New Technnologies Discussed at IGMA Summer Meeting

June 23, 2009
Meetings & Events

Reflecting changes expected to come to the industry, the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance featured presentations on emerging dynamic glazing technologies at its summer technical meetings last week at the Hyatt Regency Montreal (Quebec). The event also featured the first meeting of a task group focusing multiple airspace IG unitts.

The new IGMA group is planning to develop a technical report addressing issues such as thermal stress, gas content, wind load, stresses on seal systems, coatings, fabrication techniques, altitude limits, glazing considerations such as misalignment, non structural intermediate layers such as suspended coated film, glass thickness (asymmetric constructions, glass and airspace), structural glazing applications, exterior condensation and optical considerations that may have special considerations for triple- and other multiple-glazed IG units, association officials report.

Representatives of RavenBrick LLC, Switch Materials Inc. and Exova (formerly Bodycote Testing Group) offered the dynamic glazing technical presentations. Denver-based RavenBrick is developing a thermoreflective product that uses filters incorporating advances in nanotechnology to transition from a transparent to a reflective state in response to changes in the outside temperature. This transition allows a building to use the sun as a source of free heat on cold days and block solar heat effectively on hot days, without requiring any additional control systems or electronics, according to the company. 

Switch Materials' products are based on novel organic molecules that react to both solar and electrical stimulation. Smart windows and lenses are among the first commercial application under development at Switch, which is based in Burnaby, B.C., Canada. They darken when exposed to the sun and rapidly bleach on command when stimulated by electricity, the company states.

Various IGMA committees also continued efforts on a number of fronts. Current projects include the development of an introductory presentation for IGMA's TM-4000 quality control program document, manufacturing guidelines for the use of capillary tubes, and methods for gas permeability testing.

The meeting was paperless, IGMA officials note. All documents, presentations and other materials were provided on a USB drive sponsored by Edgetech IG. Agendas and minutes were also posted in advance of the meetings so delegates could download them.

IGMA’s next meeting, the 2010 Annual Conference, will be held at the GANA Glass Week meeting, March 24-27, in Las Vegas.