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Avoid These Common Balustrade Mistakes 

  • By aaron yeo
  • 28 Jun, 2017

Here at ANY Weld, we know that when it comes choosing balustrades, whether it be balconies, staircases, terraces or even swimming pools, that it can be the defining factor for many people’s renovation projects or new builds. Therefore, it is important to make sound calls on balustrades that you won’t regret later down the line.

Before you set your heart on a particular balustrade, take the time to consider these common mistakes that people can make before finalising on what balustrade they are going to have in their homes, so you don’t make the same ones!


One of the first things you want to do is think about the style of your home in terms of its architecture, prior to choosing your residential balustrade . A good example of this would be if you were to opt for stainless steel and glass balustrades to be fitted in a traditional stately home. It’s simply a matter of knowing what styles to pair with each other.

The good news is that our team are on hand to help you find the right choice for your requirements so that your next home improvement project is as good as it possibly can be.


As far as the installation of balustrades is concerned, any works should always be carried out by professionals who are trained to fit them. It’s best to contact a local contractor who can offer proof of a good reputation and can provide positive references and testimonials – something that ANY Weld pride ourselves on. The last thing you want to do is to buy balustrades with the intention of fitting them yourself and doing a sub-par job; not only is this going to disappoint in the long run, it also throws up health and safety risks. So, make sure you get the job done by a trained tradesperson.


Selecting a balustrade purely through the price tag is a mistake people have made in the past and is just as dicey as choosing your balustrading based on looks alone. Sometimes, the cheapest option might seem like the best one, but from experience, it often is not. If you are going simply on price over other large factors such as safety, design, durability, and ease of installation, then it might be worth holding on and saving until you can afford the balustrades you really want. We’d advise putting together a handful of ideas that fit your criteria, which can then be looked over with us. Together, we can create a design while considering the costs associated with each and find the right one to fit all of your needs, along with your budget.


We know that the aesthetics are an essential factor when it comes to choosing your balustrades, although you shouldn’t let the final decision boil entirely down to appearances alone. Think about the practical elements that your new balustrades can give you as well as looking fantastic. Safety is paramount and should always be high on the list, and again, this is something that you can consult with our team here at ANY Weld, as we can help you throughout the entire process.

ANY Weld News & Features

By aaron yeo 16 Oct, 2017

Spiral staircases are often praised today as a stunning design feature within a home or business, as well as a practical and space-saving invention. Although the exact date of origin is somewhat unknown, what is known is that their history dates back centuries with its concept believed to be over 3,000 years old! Often described as an architectural phenomenon, the spiral staircase has come a long way from its origins, and has a long future ahead! Find out more today:

What is a Spiral Staircase?

A spiral staircase is a set of steps that rise around a central axis. This means that every step, or every few steps, will result in a turn of up to 360 degrees when ascending or descending. There are several different types of spiral staircase which can be categorised in different ways. For example, they could be classified by the materials used in the making, in the type of spiral (helical, spiral, double spiral, double helix), or in the number of turns completed on the journey (quarter-turn, half-turn, three-quarter-turn, full-turn).

Spiral Staircases Uses

It was during the Middle Ages that spiral staircases became a popular structural feature. They were originally designed as a defence mechanism in castles that homed royalty. The idea behind it was that the narrow, clock-wise winding stairway would be a disadvantage to right-handed swordsmen coming to attack, as they would then have to use their weaker left hand to carry their sword. The spiral staircase feature would also mean that the soldiers could only enter the towers or castle one-by-one, rather than in mass. Some even went as far as to make the steps uneven, causing the men to stumble and fall. The inhabitants of the castle would then have had an extra few minutes to prepare for an attack or escape to safety.

Not long after the introduction of staircases for defence, they were also much sought out by the wealthy as a symbol of status and power. It became the latest fashion to have grand spiral staircases constructed in palaces all over the world –a trend which is still popular today!

In modern-day, there is little need for these staircases as a means of defence; however, they are still highly valued for space-saving and aesthetic purposes, both indoors and out. As they tend to be custom-built, they fit perfectly into every space and can be tailored to meet specific needs. Spiral staircases are also no longer only accessible to those of great wealth, as the materials now cost much less, and innovations in technology make the designing and crafting process easier.

Spiral Staircase Materials

During the early days of the spiral staircase, the most common materials for building these structures were stone or marble. This meant that the stair would be durable, hardwearing and stable for a very long period of time. They were typically built into the walls during the initial building of a structure and did not hold much aesthetic appeal. The methods of crafting spiral staircases varied significantly from place to place, with some being built in individual steps, whilst others were created from large blocks of stone for greater stability.

Today, spiral staircases are made out of a wide variety of materials, with stone and marble still proving popular alongside steel, diamond plate, wood and even glass!

Evolution of Spiral Staircases

In the early days of these grand staircases, the steps were often secured to a central pole holding the structure together. However, as the understandings of architectural practices grew over the centuries, ways were uncovered in which there could be an empty central cavity, where one could observe the view of the staircase over the bannister. This gave the designers and builders greater flexibility in design and meant that so much more was possible.

Once an incredibly laborious and time-consuming feature, modern developments in manufacturing and design mean that a spiral staircase is now accessible to all.

The late 20th-century saw the introduction of spiral stairs in a kit form, typically made of steel, where the pieces simply needed to be bolted together. The low-cost and ease of use of this product proved popular for a short while before bespoke and custom design became the forefront of innovation for spiral staircases.

Custom-made spiral staircases are now becoming increasingly popular, offering a unique addition to a space that can fulfil several needs.

If you think that your home or business could benefit from a practical steel staircase or an elegantly designed glass stair feature, why not get in touch today? We can help you to find the perfect option, from the designing and manufacturing stages right up to the installation with our bespoke steel fabrication services in Devon.

By aaron yeo 29 Sep, 2017

Stainless steel handrails are a very popular choice, thanks largely to the benefits they offer. Aside from being easier than other fabrications to set up and install, this type of railing can also be left supported by mounted posts as standalone railings, or be fixed on a handrail bracket and mounted on the wall.


The versatility that stainless steel railings bring make them an appealing option, but if you needed more convincing, take a look at our five benefits of using stainless steel handrails in both residential and commercial buildings:


High durability

When it comes to handrails, one of the two of the main focuses should be on durability and having a strong material to ensure safety is taken into account. Stainless steel is among the most durable of materials that can be used for this purpose. Stainless steel brings more strength, in fact, more than other materials such as wood. Stainless steel handrails also offer the appeal of being rustproof, as well as being able to withstand what the weather throws at it, which makes them ideal for outdoor railings.


Easy Maintenance

Maintenance is a factor that people will almost always take into account and knowing that stainless steel is one of the easiest materials to maintain, means it ranks highly for those looking to have railings fitted.


What’s more, stainless steel handrails offer increased value and appeal to any indoor or outdoor setting. The fact that it can be kept shiny and polished just by wiping it clean and using a brush or polish to mildly brush it over is an alluring benefit. Furthermore, stainless steel handrails won’t warp, crumble, fracture or bend over time.



Stainless steel railings are particularly cost-effective when compared to other building materials. The initial outlay can be less expensive, and what's more, can also save owners money, in the long run, thanks to no periodic finishing be required. You can throw snow, rain or heat at stainless steel handrails and they will retain their appearance.


Aesthetic appeal

Beauty, strength and aesthetic appeal are three factors that highlight the proof is in the pudding. The very fact that many buildings use stainless steel handrails is another point to add to the case of their positive appeal.


If you’re contemplating having new railing fitted at home, you can expect to look forward to a modern, sleek-looking addition. This type of railing is especially appealing for anyone thinking of having open stairways, as people use glass or protective plastic covering between chic and sleek stainless-steel handrails to finish of the attractive appeal.


Design Diversity

A major advantage of choosing stainless steel handrails is that you can choose from a riot of designs based on your specific interior and exterior décor. You can find the round and square railings to complement quadrant and equilateral modern designs. With the sheer range available in the market, it is possible to create a perfect balance in any home with the right stainless-steel handrails.


Now that we’ve laid down such a convincing case for stainless steel railings or if you are looking for your own bespoke steel fabrication, South West -based ANY Weld are here to help you. Why not get in touch with us today to find out more?

By aaron yeo 22 Sep, 2017

Experts at HRL Laboratories in the United States have made a recent breakthrough in metallurgy. They announced that staff had developed a technique for successfully 3D printing high-strength aluminium alloys.


So, what’s so good about this news?

Well, in answer to the question over this development, it essentially paves the way to the additive manufacturing of engineering-relevant alloys. These alloys are very desirable for aircraft and automobile parts and have been among thousands that were not amenable to additive manufacturing—3D printing is now potentially a solution provided by the HRL researchers. An added benefit is that their method can be applied to additional alloy families such as high-strength steels and nickel-based superalloys difficult to process currently in additive manufacturing. This means that there’s the possibility it can be transferred to the steel fabrication sector.


"We're using a 70-year-old nucleation theory to solve a 100-year-old problem with a 21st century machine," said Hunter Martin, who co-led the team with Brennan Yahata.


"Our first goal was figuring out how to eliminate the hot cracking altogether. We sought to control microstructure, and the solution should be something that naturally happens with the way this material solidifies," Martin said.


"Using informatics was key," said Yahata. "The way metallurgy used to be done was by farming the periodic table for alloying elements and testing mostly with trial and error. The point of using informatics software was to do a selective approach to the nucleation theory we knew to find the materials with the exact properties we needed. Once we told them what to look for, their big data analysis narrowed the field of available materials from hundreds of thousands to a select few. We went from a haystack to a handful of possible needles."


Watch the video on the breakthrough, here:

The team here at ANY Weld will be waiting with great anticipation to see the potential that this progression has for us and businesses like us.

Video courtesy of HRL Laboratories, LLC /YouTube.

By aaron yeo 19 Sep, 2017

Welding is an important part of the construction process, and without it, many structures would be rendered useless. Steel fabrication companies are vital to a thriving economy, and it is often said that over 50% of the gross national product of the U.S.A is related to the welding industry in one way or another. It’s ranked higher than other industrial processes and involves more of a scientific approach to the task at hand. Here at Any Weld, we thought we’d look at some interesting facts about welding and the role it plays in society: 

-      Early welding dates to the bronze age, where small gold circular boxes were discovered. This was some 2000 years BC and were made by forging two bits of metal together, before hammering them to make one component part.

-      The concept of welding has been around for centuries, and the notion of welding is present in the tombs built by the Egyptians.


-      Welding as we know it today appeared shortly after the 19th century.


-      Welding can help to protect the environment. There are various oil rigs with pipelines all over the ocean, all of which require constant monitoring and repair. The BP oil spill from a few years ago had detrimental effects on the nature and habitat of the areas affected, making the welding industry more important than ever.


-      The world’s first robot was made to spot weld. The American car company General Motors installed the Unimate in 1961, and in basic terms, was a large motorised arm. The robot weighed in at a remarkable two tonnes, and performed step-by-step commands, all of which were stored on a large magnetic drum.


-      The welding industry is vital to advances in medicine. While doctors and scientists will be at the forefront of field, they wouldn’t be able to perform their job without dedicated welders who manufacture and engineer the medical devices they rely so much on.


-      When two pieces of metal touch in space, they instantly become welded together. This is known as cold welding, and refers to the process of the metallic bonds that hold the atoms together bridging the gap to create on piece of metal. This is unable to happen on earth, because there is a layer of oxidisation between the metals, so as long as that’s the case, Any Weld will be here for all your welding requirements!


-      The highest welding temperature of burning is 5000 degrees.


-      Over 50% of all manmade products require welding on some level. Key transport links, towering skyscrapers and gadgets and gizmos all require a spot of welding before they become the functional items we rely on today.


-      Before a car can be considered road worthy at a NASCAR event, it needs over 950 hours of fabrication and welding. That’s nearly 40 days of straight work, or if you were working 9-5 hours, 118 days put in to making a car that could crash moments later. Every single part is hand-cut and machined and welded together.


-      During the second world war, it is down to the rapid developments in welding that allowed ships to be built as quickly as possible. In 1942 the SS Robert E Peary was constructed, and took just 4 days, 15 hours and 27 minutes to build, a record in ship-building that remains standing today.


-      In order to complete a dry weld underwater, the area must be completely sealed off by a dry chamber while the weld is completed.


-      There are a variety of wet and dry welding methods that can be performed under the water. The current record for the deepest dry weld was set in 1990 at 1,075 ft deep and the record for a wet weld was set in 2005 by the U.S. Navy and is nearly twices as deep at 2,000 ft.


-      The most common metal on earth is aluminium, although if you include the entire planet, Iron would come out on top as it takes up a major share of the earth’s core.


-      The term “fume plume” refers to the smoke, or fume that rises after materials have been welded together.


So, there you have it! 15 interesting facts you may not have known about welding. If you require welding in the South West, we specialise in the design, manufacture and installation of structural and architectural steel and glass products. We deliver a wide range of projects for both the residential and commercial sectors, so give us a call today!

By aaron yeo 06 Sep, 2017

There are many benefits to having a custom steel staircase in all variety of locations, from schools to offices, apartments, and of course, in your own home. Having a glass and steel staircase installed can provide you with a range of advantages that exceed those of traditional concrete and wooden staircases, which are regularly seen in place of steel versions.               

So, with what we have mentioned in mind, what are these benefits of choosing a steel staircase over one made of other common materials? To give you a better understanding, we’ve compiled a list that clearly explains why having a steel staircase would be beneficial to you.

Discover the benefits of steel staircases here:



Once a steel staircase is installed in your home, office building, or school, the value of the property will rise. Having a long-lasting, durable staircase that won’t need to be replaced for many, many years is a plus in any building or home.


Low in Maintenance

The beauty of steel staircases is that they aren’t susceptible to the elements like their wooden counterparts, for example. Areas for concern with a wooden and concrete staircase are things such as high humidity and extreme temperature changes, which can cause the integrity of the structure to become affected. Fortunately, these types of issues do not affect steel staircases, and they don’t need as much care as a wooden or concrete staircase as a result. The fact that they are also especially easy to keep clean adds to their appeal, particularly in public, customer-facing locations.


Economically Sound

Another big defining factor for many people when it comes to choosing the material of their staircase is the cost. When steel is chosen over other materials, customers can expect to reap the benefits of added durability and average life of a metal staircase, due mostly to the nature of steel, making them arguably the most economical type of staircase available.


Very Versatile

Steel opens up customers to a plethora of further design options, when compared to other materials. Steel is extremely flexible, and can be cut and welded into any desired design at any size requested. This is a tell-tale sign as to why, when you see the majority of the extravagant staircases these days - like spirals and other curved designs – they are made with steel instead of other materials.


Ease of Installation

Again, because of the high flexibility factor, steel staircases are far easier to install, while construction costs are lower too. This means people can potentially spend more money on their desired design.


Customisable Design and Style

You can have your steel staircase fully customised to fit not only the required space, but also the person’s personal taste and personality too. With steel stairs, there’s absolutely no reason why anyone can’t be exclusive, stylish, and artistic with their design.

With this collection of benefits on offer, it makes perfect sense to have a look at what steel staircase would best suit your needs. If you’d like to find out more about bespoke steel staircases, then contact us here at ANY Weld.
By aaron yeo 31 Aug, 2017

There’s nothing better than being able to appreciate a fine weld job. It’s easy to be seduced by beautiful photographs of welding work that not only serves its purpose perfectly but also looks great too! To those who know, uniformity, shine, symmetry and perceived strength, are all areas that a keen eye will appreciate in a weld.

With wonderful welds come a range of different techniques available for certain purposes. As you’d expect with making bespoke balustrades , staircases, balconies and other steel fabrications, we know a thing or two about welding, so we have explained the various styles of welding; TIG, Stick, MIG, and Flux Cored Arc, so that you can improve your understanding.


TIG Welding

Tungsten Inert Gas, or TIG welding, uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode as a way of producing a weld. Shielding gas – typically argon or helium – assists in the weld area, helping to protect it from atmospheric contamination like nitrogen and oxygen which can trigger fusion defects, brittle welds or porosity. Additionally, the gas helps to maintain a stable arc by transferring heat from the tungsten electrode to the metal.

As far as all the welding processes are concerned, TIG welding is arguably the most difficult technique. This is due to the level of coordination the welder needs to have to complete this style of weld. A big plus of TIG welds is that they produce a strong, high-quality weld, although they are complex and tough to master.

What’s more, the process involved in TIG welding is significantly slower than other welding techniques, this gives the welder a suitable time frame in which to come up with a highly effective and aesthetically pleasing weld bead.

TIG welds are ordinarily used to weld thin pieces and nonferrous metals such as magnesium and aluminium. TIG welding is extensively used in the aerospace industry to manufacture space vehicles and in more conventional industries such as bicycle construction, in which thin-walled tubing needs to be welded. What TIG welds offer that no other can, is the ability to weld many different metal alloys in so many configurations making it an adaptable process.


Stick Welding

Stick welding, also referred to as SMAW or shielded metal arc welding, is one of the oldest processes of welding that is still practised in mainstream construction and maintenance projects today.

This technique was born in the 1920’s as an inexpensive, mobile welding service that was able to provide versatility, while also being easily operable both indoors and outdoors.

Stick welding is not only seen as one of the most popular techniques, but is also among the most-used welding processes in the construction of steel structures and industrial fabrication. Stick welding has only recently begun to see a decline following the popularity of ARC welding among industrial circles.

This style is commonly used to weld steel and stainless steel, along with other metals like low and high alloy steel, cast iron and carbon steel. Stick welding doesn't offer such high-quality welds as mentioned with their TIG counterparts. Additionally, weld splatter, porosity, low levels of fusion, cracking and shallow weld penetration can affect the method of stick welding.


MIG Welding

The Metal Inert Gas welding, otherwise known as MIG welding, uses electricity as a means of melting and infusing metal pieces together.

MIG is viewed as the easiest of the welding techniques as far as use and mastering are concerned. It was introduced in the 1940’s and is a supremely fast and efficient process, which makes it a keen favourite of many indoor and fast-paced maintenance or fabrication companies. MIG welding is not a process that can be used outdoors in a mobile capacity very well, mostly because the equipment is problematic to transport.

MIG is a technique that is versatile when welding various types of metal, such as carbon and stainless steels, aluminium, magnesium, copper, nickel and silicon bronze, amongst other alloys. Additionally, MIG welding is a favourable approach for joining metal in a wide range of thicknesses.

The basic process involves an arc of electricity that creates a short-circuit between a continuous anode (the wire feeding the welding gun) and a cathode (the metal itself that is being welding). The heat produced by the short circuit and a nonreactive, or inert gas, melts the metal allowing them to fuse together.

This weld type offers a good quality weld while being visually attractive as well. Because of these traits, MIG is a popular choice for visible welding processes. Minimal weld splatter is involved, and it is suitable for all-position welding. Its only downsides are that it produces dross (a mass of solid impurities floating in molten metal), and its porosity which can cause weakened, less ductile welds.


Flux-cored ARC Welding

Similarly to the MIG process, Flux-cored ARC welding’s (FCAW) equipment and techniques, was introduced in the 1950’s as an alternative to stick welding by eliminating the stick electrode used in SMAW. This allowed for the process to overcome restrictions often associated with stick welding. Flux-cored ARC welding can use one of two processes, which are explained below.

One uses a shielding gas from an external supply to keep the weld surface free of potential atmospheric contamination, developed and used primarily for welding structural steels. This makes it a good choice for manufacturing fabrication where welding thicker metals are required.

The second uses no shielding gas made possible by the flux core in the electrode used to develop current. This option is a well-liked choice of welding technique as its more mobile and portable than the shielding gas process. Not only this but it also offers good penetration to the base metal, increasing the strength. With the lack of a shielding gas present, it means this is an appealing outdoor welding technique, as it’s not disturbed by the wind.

FCAW is a costlier process because of its equipment – stemming predominantly from the cost of filler material/wire – and also generates a reasonable level of smoke in comparison to other processes. The plusses associated with FCAW are that the excess welding slag is easy to remove, there is less pre-cleaning of metal needed, and it also offers high-speed applications.


Hopefully, this has enlightened you in the world of welding techniques. Do you have a favourite? Let us know on our social media channels.


By aaron yeo 23 Aug, 2017

Humans have worked with metals for over an inconceivable, 10,000 years. The specific period that they were extracted and used for tools and to create useful or attractive objects is still a highly debated and a continually developing topic amongst archaeologists. The history of metal fabrication is one of the oldest skills known to man, and the progress covers and has taken thousands of years.

One of the earliest forms of tools used by humans would have been formed from the natural elements that were found around settlements such as bones, rock and wood. Over time, humans discovered that the rocks varied in strength, which enabled them to be used for different jobs. The softer and sharper fragments were used for arrowheads, whereas the tough and strong rocks were used for and shaped into axes. It is claimed that equally as early as the hunters and gatherers used stones and wood for tools, they were also discovering and using gold.

Gold, amongst other metals, it ‘native’ meaning it could be found and used without a difficult extraction process. Gold is one of the earliest metals with clear evidence of use. It is likely that humans from 6000 BC were finding deposits in streams and rivers that were flowing from mountainous areas around the Earth. Gold is found in higher quantities around the Earth’s fault lines and near geologically active sites. As the water erodes and flows through the deposits, the water carries the gold sediments further downstream.

Throughout the history of humans, gold has remained one of the most desirable metals; the colour, reflectiveness and general appearance make it highly valuable in its purest form. Due to its malleable, ductile and soft properties, it isn’t suitable for tools or building work and would have been used to create the earliest forms of jewellery.

The second earliest metal known to be mined and fabricated is copper, at around 4000BC. It was found ‘native’, yet it is also a rather soft metal, so the use of it for weapons and tools during this period was relatively rare.

It was during the Bronze Age and the consecutive years following that period, that harder metals were being discovered such as copper and lead. These could be combined with other materials and fabricated to create a stronger resource which could then be used for weapons of war such as armour and swords. During this period, sheet metal was being fabricated, but the process was much more strenuous and difficult than it is today, with consistent hammering and effort to reach the desired form.

At around 1750 BC, iron and tin were regularly being used. The metals were being smelted and melted in a furnace. Artefacts show that a range of tools, weapons, cauldrons, mirrors, instruments, weights and jewellery were being formed from various metals. There is also evidence of various combinations of metals. It wasn’t until much later, in the early 14th and 15th centuries, that the development and the use of metal really began to advance.

Copper, lead, iron and tin were fundamental to the construction industry, and the use of them contributed to the civilisation we know today. It wasn’t until much later that the pure extraction and optimum use of these materials were fully understood and utilised. One of the first major developments in the metal industry was during the late 16th century when the earliest roll mill was sketched. With no evidence of its creation, the advanced concept was envisioned by Leonardo da Vinci. The earliest evidence of a metal rolling mill date from the 17th century and was used to create thin, uniform sheets. Rather than using hammers and pure man power, the typical rolling mill had two heavy cylinders which would press the hot metal that was passed through to form sheets of a specific thickness. This was done by hand and later, with a hydraulic press.

During the 18th century, the metal industry reached another turning point. With Abraham Darby producing the hard-wearing and slim sheets of cast iron. This new technique was relatively cheap which made the process accessible to various countries around the world. It was a metal revolution which contributed to huge advancements in construction and manufacturing.

The use of steel, a combination metal, was also prolific during this period, it could be produced on mass and at a relatively cheap price. The metal was extensively used after the discovery of its cost, strength and life expectancy. It was paramount for the industrial revolution and was used for machinery, weaponry and most importantly, the railroads.

The fabrication of metal is the process of manipulating one element or combining and manipulating several different elements to form a different material to the original elements, whether that is to vary the strength, appearance, quality or texture. The manipulation also has varying techniques from forming, bending, riveting, joining and much more. Techniques have become more and more accurate and precise as the knowledge of each element, how they perform and how to manipulate the structure has been extensively studied.

The use of metal in the modern world has continued to develop, and the use of the material is so common that many haven’t comprehended the history of its use and how we have come to so successfully extract, form and utilise the material.

It is now used worldwide. It has altered the course of human history and is likely to continue to do so in the future. Its use is wide spread, from car parts to residential balconies .

By aaron yeo 17 Aug, 2017

Flat glass is what is used in the balustrade industry to suit a host of various applications and requirements. With a vast array of technologies in the glass industry, our guide is on hand to help you get to grips with the four main glass types used in today’s industries.

Essentially, the definitive strength of glass is associated with the rate at which it’s cooled. As we touched on, there are four main types, each varying in strength. They are as follows:


Annealed Glass

Annealed glass is a basic product fashioned from the annealing stage of the float process. It’s formed when the molten glass is left to cool slowly in a controlled method until it reaches room temperature. By doing this, it relieves any internal stresses that may be found in the glass. If this slow, controlled cooling approach was not adopted, the glass would crack following a comparatively little change in temperature or minor shock. Due to annealed glass being the basic option, it is used as a base product in order to create more advanced glass types.


Heat Strengthened Glass

This type of glass is semi-toughened. The heat strengthening process requires the heating of the previously mentioned annealed glass to reach around 650 to 700 degrees Celsius before being cooled quickly, although not as quickly as toughened glass, but we’ll get on to that next.

The heat strengthening process is effective in increasing the thermal strength of annealed glass, doubling its toughness in comparison to annealed glass’ normal state.

If it breaks, the fragments are similar in size to annealed glass, but with a higher probability of staying together.

This glass isn’t often used for the creation of balustrades or similar structural applications due to its limited strength when compared with tempered or toughened glass. However, it can sometimes be specified if the concern about tempered glass fracturing into thousands of small pieces is present.


Tempered or Toughened Glass

Tempered or toughened glass is used as the most common form of glass in balustrades or similar structural applications. It’s created using annealed glass once again but is heated to around 700 degrees Celsius by conduction, convection and radiation. The cooling process is accelerated by a constant and simultaneous blast of air on both surfaces. Thanks to the surface and the inside of the glass cooling at alternative rates, different physical properties are produced. This means that the glass then offers compressive stresses in the surface, balanced by tensile stresses in the body of the glass.

The toughening process provides the glass with a strength four to five times stronger and safer than regular annealed or untreated glass.

The counteracting stresses or surface compression gives toughened glass its heightened resistance to breakage, and if it does break, it produces small, consistent, normally square fragments, instead of long, dangerous shards that are much more liable to cause an injury.


Laminated Glass

Any of the three types of glass we have mentioned can be laminated. The example you are likely to see most of will be two sheets of toughened glass that are laminated together with a Polyiynil Butyral (PVB) interlayer that is 1.52mm thick.

Laminated glass gives users many benefits. First off, you get assurances as far as safety and security are concerned. Rather than shattering on impact, laminated glass is held together by the interlayer we mentioned. This decreases the safety hazard associated with shattered glass fragments, while also, to some extent, the security risks related to easy penetration.

If a glass panel shatters or breaks, it’s extremely unlikely that both of the laminated panels will break at the same time. This means that the non-damaged panel and interlayer provide support for the broken glass and keep it in place as edge protection until it is replaced or appropriately secured.

What’s more, another increasingly common interlayer is the SGP Interlayer. The product gives a significant five times the tear strength and a huge 100 times the rigidity of standard PVB! In the unlikely occurrence of both panes of toughened glass breaking, the SGP is there, in most applications, to hold the glass in place. SGP offers boosted impact performance levels and far superior protection against adverse weather conditions.

An array of other interlayers are available that utilise various other technologies to the application. Structural interlayers can be introduced to advance the strength of the glass where high loadings are essential. Another example is adding coloured interlayers that can be used to provide extra privacy or added aesthetics. Other properties such as sound dampening and fire resistance can also be incorporated into the interlayer.

For more information on the specifications you would like for your custom-made balustrades , get in contact with us here at ANY Weld, today!

By aaron yeo 09 Aug, 2017


When you think of structural steel, you will often think of never-ending skyscrapers, large architectural buildings and even garages but structural steel can be used throughout many other construction projects. The use of structural steel can even make a building look attractive as well as making the project sustainable, affordable and durable.


These are just a handful of the advantages which come hand in hand with using steel framed construction. As steel is incredibly versatile, it has led to its inclusion in nearly every stage of the construction process. We have gathered some of the advantages of using structural steel:


1 – Steel is lighter than wood


This may be surprising because if you weighed 2x4 piece of wood and 2x4 piece of steel, the steel would weigh more because of its density. However, when steel is used in framing, the design of the beam will cause it to be lighter than a wood beam design.


Additionally, it can decrease the labour which is required to build with steep,  because of its lighter-weight it reduces material shipping costs, and can also help to simplify the design of the buildings foundation, which will reduce project budgets.


2 – You can build faster with steel


When working on a project, timing is essential as there is always a deadline. However, if a project is rushed, it can become a nightmare for architects and the building team as when shortcuts are made, the affects can be disastrous. However, this is avoided when using steel.


The steel parts are pre-engineered to a specific design, so they will be ready to be erected .  This speeds up the construction time significantly, making it possible to complete large-scale projects in a matter of weeks.


3 – Steel is versatile


Steel is incredibly versatile as it can be moulded into virtually any shape, which makes it an attractive option for both residential and commercial builds.  Architects will let their artistic imaginations run wild, while still having the ability to design and construct a building that is both safe and strong. This same durability is what also allows for the versatile design of large, clear span buildings such as warehouses, agricultural buildings and indoor arenas.


4 – It’s environmentally friendly


Steel can be recycled at the end its lifespan, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Steel benefits from having a high fundamental value which is supported by a well-developed and efficient scrap collection infrastructure. It can be recycled at the end of life to dorm products which are the same, or higher stand and quality as the original material.


5 – It can save you money


Many of the savings will be gained from reduced labour costs and decreased construction time. However, building with steel can also save money in many other ways.

As said above, steel can be recycled. Rather than paying landfill fees for non-recyclable construction waste, you will be able to recycle steel and metal building components.

Because steel is durable, it requires so little maintenance, making it a more economic choice for building owners. Maintenance fees, repairs and replacements are minimal; even over the course of 50 years, it can save building owners tens of thousands of pounds over the course of the building's lifetime.

Due to a steel being a strong structure it has the ability to withstand high winds, fire and other elements. With this combined with their resistance to pests like woodworm, dry rot and decay, insurance companies often offer lower premiums on policies underwritten for metal buildings.


With these advantages of steel in mind, it is important to choose a specialist steel fabricators company . Whether steel is used on a residential property or commercial, using it can reap some great advantages especially when compared to timber.

By aaron yeo 28 Jul, 2017

You may well have thought that a swimming pool or fancy wine cellar would be the first thing to mind when people were asked what feature they’d have as part of their dream home – but you’d be wrong.

An overwhelming 43 per cent of those asked in a survey stated that a balcony would be an essential feature in their dream home.

Four in ten people divulged that they would enjoy the additional exterior space, therefore making it one of the most in demand architectural additions.

The only ideal features that fractionally beat a balcony to the top two spots were en-suite bathrooms for every bedroom (48 per cent) and walk-in wardrobes (45 per cent).

Across the research, properties near the beach or in a bustling city centre were the most popular locations given by the 2,000 home buyers surveyed for their ideal home, with 16 per cent of people choosing each option.


Dream Home Feature List:

·    En-suite bathrooms, 48%

·    Walk-in wardrobes, 45%

·    Balcony, 43%

·    Relaxation room, 39%

·    Library, 35%

·    Gym, 32%

·    Cinema, 29%

·    Wine cellar, 25%

·    Aquarium, 25%

·    Bowling alley, 20%

·    Nightclub, 17%


With dream homes aside, increased numbers of homeowners are now beginning to look to make the most out of their outdoor space, and as such, balconies are finding themselves progressively higher in the popularity stakes.

Here at ANY Weld, we not only design but manufacture and install both bespoke structural steel and glass balcony systems. Additionally, we can fit residential balconies as well as commercial options.

Our experienced, dedicated team treats every balcony like their own, meaning that the addition of a wonderful new balcony in your home or business is guaranteed to look exactly how you’d want, every time! Whether you are looking for a self-supporting or a Juliet balcony, we can create the balcony of your dreams!


For more information or a quote, contact us today on 01271 860794.

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