2013 IGMA - Wagner Presents Potential Solution for Global IG Standards

Dr. Werner Wagner of Sika Services AG, based in Zurich, Switzerland, presented his findings on “European Gas Loss Testing and Related Benefits” on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at the opening session of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Most notably in his presentation, Wagner posed the question of how to reach an international standard for insulating glass units (IGUs) as well as a potential, theoretical solution for a global standard.“By the end of the day we have to come to a conclusion to compare performances,” said Wagner.According to Wagner, a German professor has developed a concept for reaching a global standard theoretically based on the calculations of the isochoric pressure of the IGU.In this theoretical solution, the pressure is always constant and determined by increments such as temperature, atmospheric pressure and altitude of both production and installation of the IGU. Essentially, it consists of two main steps: calculation of isochoric pressure and transformation to real load on the IG seal.

While the current regulations vary between European and U.S. standards, Wagner said that currently the European standard offers a larger air space and greater thermal load, though the American standard has a much tougher weathering testing system. Despite the testing requirements for U.S. IGUs, the European standards, as proven in decades of studies, provide a more reliable, long-term predictability of the gas behavior, often providing IGUs which retain their gasses longer than their U.S. counterparts, Wagner said.

Wagner closed his presentation by offering the idea that a hybrid of the two standards, adopting the gas predictability of the European standard in addition to the rigorous U.S. testing, which includes the ultraviolet radiation testing the European standard lacks, could present a feasible solution toward a global standard.

Further, Wagner noted that IG edge sealants do have room for improvement and a chance for both long- and short-term improvements.

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