Warm Edge Technology – The Reality Behind The Hype
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers on Warm Edge Technology.
- What is the definition of warm edge?
- Aren’t all warm edge technology spacer systems the same?
- What are the key performance comparisons that sealed unit manufacturers and fabricators need to research before committing to any of the spacer systems?
- Isn’t the initial investment in machinery to produce Warm Edge units prohibitively expensive for many companies?
- Is there any marketing support to back-up Super Spacer?
- How large a unit can Super Spacer support?
- Can Super Spacer help noise reduction?
- How durable is Super Spacer?
1. What is the definition of warm edge?
2. Aren’t all warm edge technology spacer systems the same?
While we use the generic term WET, there are many different types, some with higher performing attributes than others. Different types include stainless steel; plastic spacers with and without metal backing; tin plated U-shaped spacers; flexible spacers from thermoplastic matrix; butyl-matrix spacers and thermoset structural foam spacer systems.
3. What are the key performance comparisons that sealed unit manufacturers and fabricators need to research before committing to any of the spacer systems?
There are several key performance indicators but we always advise companies to take into account all of the following:
- Thermal performance, specifically relating to Window Energy Ratings
- Extensive supply chain & distribution channels to ensure consistent availability of product
- Cost parity with aluminium spacer systems
- Productivity improvements
- Testing and standards compliancy
- Ease of manufacture
- Application options
- Durability and proven performance
- Comprehensive system e.g. colours, Georgian bars, and simulated divided light system
- Brand awareness and loyalty within the UK market place
- Support including sales, marketing and technical
4. Isn’t the initial investment in machinery to produce Warm Edge units prohibitively expensive for many companies?
Absolutely not. There are options to suit all budgets, from manual to semi- to fully automated solutions. Return on investment can be enjoyed in a relatively short space of time for all three options. In fact, we’ve noticed a trend recently of more companies who have seen firsthand the benefits of initial low end investment, upgrading their machinery to increase capacity. They are building on the confidence they’ve gained that this is a growth market.
We’re also seeing a trend in the increasing number of fabricators moving towards selling warm edge glass units to existing frame customers. This is where fantastic ROI really kicks in. Fuelled by the popularity of WERs, fabricators investing in warm edge unit manufacturing, are seeing added value sales increase with the accompanying improved margins, better customer loyalty, and more customers that far outweighs their initial outlay.
5. Is there any marketing support to back-up Super Spacer?
Edgetech offers a superb marketing package for all levels of the supply chain from sealed unit manufacturers and fabricators to installers and homeowners. Read more about our 360 marketing support package here.
6. How large a unit can Super Spacer support?
Units as large as 30 sq. ft. can be made with Super Spacer.
In fact an outstanding on-site trial took place at Schollglas in Dresden, Germany where Super Spacer® TriSeal™ was applied to 2 float glass panels, each with an area of 20.79 m² and a thickness of 6mm. Held simply by TriSeal alone the panels were immediately lifted and held in a vertical position from one side by a vacuum lifter. The 6.30×3.30 meter, 311.85kg jumbo panel withstood the test and didn’t give by even a single millimetre.
7. Can Super Spacer help noise reduction?
Sealed units incorporating Warm Edge technology have been proven to reduce noise transmission by up to 2db over units with standard aluminium spacer. Super Spacer is made from closed polymer foam, a construction that not only speeds up manufacture but also transmits very little sound.
8. How durable is Super Spacer?
Super Spacer has excellent resistance to nitrogen and argon gas absorption. It has high UV resistance and can cope with a phenomenal range in temperature from -51?C to +127?C. It has 100% memory and therefore allows for expansion and contraction, which is a major cause of stress fractures in conventional sealed units. In accelerated testing Super Spacer has been shown to last over twice as long as other dual seal systems and a staggering five times longer than single seal systems.
What does Super Spacer look like in an installed window?
Most PVC-U windows and traditional timber windows now incorporate low line glazing beads and gaskets. This creates problems with standard aluminium spacer bar protruding into the sightline of the window, Super Spacer has a lower sightline equivalent to only 9.8mm from the edge of the glass, eradicating this problem. Super Spacer also takes on the appearance of the colour of the profile into which it is glazed i.e. if glazed into a white profile the spacer reflects back white. This eliminates the need to stock a wide range of different colours and simplifies ordering and stock control.