CENSolutions Ltd having been at the forefront of providing cost-effective testing for the UK market, has to date submitted over 150 tests to the Dutch Notified Body Test House
Says Dave Frost from CENSolutions, “Unfortunately for single seal hot melt/conventional spacer i.g. unit manufacturers, there has not been a single pass achieved, even though we thought long and hard about manufacturing techniques and tried these different methods to no avail, failing often just short of beating that mystical figure of 1%. Conversely, dual seal hot melt submissions have enjoyed an extremely good pass rate with very few failures at all. The way forward, therefore, is to submit dual seal units. This has always previously involved a significant up front investment with the purchase of p.i.b. application equipment and even upgrading to a semi-automatic line with roller press. This naturally has precluded the majority from being able to submit or re-submit units for the test, even though the legislation has been in force since March 2007. “However the situation has changed and dual seal units can now be submitted with a hand applied pre-extruded p.i.b. sealant and incorporating Thermoseal Group’s unique Gas Lock Seals™ around the corners of the spacer bar frame.
“The advantage of this application method is two-fold; not only does it negate the need for immediate investment in new application equipment, but to date has given extremely low gas leakage results.
“We currently have had at least two passes with the figures as low as 0.2% and 0.3% in each case. Whilst there can be no absolute guarantees, this gives us much more confidence that the units should pass and that there is some leeway for slight imperfections on units submitted. “There is also good news on the cost of this testing. Even though the exchange rate against the Euro is still very poor, we have been able to re-negotiate a new price with TNO and can now offer the testing at £1,700.00 as long as the test slot is booked before the end of April. At previous rates, the cost would have had to have been increased to £2,300.00. The test slot is booked by downloading a voucher from our website at www.censolutions.com and faxing this through to our laboratory at Penkridge. The slot is confirmed on receipt of a £200.00 + VAT deposit and the only proviso is that the balance is paid on receipt of test units before we deliver them to Holland.
“The final advantage to you the i.g. unit manufacturer is that you can pick the time to invest in the new equipment as and when it suits you. Hand applied p.i.b. is naturally more expensive and labour intensive than machine applied, but it does serve the purpose in the short term. With the advent of Window Energy Ratings and new Building Regulations due next year, more and more i.g. units will have to be gas filled and this now will enable you to take advantage of this situation.”