Super Spacer® warm edge spacers offer flexibility all along the line
At FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2022, discussions around digitalization, manufacturing automation, innovative window solutions and sustainability will be a constant. “With Window 4.0, the hour of flexible spacers is also upon us“, says Johannes von Wenserski, authorized signatory at Heinsberger. In addition to the topic of energy efficiency, the focus of Edgetech’s trade fair presentation will therefore be on the manufacturing advantages of Super Spacer® flexible warm edge spacers when processed in automatic production lines.
If not now, when for Warm Edge?
Against the backdrop of current developments in energy prices and climate protection, Joachim Stoss, Managing Director of Edgetech Europe GmbH and Vice President International Sales at Quanex, places the issue of sustainability at the top of the agenda: “We have to save energy, and we have to do it quickly and everywhere. That’s why we as an industry must also make it clear that there is no way around the warm edge any longer. It is part of the basic equipment of all new insulating glass. Super Spacer offers the best Psi values of up to 0.028 W/mK and enable savings of up to 6% on heating costs. Moreover, the costs for the warm edge Super Spacer are negligible. They account for less than 1% of the total cost of an installed window. So, what is there to wait for?”
Variability and flexibility
Customized windows have always characterized window construction and insulating glass production. Due to intense competition and great pressure for efficiency, a large part of the industry has made the transition to industrial production. Last but not least, energy requirements, the trend towards large glass surfaces as well as curved and free-form glass are constantly presenting the industry with new challenges.
With intelligent automation, insulating glass manufacturers can, on the one hand, exploit the economies of scale of larger quantities, and on the other hand, they can also economically realize unusual customer requests in lot size 1.
Super Spacer® flexible warm edge spacers made of silicone structural foam are suitable for manual processing in special designs, automatic application in the edge seal of classic windows with and without internally or externally mounted glazing bars, insulating glass units in structural glazing facades, and for hot and cold curved insulating glass. Silicone structural foam spacers come prefabricated from the roll and are automatically applied along the edge of the glass. For activities involved in the processing of rigid spacers, such as bending, desiccant filling or joining of the profiles, the investment requirement is very high, especially for small and medium-sized companies. If flexible spacers are applied automatically from the roll, a large part of the setup time is eliminated and the line is maximally flexible in terms of window dimensions, glass type, number of glazing units and spacer width. “Super Spacer is set parallel to the millimeter and guarantees a visually appealing, but above all tight edge seal”, adds Johannes von Wenserski.
In addition, the structural foam is compatible with all common sealants such as hot melt butyl, polyurethane, silicone and polysulfide. In addition, insulating glass units with Super Spacer® flexible warm edge spacers can be handled, packaged and stored immediately after processing, as the integrated desiccant dries the spaces between the panes very quickly.
The warm edge has captured a market share of over 50% in spacers in almost all countries in Europe. “Triple insulating glazing is the current standard in window and facade technology”, continues Joachim Stoss. According to the Heinsberg-based company, almost no building owner or planner needs to be convinced of the advantages of the warm edge, such as significantly improved energy efficiency, optimized room climate and elimination of condensation in the space between the panes. For this reason, the warm edge spacer is also increasingly coming into focus in terms of production technology, especially since curved windows and freeforms can be designed as multiple insulating glazing exclusively with flexible spacers.
“Due to a shortage of skilled workers and high competitive pressure, many window producers today are faced with the decision in the direction of full automation and, at the same time, the warm edge has become established as an energy-efficient window edge spacer”, because in terms of manufacturing technology, they score points over rigid spacers in terms of flexibility, speed and precision”, explains Joachim Stoss.
Flexible spacers for precise positioning
New developments such as 4-pane insulating glazing and complex structures with integrated, intelligent functions can only be manufactured economically and precisely with a high degree of automation in conjunction with flexible spacers, the company in Heinsberg is convinced. A robot can place the foam-based products in parallel with millimeter precision in a matter of seconds, thus guaranteeing a flawless and tight edge seal. “Automation and digitization will also give medium-sized window producers competitive advantages in the medium term,” says European Technical Manager Christoph Rubel, “with high-quality products and flexible production that responds quickly to customer wishes and manufacture of smaller series economically.”
Precise application to the millimeter, even on large panes, as is possible with a Super Spacer® flexible warm edge spacer system both manually and automatically, is therefore of particular interest to insulating glass manufacturers and window and facade manufacturers among the FENSTERBAU visitors.
“Of course, we will also be presenting our new Super Spacer T-Spacer SG at the trade fair, which has a larger surface area for the application of the primary seal. Like all Edgetech products, it is a metal-free, silicone-based warm edge spacer made of structural foam with integrated desiccant and also has excellent thermal insulation properties thanks to its low thermal conductivity of 0.19 W/mK. The spacer’s composition provides improved shape memory, which is important for the long-term integrity of the edge seal. The resilient structural foam follows the climate-induced movements of the glass and relieves much of the load on the butyl seal. This is an invaluable advantage, especially in climates with very low, very high or highly fluctuating temperatures,” says Christoph Rubel.
Edgetech at the FENSTERBAU FRONTALE trade fair: Hall 6, Booth 6-232
About Edgetech Europe GmbH, A Part of Something BiggerSM
Edgetech Europe GmbH, located in Heinsberg, Germany, is a fully owned subsidiary of Quanex Building Products Corporation, (NYSE: NX) a global, publicly traded manufacturing company primarily serving OEMs in the fenestration, cabinetry, solar, refrigeration and outdoor products markets. Edgetech Europe GmbH services markets in continental Europe with a total of 490 employees and 17 extruders. We are “A Part of Something Bigger” by improving the performance and aesthetics of end products through continuous innovation, helping customers achieve greater production efficiencies, and giving back to communities where we operate. Visit quanex.com for more information.