Sun protection systems made of wire mesh material

Ursula Herrling-Tusch
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Attractive, efficient, universal

High performance sun protection makes a vital contribution to architecturally successful building shells. Targeted shading that also offers a high degree of transparency increases both energy efficiency and quality of stay for those inside the building. The key here is to combine maximum functionality with sophisticated aesthetics. Wire mesh material from GKD – Gebr. Kufferath AG (GKD) has therefore ranked among the preferred materials for sustainable sun protection for many years. The leading global manufacturer of fabrics made from wire meshing and all other weavable materials is now catering to the stricter requirements in terms of energy efficiency, convenience and aesthetics with a new strategic alignment. As a full-scope provider of wire mesh sun protection systems, GKD now offers a holistic product portfolio and comprehensive services, all of which have been coordinated down to the finest detail. The systems are based on the new Licorne® material made from non-anodised, durably corrosion resistant aluminium. This spiral mesh material combines an elegant appearance with a high degree of efficiency and flexibility. All typical sun protection and roller blind systems for internal or external applications are now available in this metallic fabric.

GKD's architectural and design materials are associated with functionally and aesthetically exceptional architecture throughout the world. In countless applications, they optimise climatic, thermal, energy, lighting and acoustic influences on buildings as large-scale facade cladding. The company is now responding to the ever stricter requirements for energy-efficient building shells with its new Licorne® spiral mesh material made of non-anodised aluminium wire. Thanks to its inherent design and material advantages, this mesh is setting new standards. The endless woven spirals allow any desired length to be manufactured, while the maximum width of 3.80 m provides plenty of scope for any design. The low weight of the aluminium material – between 2.2 and 3.0 kg/m² depending on the design – also means that the necessary substructures can be reduced to a minimum. The system therefore blends in harmoniously with any kind of architecture – both internally and externally. Comprehensive corrosion tests also serve to document the reliable weather resistance of the natural aluminium. Licorne® combines these material-specific advantages with excellent transparency, light transmission and thermal protection characteristics. Depending on the type of material, Licorne® allows up to 53% of daylight to pass through into rooms. At the same time, the material guarantees a precisely adjustable degree of transparency for outward visibility. Despite this high degree of light permeability and visibility, the Licorne® material significantly reduces solar radiation and heat.

Refined wire has a major impact

The special wire construction – rounded on the outside, flat on the inside – reflects the sun's rays through its U-shaped edges and redirects them into the surrounding area. Depending on the type of material and the angle from which solar radiation hits the surface, Licorne® prevents up to 70% of heat radiation from entering the building. This has been verified by numerous tests performed at the well-known French research institute, Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB). The values determined here speak for themselves. For example, the g-value of a single pane of clear glass (Type B as per EN 14501, Blinds and shutters – Thermal and visual comfort – Performance characteristics and classification) is 0.76. This means that 76% of the solar energy hitting this surface makes its way into the room behind the glass. Licorne® aluminium meshing, on the other hand, has a g-value of just 0.35, therefore allowing only 35% of solar energy to enter the room. When used in connection with the aforementioned pane of clear glass, the overall g-value of Licorne® sun protection is reduced even further to 0.27. Similarly, the solar energy transmittance with standard double glazing (Type C as per EN 14501) drops from 0.59 (double glazing) to 0.20 (double glazing with Licorne®). This corresponds to a 66% reduction in energy transmittance. With these excellent energy transmittance values, Licorne® reliably complies with the requirements of the French Réglementation Thermique RT 2012. Just like the "KfW 85" energy-efficient house specifications of Germany's EnEV 2009 Energy Saving Ordinance, this prescribes a reduction in the average primary energy consumption in all new buildings to 50 kWh/m² from 2012. The efficient solar protection effect of the material renders air-conditioning systems largely redundant, which in turn offers significant energy savings.

Perfect interaction of light and shade

Alongside this optimum shading, the material is characterised by a particularly high level of light permeability. This creates a perfectly controllable interaction of light and shade, lending rooms warm and pleasant lighting. Additional electrical lighting is not needed in most cases, which in turn prevents any undesired heat from lamps and also saves energy. With this extensive use of natural daylight, Licorne® fulfils the latest requirements for professional sun protection. At the same time, the material allows unimpaired outward visibility from inside the building, which also makes a major contribution to the sense of well-being of the users.

Thanks to the specific construction of the material, light and energy transmission can be tailored precisely to the individual wishes of the customer. And Licorne® materials can be used in all common sun protection systems, both internal and external, fixed and movable. They enable individual solutions for energy-optimised concepts to be created for any time of the day or year. Whether used as shutters, awnings, sliding elements or roller/pleated blinds – the virtually unlimited system options in standard or custom sizes do not impose any restrictions in terms of efficient sun protection or contemporary light control concepts. As well as natural aluminium, Licorne® sun protection materials are also available in various anodised colours and even stainless steel on request.

Patented mounting fixtures for perfect performance

Special mounting systems round off GKD's range of sun protection products. The S-shaped "Easy Connect®" locking rods link individual sections of wire mesh material to form a visually seamless surface. To tension the panels, the "Easy Bolt" system integrated in the material is simply attached to the frame. The panels are tensioned from above and below to ensure a permanently secure fit. In installations with higher than average loads or custom shapes, the material is also fixed in place at the sides using Easy Bolt. The patented mounting systems guarantee a perfect and consistent look for many years and can be adapted individually to all frame thicknesses.

As a system supplier, GKD is a holistic partner whose portfolio of products and services includes the planning and designing of sun protection concepts, wire mesh manufacturing, as well as certified, highly flexible system solutions, prefabrication and installation. This provides planners with the confidence and convenience of using reliably matched components and proven systems from a single contact. With this integral approach to sophisticated sun protection systems, GKD is building on its expertise and decades of experience in the development of innovative solutions for pioneering architectural projects.

Sun protection systems made of wire mesh material
Sun protection systems made of wire mesh material

Licorne® wire mesh © GKD

Sun protection systems made of wire mesh material

As a system supplier, GKD is a holistic partner whose portfolio of products and services includes the planning and designing of sun protection concepts, wire mesh manufacturing, as well as certified, highly flexible system solutions, prefabrication and installation. © GKD

Sun protection systems made of wire mesh material

Special mounting systems round off GKD's range of sun protection products. © GKD

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