Architectural Products

Insulating Glass / Double Glazing Unit

Insulated Glass, often called double glazing, is a combination of two or more panes of glass spaced apart with a spacer bar and hermetically sealed with a primary and secondary sealant to form a single unit with one or more air spaces in between. IG units improve the thermal performance, thus significantly reducing heating and air-conditioning costs. IG units also reduce interior condensation in cold climates, and increase comfort near windows, thus maximizing the usable interior space.

IGU Surfaces:
The IG unit consists of four surfaces. Surface 1 is that side of the glass lite that faces the exterior of the building. Surface 2 is other side of the Surface 1. Surface 4 is the side of the glass lite that faces the interior of the building. And the Surface 3 is the other side of surface 4.

Process:
Insulating glass is a glazed unit composed of two or more glass panes separated by spacers filled with dehydrated air or gas. The various machines used in the process of making insulated glass are washing unit, drying unit, spacer conveyor, butyl extruder, and pressing unit, which is vertical. The insulated glass is constructed in the following ways. A hollow aluminum spacer bar is bent into the desired shape. Holes are drilled in the spacer bar, which is filled with a desiccant such as silica gel or zeolite that helps in absorbing water vapour. The drilled holes are sealed with a primary sealant such as butyl. Primary sealant is also applied to the sides of the spacer bar. Two glass panes are placed along the side of the spacer bar and pressed with an automatic presser. A secondary sealant such as polysulphide or silicon is applied along the sides of the whole unit. The insulating glass unit is ready.

Component of IGU
1. Glass lites: An IGU consists of at least two panes (or lites) of glass. Though IG units typically use monolithic glass, other types of coated and laminated glasses may be used depending on the application to enhance the performance of the unit.

2. Frame:
Frame, or the spacer bar, is the material used to separate the two glass lites in an IGU. Usually made of aluminum and filled with desiccant, it holds the unit together, provides thickness and mechanical resistance, and plays a key role in ensuring optimum performance of the unit.

3. Frames are of two types:
Ones joined with corner keys, and bent frames. In the first type, the spacer material is cut to the specific size and desiccant is filled. Then the four sides are assembled together using corner keys. As the frame created in this process has four joints, the heat loss is more. To address this, the frame or the spacer bar is bent at 90 degree angles and the frame is assembled with only one joint - this is referred to as a bent frame.

4. Desiccant:
Desiccants are used to remove any moister trapped within the IG unit. The different types of desiccants are silica, molecular sieve and zeolites.
The desiccants need to have the following characteristics to perform the function:
Absorption of water and hydrocarbons
Non absorption of krypton, argon or other "thermal performance" gases
Should not contain pre-absorbed nitrogen

5. Sealant:
Sealants are very important in the manufacture of insulating glass. They are easy to handle, efficient, safe and environment friendly. They are good adhesives, elastic and durable. Their moisture vapour transmission rates are low and have good cure profile. There are two types of sealants - primary and secondary.

6. Poly Iso Butylene
, or Butyl, is the most common primary sealant used. Silicone and Polysulfide are commonly used secondary sealants.
The primary sealant helps in fixing the insulating glass unit at the time of assembly.
Secondary sealants are structural adhesives, binding the glass panes in multi-pane IG units (MIG) together. The sealant comprises of two components which are mixed before application and applied by a robot or manually.
Secondary sealant protects the gas filled spaces from influences of moisture vapour penetration, chemical attack from cleaning fluids and glazing products, and liquid water penetration due to rain or condensation.

7. Filling:
There are three different types of IG units based on the type of gas filled between the glass lites. The most commonly used type is the regular IG unit with no filling - it has dry air inside. The second type is the one with inert gas filling. Inert gases such as argon, krypton, and xenon are used as a filling in this type of IG unit. They are more efficient than dry air, but expensive. The third type of IG unit is where vacuum exists between the glass lites.

The formula used to calculate the amount of gas to be filled into the IGU is given here.
Height (cm) x Length (cm) x ID (mm) x 0.001 = Number of Litres (x)
Number of Litres (X) x 1.5 = Number of litres of gas required per window

Benefits of IGU
Monolithic Glass   Insulating Glass
Monolithic glass such as annealed glass is a single glass.   Double glass such as IG, contains hermetically sealed dry air space between the sheets of glass.
It gets heated directly by sunlight.   Double glazing prevents direct contact with sunlight.
When air conditioner is used inside the building, the temperature difference between the inside and outside the building is very high.   When air conditioner is used inside the building, the temperature difference between the inside and outside of the building is very less.
There is only a thin glass barrier to prevent the outside heat from coming in - resulting in excessive loss of energy.   Due to convection, air circulates inside and acts as a barrier, preventing outside heat from coming inside and the cool air inside from escaping - results in energy saving.

Properties

Outstanding Solar Control Performance
Reduces Solar Heat Gain
Thermal Insulation Or Energy Efficient
UV Protection
Excellent Aesthetics & Design Flexibility
Good Light performance
Control Against Glare
Sound Insulation
Safety

 
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