Isoclima Group, our history

21/10/2021

Isoclima was founded in 1977 in Este, Italy, by four partners: Alberto Bertolini, Augusto Gasparetto, Guido Piccioni and Bruno Rosa.

They bought a pre-existing building on the Este industrial estate, formerly a machine shop where the first waste treatment plants had been built and that, after falling on hard times, lay abandoned. The first equipment for glazing production was acquired, beginning with the cutting of glass sheets and their subsequent washing, assembly with aluminium channels and edge sealing.

The approach was to use the best components available on the market, even back then; that meant components from Germany, where that type of glazing had already been around for over a decade. Isoclima glazing was of the highest quality. Unfortunately, in just a short time, the product turned out to be more of a commodity than a niche of excellence, which drove the company to explore new ideas, including multilayered armoured glass: the product for which Isoclima is best known to this day, and that has made it an unrivalled industry leader.

The challenge was how to combine two materials: glass and polycarbonate, which have very different thermal expansion coefficients. The solution was found in an American magazine describing the method used by Sierracin, which had created an adhesive film that enabled the combined use of the two materials, employed by the company in military aircraft windscreens. On a trip to the USA, Alberto Bertolini visited the company and began talks to obtain a production licence for bullet-proof glass for cars and for construction, using polyurethane film produced by Sierracin (now PPG Aerospace). Thus OMNIARMOR® was created, the product underpinning ISOCLIMA's development over subsequent years.

THE TECHNOLOGY

When, in 1993, Isoclima installed a facility for the chemical strengthening of sodium-calcium glass, it was Europe's first for treating this type of glass, and the world's largest.

The photos show the facility in Este during construction.

The facility became operational in 1995 and was, indeed still is, able to process large glass sheets. This now well-established technology was inconceivable back then. Very soon, chemically strengthened glass was employed not just in aeronautics but also in the car, rail and, above all, shipping industries. The mechanical resistance achieved by this process makes it suitable for use in large flat surfaces and, above all, in curved surfaces such as those found on superyachts. It is widely used with great success because it can be bonded to the superstructures as well as to the hull, where it assumes a structural function. That was the origin of the pioneering idea to use the leitmotif “Nothing is impossible, just make it out of glass”.

The chemical strengthening facility
The chemical strengthening facility