IGMA Continues Gas Loss Research Efforts

August 4, 2009

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance has announced it is continuing its research into gas retention of IG units, thanks in part to support it will receive from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the National Fenestration Council. The multi‐phase project is currently in the second phase, focusing on the gas permeability of edge seal assemblies, which will result in a new test cell design for the industry.

“IGMA undertook this project which is of interest to the IG fabricators but also manufacturers of fenestration products for both the residential and commercial markets," says Margaret Webb, IGMA executive director. "With energy codes becoming more and more stringent and the resulting liability exposure from retaining the inert gas in the unit, it is imperative that manufacturers understand the relationship between gas retention and thermal performance and be able to accurately determine which construction will provide the best solution for their customers.”

“With the overwhelming majority of residential (95 percent) and commercial (89 percent) fenestration products now featuring insulating glass units, IGU’s have emerged as critical components of window systems," notes Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO, discussing his organization's support. "This IGMA research project will provide valuable technical information about the rate of gas permeability through different sealant membranes as well as the impact of different spacers on gas permeability. The resulting information will improve the selection process for sealants and spacers for use in gas‐filled IG units. Enabling window manufacturers to design gas‐filled products that retain their thermal performance longer is a prime objective in this era of green building and increasingly ambitious energy efficiency goals, both now and by 2030.”

“NFRC is pleased to support IGMA’s Gas Permeability Research Project which will lead to improved methods for predicting the rate of gas loss through the seal of insulating glass units," says Joe Hayden of Pella Corp., chairman of the NFRC board. "In turn, this will likely lead to improved gas retention technologies for the sealed insulating glass industry and is therefore consistent with NFRC’s first and foremost mission of serving the best interests of the general public.”

The anticipated completion date for Phase 2, including design, test sample specification and testing of samples, is December 31, 2009, IGMA reports.