7 min read
29 Dec

Doors and windows are key parts that affect the energy saving of buildings. In addition to Low-E glass performance and gas sealing, the main factors that affect the insulation performance of insulating glass are warm edge spacers that can reduce the K value of doors and windows by solving the heat loss at the edge of the insulating glass. It can also reduce condensation on the edges of doors and windows, which has now become an important factor in improving the performance of doors and windows. Therefore, it has become a consensus to improve the thermal insulation performance of insulating glass by using warm edge spacers.

LIJIANG Glass will share an article to help more glass deep processing practitioners understand the two new processes of sealing insulating glass, warm edge spacers, and thermoplastic spacer sealing, and learn about 4SG insulating glass, TPS insulating glass, and TPE insulating glass. What are the differences in the processing technology of insulating glass with different sealing methods such as glass and TPA insulating glass?

What is super-sealed insulating glass?

The sealing process of insulating glass is generally called "Thermoplastic Space Sealant for Insulating Glass Unit", the full name is "Thermo Plastic Space Sealant for Insulating Glass Unit" and the abbreviation is TPSS glass. There is a premise not to be confused. What is emphasized here is the sealing effect of the hollow layer and the sealing material of the hollow layer, which have nothing to do with the original glass. Compared with traditional insulating glass with aluminum spacers as the medium, TPSS glass has more obvious thermal insulation and sealing performance improvements; at the same time, the overall sealing life of TPSS glass is longer and can achieve effective sealing.

The origin of traditional metal spacer insulating glass

The common insulating glass on the market is to add a metal spacer between two or more pieces of glass as a spacer cavity for the hollow layer. To ensure that the sealing effect of the insulated layer does not leak, during the glass joining process, a spacer is first placed in the middle space. Butyl sealant is added to both sides of the strip for the first bonding effect. After the pieces are combined, the second sealing and gluing treatment is performed. This type of insulating glass was first developed and promoted by the German company Komelin in 1969 as a glass seal. The technology has been used to this day because of its good sealing, low cost, and convenience for mass production and standardization.

However, this insulating glass sealing technology has obvious advantages and disadvantages. To ensure the strength and service life of the insulated layer of the insulating glass, most spacers are made of metal spacers. The most common ones are aluminum alloy and stainless steel, which are characterized by their strong and durable properties. , has a long service life, and its defects are also obvious. The characteristic of metal spacers is that the thermal conductivity is too fast. When the indoor and outdoor temperature difference convection occurs, a metal thermal bridge will be formed, and the thermal insulation will be reduced. Another defect is that no matter how the metal spacers are The processing and the original glass are both hard links, and the sealing mainly depends on the first butyl glue and the second sealant. However, with time and age, the sealing effect will gradually decrease until it fails. The relatively short sealing life is also a fatal problem.

What is TPS insulating glass?

Super spacer (thermoset spacer) is a thermoset, elastic, microporous structure, that contains silica gel desiccant, is covered with a moisture barrier film on the back, and is made by extrusion technology. The shape of this thermosetting polymer material is formed when it is heated and solidified, and it will not deform when heated again. Super spacers maintain their elasticity over a wide temperature range and retain their original shape. The silicone molecular structure of Super Spacers provides excellent resistance to ozone, UV rays, and oxidation, as well as excellent color stability.

To solve the problem of metal thermal bridges in hollow spaces was also pioneered by the German company Komeling in 1996. It uses flexible sealants to replace traditional metal spacers. Simply put, it turns the metal spacers between two or more pieces of glass into sealants. Spacers not only have ideal sealing properties but also solve the problem of metal thermal bridges. The full name is thermoplastic elastomer spacer insulated glass, or TPS glass for short.

More advantages of TPS insulating glass

Thermoplastic spacer is a new type of warm edge material for insulating glass. It is a thermoplastic spacer that uses special butyl sealant as an auxiliary material and is filled with molecular sieves. It has very excellent characteristics: the first is high sealing performance, which greatly reduces the consumption of environmental resources by construction and glass production; the second is the continuity of production, the production of TPS insulating glass is fully automated, improving the production of glass processing efficiency, eliminating human errors in the production process; the third is excellent warm edge performance. The spacer system does not contain any metal and can provide a very low edge U value and a more even surface temperature distribution on the inner and outer surfaces of the glass. , to minimize the condensation on the edges; the fourth is the most flexible insulating glass production solution. The production system can produce insulating glass of any size and shape, and designers can choose any type of insulating glass without considering the insulating glass. production limitations, providing the most powerful technical guarantee for innovative buildings. 

More defects of TPS insulating glass

Although TPS solves the thermal conductivity and sealing defects of metal spacers, the bonding stability of flexible sealants is not very good. Flexible spacers are still glue materials in nature. For example, the larger the single glass, the greater the pressure of the hollow spacers. The bigger the glass, the bigger it is. It cannot do large-volume engineering orders and mass production, so it can only make orders for home decoration doors and windows that are smaller than conventional single glass. However, relying solely on the market demand for home decoration glass, the order volume is not large enough. In addition, since the desiccant capacity of TPS spacers is only 70% compared to the desiccant capacity of two long-side filled rigid spacers, such products must be filled with argon-gas to meet the dew point specified in the insulating glass standard. 

What is 4SG insulating glass?

The full name of 4SG insulating glass is Ködispace 4SG insulating glass. In 2005, the German Kommering Company added other material ratios based on TPS flexible sealing spacers, upgraded to super sealing spacers, and made it in the flexible sealant. Two upgrades, one is to add an integrated desiccant to improve the strength of the flexible sealant, which solves the problem of unstable pressure and strength of the flexible spacer caused by oversized glass, and the other is to add a stronger adhesive material to ensure long-lasting strength. and seal.
This product is an upgrade of the TPS product. The chemical bonding of the spacer to the glass and the second silicone sealant ensures that the insulating glass edge sealing system has excellent durability and airtightness. Komelin's 4SG sealing system has obtained the European inert gas leakage rate EN1279-3 certification test. It has passed five cycle tests by the international industry standard "Insulating Glass" . The initial argon content of 4SG insulating glass is 93.9%. After the fifth cycle, The rear argon content is 91.0%, which has super high sealing performance.

The upgraded new product has been named 4SG sealed insulating glass by the German manufacturer Komeling. The new product naming is unique and exclusive to other companies and has the protection and restrictions of relevant patents. Insulating glass is produced using this spacer material. Glass can also be called 4SG sealed insulating glass.

What is TPA insulating glass?

If you want to produce insulating glass with TPA super-sealed spacers, you must have supporting automated processing equipment. The reason why 4SG glass is relatively expensive is because not only the raw materials must be purchased from overseas companies, but also the processing equipment must be purchased overseas. The company's representative ones include the automated processing equipment developed by LISEC, an Austrian glass deep processing company. The insulating glass products made using their independently developed equipment and purchased raw materials are also referred to as TPA insulating glass.

In addition, to meet the needs of different regions and different cost performances, there are many types of spacers for insulating glass on the market, and the price increases with the improvement of performance. Overall, aluminum spacers have an advantage in the market with the cheapest price. Warm edge spacers are relatively expensive, generally 4 to 10 times the price of aluminum spacers. The new TPS and 4SG market prices are higher and are mainly suitable for high-end construction fields.

What is TPE insulating glass?

The full name of TPE insulating glass is called the Thermo Plastic Warm Edge insulating glass. It was independently developed by our domestic Beijing MGM Glass Machinery Co., Ltd. in 2015 and will be launched on the market in 2021. Tomorrow Star is the largest thermoplastic warm edge spacer in China. One of the companies that develops and produces automated glass processing plant equipment. It not only solves the problem of relying on pure imports of processing equipment but also solves the problem of flexible spacer materials also needing to be imported. It can be said to be a relatively powerful and technologically comprehensive insulating glass solution provider in China. They are The glass made by the company's equipment or flexible spacers can be collectively called TPSS-sealed insulating glass.

The Glaston Glass Machinery Co., Ltd. (formerly Bystronic Glass) has invented the TPS thermoplastic spacer production process since 1994. It has a patent and now has more than 130 installed machines worldwide. The fully automatic TPS insulating glass production line developed for 4SG products can Achieve free switching of the spacing width of the warm edge spacer from 2mm to 20mm.

To sum up, as long as a company develops its own and can solve the problem of mass production of flexible spacers, it will give a new name to the new product. The first is not to infringe on others and avoid its trouble. The second is the R&D cost and market of the new product. The cost of education is relatively high.

What are the advantages of super-sealed insulating glass?

There are many advantages, but the most important and core advantages are sealing and heat insulation. For sealing, we take argon filling as an example. We know that there is no hollow argon content below 80%. To understand the meaning of inert gas, the original content of general insulating glass is more than 95%. The annual leakage rate of argon gas of conventional aluminum spacers is more than one percent, while the annual leakage rate of argon gas content of TPSS seal is less than one-thousandth of a percent. First, based on the average service life of doors and windows of 30 years, after using TPSS seals for 30 years, the argon content will leak up to 3%, which is far more than 5 times the international industry standard argon seal weather resistance test.

Thermal insulation is reflected in the use of TPSS seals instead of metal spacers, which already have the function of blocking thermal bridges from temperature difference conduction. Combining with inert gas can maximize the reduction of indoor and outdoor temperature differences in convection and conduction. In a certain sense, it can very effectively reduce indoor condensation and condensation.

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