Components of double glazing
The double glazed unit (DGU), which fits within a window frame, is comprised of seven components:
- A Spacer Bar – a frame that separates the two panels of glass, creating a cavity. The spacer bar can be aluminium or warm-edge.
- Desiccant – a silicon material used in the spacer bar to dry up moisture trapped within the cavity
- A primary seal – the main barrier to air or moisture migration into the double glazed unit (DGU)
- The glass – clear, solar control, Low E, self-cleaning, acoustic, toughened, laminated or a combination
- The secondary seal – the main structural adhesive around the outside edge of the unit, holding all the elements together
- The cavity – the void formed between the component parts
- The gas filling the cavity – dehydrated air, argon, krypton or xenon.
Insulated glass is a combination of two or more panes of glass with a layer of inert gas namely argon or krypton in between them. The two pieces of glass are further separated by an aluminium spacer bar which has holes in it; a desiccant which might be silica gel or zeolite is used below the spacer bar material so as to absorb any moisture that may be initially present in between the glass panes. A primary sealant is used on the inside to fix the spacer bar to the inside of the glass panes while a secondary silicone sealant is used on the outside to create an airtight seal along the continuous sides of the window.
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This arrangement in totality is known as an IG unit or an Insulated Glass unit. The glass is available in various thicknesses ranging from 5mm to 12mm while the inert gas layer present in between the glass panes is 12mm thick.
Advantages of Insulated Glass
- The main advantage of insulated glass is that it helps in insulation by reducing the heat gain and heat loss. Adding multiple layers of glass with gas infill further protects the windows and building from heat loss.
- Another advantage of insulated glass is that it increases the energy efficiency in buildings. The reduced heat transfer lowers the electrical power consumption required for heating or cooling of the space. This drastically cuts down the electrical bills especially in areas subjected to extreme heat or cold. The use of low-e glass and reflective coatings can further improve the efficiency of the windows by further limiting the heat transfer.
- Insulated glass also helps in sound insulation and improves the acoustics of the place. The inert gas present in between the two panes of glass does not allow noise to pass through and acts as a barrier between the interiors of the building and the noise that is present outside the building .
- There is a reduction in the amount of direct sunlight and UV rays that enters the room through the windows. This prevents the fading of photographs, paintings, curtains, carpets and sofa fabrics than can be caused by the UV effect of sun rays.
- Insulated Glass windows can also act as a safety and security window. It is difficult and takes longer time to break an insulated glass unit in comparison to a single pane window.