December 3, 2012

How are IQ's Super Insulating Glass Units Made?

Written by Rebecca Clayton

How is a Super Insulated Unit Made?

IQ Glass Automated Double Glazed Unit Line "An IQ Super Insulated Glass unit starts its life on the normal automated double glazed line"

A super insulted glass unit starts its life on the normal automated double glazed line. Once the glass has been treated, prepared and applied with any necessary coatings it is lifted onto the automated glazing line.

The glass itself goes through all the standardised quality tests as a normal double glazed unit would, going through the glazing scanner to check for any deformities and deep scratches, and the daylight rack which simulates normal viewing conditions it would be under once installed to show up any scratches and irregularities according to the GGF.

Once the first pane of glass has been passed by the QA it then moves along the line to the ‘Blue Box’. Inside the blue box it is suctioned and lifted slightly off the rack to make room for the second glass panel.

Before the second glass panel enters the ‘Blue Box’ to become a double glazed unit as it would in a normal DG unit it is moved to a flat bed. It is here that the unit then becomes ‘Super Insulated’. Metal spacers are applied to the glass and then the Super Insulating film is pulled from its roll, across the length of the glazing. Once laid flat it is then secured by the second set of spacer bars and the film is trimmed to the glass shape and size.

"Metal spacers are applied to the glass and then the Super Insulating film is pulled from its roll"

For ‘Super Super Insualting’ Glass and ‘3S’ glazing the process is just repeated until the necessary amount of films and spacers have been applied.

Once this process is complete the second panel of glass, now equipped with the required Super Insulating film and spacer bars, is lifted back up onto the glass line and along into the ‘Blue Box’.

It is inside the ‘Blue Box’ that the glass and films are sealed together using a butyl seal to ensure the glass unit does not break apart.

The process to become an IQ Super Insulating unit is not over though. The glass’s next step is into the specialised Super Insulated Units Oven. This oven is designed and used only for use in making SIG units. The internal temperature of the oven is heated to an exact temperature to ensure that the film stretches correctly. Too cool and the film will not stretch enough, too hot and the film will stretch too much causing ripples in the surface.

"This oven is designed and used only for use in making SIG units"

Before heating begins small holes are drilled through the metal spacer bars inside the unit, this ensures uniform air flow through all units to make sure the film does not pull unevenly to one side of the unit making sure the film and glazing stays transparent.

Temperature sensors are applied to the glass units to ensure the optimum temperature is reached and maintained throughout the tightening process.

Once the films and units are cooled, the gas fillings can be inserted. This is done by pumping the gas or nano-gel into the cavities through the drilled holes in the spacers. Once the gas has been inserted into the units the spacer holes are plugged and sealed to ensure no gas escape.

The units are then sealed and receive further inspection before being released for installation. Super Insulating units can include stepped edges as well to be included as flush rooflights in a building design.

Using super insulating units can achieve fantastic u-values from the glazing of as little as 0.18.