Insulating Glass

Insulating glass (IG) units comprising two or more panes separated by a hermetically sealed cavity, filled with air or inert gas, improve thermal performance by providing a thermal break. This enables the glass to meet two basic requirements. During cold weather heat is retained in the building and in warm weather the heat is kept out.

 Insulating glass is a very effective way to reduce air-to-air heat transfer through the glazing, particularly when used in conjunction with low emissivity (low E) and/or solar reflective coatings, IG units can be designed to optimise energy in accordance with local Building Regulations and Standards. The most common IG configuration for commercial and architectural projects is a 6mm outer pane, 16mm cavity and a 6mm inner pane. When SunGuard Advanced Architectural Glass is incorporated into insulating glass units the coating must always face the inside of the cavity, normally on surface 2.

Following the development of low emissivity coatings, they have become better at reducing air-to-air heat transfer and further improvements have focused on spacer technology in order to provide additional incremental thermal improvements.

Typical spacers are formed from aluminium filled with desiccant which absorbs any residual moisture inside the IG unit to prevent internal condensation. The aluminium-to-glass contact is a very efficient thermal conductor and can lead to condensation and reduction of the overall u-value of the unit.

SunGuard coated glass provides substantial improvements of up to 50% in u-values and solar control when compared to uncoated glass in IG units. In addition recent new spacer materials, referred to as ‘Warm edge’ spacers, can lower the u-value.

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