more resistant to dirt, fingerprints, etc., and easier to clean than glass made opaque with other techniques. Its beauty will last over time. For routine maintenance we recommend using a solution of water and a standard glass detergent and microfibre cloths (i.e. non-abrasive). Rinse thoroughly and dry immediately with a perfectly clean microfibre cloth. For cleaning during processing, installation and routine maintenance, download the PDF.
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