What is a Glass Elevator Made Of?
Durable, Lightweight and Strong
It may be hard to believe, but glass elevators aren't really made of glass. They may look like cylinder tubes of crystal and fragile to the touch, but they are actually quite strong and durable! In fact the panels are made of clear acrylic. The term glass is used for quick recognition of the type of elevator.
Why Acrylic (and not real glass or polycarbonate)? – Acrylic (Poly(methyl methacrylate)) is substantially stronger than glass, about 20 times stronger in impact resistance, and is a fraction of the weight. Acrylic has been used for years in everything from airplane and dragster windshields to aquariums, automobile headlights and now elevators. Developed in 1928, acrylic was used extensively in World War Two as a shatter resistant alternative to glass for B-17 bomber nose cones and cockpits. In addition to its impact properties, acrylic is inherently UV resistant and will not yellow when exposed to sunlight and provides far superior scratch resistance versus polycarbonate.
All Visilift elevators are comprised of a durable steel hoistway and car frame, clear interior and exterior acrylic panels and a cable driven variable-frequency controlled drive machine.
Hoistway Construction - The hoistway construction for all Visilift products is comprised of two components. First, a rigid steel powder coated frame supports the elevator and transfers the load to the ground floor. Second, clear acrylic panels provide a barrier between the interior and exterior of the elevator shaft.
Passenger Car – Visilift’s passenger car is constructed of a steel exterior frame and ceiling surrounded by acrylic panels. These panels provide protection from the exterior hoistway shaft while the car is in motion.
Drive Machine – Visilift elevators utilize a helical gearbox coupled to a high-efficiency industrial motor. The efficiency of our motor provides many benefits, however two set themselves apart from the rest. First, the motor efficiency translates directly into operational energy savings. Second, the insulation and efficiency properties allow for a very quiet drive system. Visilift elevators are approximately 65 dB under normal operation. For comparison, a sewing machine is approximately 60 dB and a standard dishwasher is approximately 70 dB. Our motor is controlled by variable frequency technology, allowing for smooth starts and stops and a quick ride from floor to floor.