• There’s always so much to learn at GANA conferences. If you missed the Fall Conference, or didn’t make it to all the sessions you wanted to, here’s a recap of highlights to supplement my last two posts. Of course, for specific coverage, GANA’s website offers members the opportunity to access the meeting minutes from each of the divisions.

    In the Insulating Division, Jon Kimberlain reported about cold forming insulating glass units, and what possible stress the glass and/or the glass edge seal would be under if the glass were, for lack of a better term, warped when placed in the frame. They looked at a full size glass lite first in a computer-generated model called finite structural analysis, seeing if there were any flaws when loaded to 100 psf when bending the glass in 2-inch increments. They then physically tested a specimen to validate the finite model analysis. They took the physical testing to 8-inch deflection of one corner of the insulated glass without showing any stress in the edge seal under accelerated weather seal testing.

    GANA’s going to join up with Insulated Glass Manufacturers Association (IGMA) to work on any changes to glazing insulating glass units that are only supported on two edges. Presently, most of the fabricators require all four edges to be supported by framing. We’re seeing instances where architects and consultants are allowing construction without framing on two edges. This has implications for how that glass is supported for dead load (and where the setting blocks are located) when the architect wants the glass supported only on the vertical edges. The GANA Annual Meeting next spring will be in conjunction with IGMA, so there should be more developments to report on at that time.

    PIB (polyisobutylene) sealant migration is on-going issue. There was no consensus yet about the cause.  Is it a chemical failure of the primary seal of the spacer? Or, if it’s a squeeze-out issue, is the tried-and-true rule of 4-10 psi edge pressure to affect gasket sealing in captured glazing up for discussion, possibly fine tuning it if the pressure put on the edge of the glass is found to be the cause?

    The reflected energy issues, most notably those concerning building materials in close proximity to coated glass (think North Carolina’s recent restrictions on the use of Low-E glass) will lead to a GIB to address those issues.

    The Tempering Division continues to discuss how to measure wave distortion. Using the dioptric measuring system (it’s what ophthalmologists use to write prescriptions for glasses) may be a more accurate form of measurement than the one presently used. The amount of distortion that’s acceptable depends on the distance and angle of incidence – varying those factors changes the perceived distortion. Software now can filter or indicate the amount of distortion that might be visible, but the settings can lead to misleading projections of the predictable distortion. If one sets the limits too low, you might see a lot of distortion, or conversely, if they’re set too high, no distortion might be indicated. Working with the fabricators for predicting distortion is still a wise strategy.

    Ceramic frit weakening glass for wind load is still out there as an ongoing open issue.  But, no consensus is forming whether this is something the industry is taking a serious look at or not. Megan Headley at USGlass Magazine is looking for input if you have examples of where this has occurred on projects. As would the folks at ASTM E1300 subcommittees that are looking into this.

    The certification of the industry is still in its infancy, but seems to be gaining some traction.  Two strategies appear to be forming.  First, the NACC folks seem to be approaching certification of companies, which takes the tack of looking into their performance practices, safety record, financial stability, quality control processes, administration (contract compliance, communication, etc.).  The other approach is to certify individuals through vehicles such as AAMA’s “Fenestration Masters” program.  GANA is considering joining with that program to add a glass component, adding GANA manuals (Glass, Sealant, PM, and Estimating Manuals) to the core curriculum.

    Laminam, a fabricator of porcelain panels made a presentation of their materials. They’ve glazed large panels (63-by-126 inches) into structural silicone and captured glazing, with geometric or natural material patterns impregnated into the surface, creating a product with a 35-year warranty on color fade. It’s a thinner alternative to stone, which might have some merit.

    Apologies for not wrapping up the report for GANA Fall Conference last week. There was this little parade in Downtown K.C. with 800,000 other Royals fans. My luck has never been to be in town when the local team won a championship trophy, but that’s another story for another time. So, I wasn’t going to miss this one. Even better was me making off with some of Paul Bieber’s money. I haven’t heard from Lyle Hill yet if he wants the same bet for next year after he predicted his Cubbies would be there. Lyle?

    Finally, thanks to the folks at the Washington Glass Association for allowing a review of Fall Conference at their meeting last month. Good crowd, nice reception. Just one comment:  Rick Wakefield should work on his introductions a bit. The liberties he took…I’ll let him explain, but no permanent harm came from it; all in good fun. It was great having a chance to review the conference with those who use the manuals, GIBs and standards GANA’s various divisions develop. Lots of good feedback; thanks WGA!

    Tags: , , , , , ,

  • As I mentioned last week, a lot of ground was covered during the GANA Fall Conference. This is Part 2 in a series whose final length I know not. If you’ll bear with me, I’ll try to wrap up the Laminated Division meeting this week. If time and space permits, I’ll get into the Energy Division.

    To pick up where we left off in Part 1, the laminated folks are also concerned with the long-term exposure of the edge of the laminated glass lite in most typical handrail applications. Of special note: What effect does grout in exposed exterior handrail base shoes do to laminated glass? There’s no recently completed or in-process testing that indicates whether or not the grout and interlayer will play nice with each other. Anybody out there developing a “dry” system with extruded shoes will be ahead of the curve.

    From a development standpoint, it appears there’s also interest in making laminated glass with lites that aren’t necessarily the same thickness. This raises a number of questions. What happens to glass strength if a ¼-inch and 3/8-inch lite are laminated together? Is it twice as strong, or 2.5 times as strong? When different thicknesses are laminated, is there an impact to energy or sound transmittance and the glass’ overall performance?

    And, that’s just the starting point. Let’s go beyond different thicknesses of glass. What happens when you combine glass in laminations that aren’t all glass? For instance, what happens when you laminate glass to metal panels or composites? This naturally leads into a discussion about strength and ASTM E1300. How does laminated glass perform in combination with other products? With all the attention that putting fabric, patterns or pre-printed screens into laminated glass is getting, no one knows how to account for the overall strength of the laminated glass after it’s been fabricated with these “ingredients.”

    In the Energy Division, Tom Culp reported that Climate Zone Borders are being fine-tuned to reflect more recent historical climatological data. The climate zones impact everything about energy performance for a building, not just the glass and glazing. While U-values are trending down between 8 and 14 percent, SHGCs are remaining steady (with some minor shifts) in upcoming code updates. Tom categorized these changes as “fair and reasonable.”

    Learning to identify how products work in combination with each other to achieve the desired thermal performance is going to be a criteria of window and frame selection going forward. For example, when you pick a low-E glass, the zone the project is in may dictate whether or not the glass has to have argon in it, whether the frame has to be higher- or lower-performing, or whether a warm-edge spacer is required, etc., before finalizing a total product selection. Think of it in terms of a “cafeteria plan.” If you pick Option 1 for glass, then you have to do one or several other options, be it A, B, or C. But, if you pick Option 2 for glass and the location is in a different zone, then you may have to select from an entirely new set of options.

    On a separate note, the NFRC’s recent changes haven’t cleared up where that program is going. They’ve made some fundamental software changes that allow faster responses from the CMA program, but their “reaching out to partner with the industry” claim hasn’t been clarified yet. There was some talk of AAMA and NFRC merging their certification efforts. That remains to be seen.

    Also, if you’re not familiar with the LCA/PCR/ EPD/HPD acronyms, you might want to be. The analogy that they are “food labels” for building materials isn’t so much about what’s actually in the product, as it is about how much energy goes into using them in the building, and what their carbon footprint is over the course of the product’s life cycle. For example, they take into account the energy that goes into refining raw materials and getting raw material (stock lengths, for example in aluminum, or glass sheets prior to fabrication) delivered to fabricators, the energy it takes for manufacturers to make materials suitable for installation, the long-term operation or energy cost of the glazing or wall components after installation, and the cost to recycle them (if any). The terms, “cradle to gate” (from the raw material to the fabricator) and “cradle to grave,” (includes cradle to gate and through operation and recycling) are going to become more prominent.

    Tracy Rogers of Quanex reported on a unique glazing approach for retrofit of an existing, monolithic glazed curtainwall that didn’t require any teardown or replacement of the existing window system, nor did it require a relocation of existing tenants. They employed a Quanex spacer applied to the cleaned interior surface of the existing glass, which remained in the existing frame. They then mounted an IGU on the back of that spacer into a Berkowitz designed interior glazing stop system applied inboard of the IGU, fastened to the existing window system. The completed installation resulted in a triple-glazed window, which obviously increased the energy and thermal performance of the glass. The net decrease resulted in 35 to 40 percent energy costs of what they had previously been, at 54 percent of the cost of what a tear out and replace budget might have been. While the frame performance wasn’t altered, some gain in thermal and energy performance was better than none. It was classic out-of-the-box thinking, which hopefully we’ll see more of as time goes on.

    Enough for now … next week, I’ll recap the Flat Glass and Insulating Division. Between this week and last, we’ve only made it through about half of my notes. Please holler if you have any questions about any of the topics I recapped. There are certainly people in GANA a lot smarter than me on the details of these updates (and on any and all other matters) that you can be directed to for answers.

    And, in the meantime, Blue Flu Pennant Fever has taken over Kansas City again, everyone’s going crazy and absolutely going gaga about the run the Royals are on again this year.   All I can say about Game 6 last Friday night is (to use a phrase we haven’t heard of a lot of this year): “that what speed do.” Hey, Paul Bieber, challenge accepted! Go Royals, TAKE THE CROWN!!! (Full disclosure: You’re reading this on Thursday; this is being written before Game 1 on Tuesday.)

    Tags: , ,

  • At the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Fall Conference last week, Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning, BEC division chair, referenced the ESPN “30 for 30” series, in which they take an in-depth look at the background of sporting events. The tag line for these documentaries is “what if.”

    In that spirit, “What if you knew how much GANA does to support our industry every day, would that change your perspective on the organization?” I’ve been a big fan of GANA’s for a long time. Last week only reinforced that. Again.

    It’s going to take several blogs to deal with the high points covered. I’m looking at my notes (nine pages over roughly two days), and some of this is going to take several weeks just to cover one division. So here goes with Part 1, dealing with the laminating division.

    Prior to taking the tour through the Intertek laboratory, Valerie Block with Kuraray Interlayer Solutions gave an update on the tornado-related code changes that are in the offing. They’re much the same as what we’re used to in the hurricane arena: small-, large-missile testing, but with two notable exceptions:  the loads are greater, and there’s no need for cycling.

    Wind loads in a tornado are 14 times greater than they are in a Level D hurricane design, so while the hurricane large missile test (ASTM E1886) calls for a nine-pound, 2-by-4 shot out a cannon at 35 miles-per-hour, tornado testing calls for a 15-pound 2-by-4 at 100 miles-per-hour. Essential buildings (e.g., schools, hospitals, tornado shelters, police and fire stations) are the intended targets for cladding upgrades, not just glass, but also brick, stone, precast, etc. The cycling durations we are used to in the window/hurricane testing are eliminated, as tornado events are too short to justify cycling. But, the glass must remain in the opening and not allow penetration of the missile through the glass. More to come on this front as the codes take shape.

    The laminated glass, interlayer manufacturers and fabricators are working on several fronts in response to inquiries from the architects for laminated glass that can:

    • respond to energy and sound;
    • be available in larger lites with minimal support;
    • offer ultra-clear glass in lami constructions;
    • enable cold, warm, and hot bending; and
    • protect birds.

    Further, the industry is looking at how thick laminated glass can be, if there’s differences between annealed, heat-strengthened or tempered laminated glass, and incorporating the above functionality into a single glass lite. I discussed multi-purpose glass in a previous post.

    ASTM E1300 relating to the strength of glass for wind load is a little weak when it comes to both minimally supported (think spider or patch fittings) and thick constructions. A standard for glass walkways is also being developed, since many of these incorporate laminated glass.

    Edge quality is an issue. We talked previously about how to get laminated glass edges aligned, and it’s not clear if there’s going to be a standard about this, or if the individual lami fabricators are going to have to address it. There was some discussion about post-lamination glass edge fabrication, but interlayer folks are looking into what the fluids used for creating the edging on the glass will do to the interlayer. Long term exposure to these fluids (such as alcohol, water, etc.) is one concern that was expressed. Obviously, any heat treating of the glass prior to lamination eliminates the ability to do post-lamination edging, so that leaves post-lami edging to annealed, but annealed may not be acceptable for guardrail or handrail applications. This issue has to settle down, too; for now it’s not clear where the movement in the marketplace will take this.

    On something of a more serious note: Codes and standards can only address “current knowledge.” As we saw last year at BEC in James O’Callahan’s presentation, there are folks pushing the envelope on what glass can do. We get asked the same sort of thing of our framing products at TGP, I’m sure everyone does, such as, “how big of a lite of glass can you support?”

    Any and all of the standards groups—GANA, AAMA, ASTM, etc.—have a tough time staying ahead of the curve. The architects and designers keep asking more and more of all the materials associated with glazing, not just glass. Smaller frame members, less edge or smaller point supports of glass, can we up the design strength of structural sealants, etc.

    So while GANA is accomplishing a lot to support the glass industry, please make sure the manufacturers who call on your company know where you see the market going, and what new and different things you’re being asked to do. BEC is the only part of GANA with direct ties to the glazing subcontractors who in the end put all of our industry’s products (glass, framing, sealants, gaskets) into service on every project.

    We have to know where we can help you. It may require a more active role in helping us head in the right direction. So, with a final nod to ESPN, “What if you were to ask not what GANA can do for you, but what can you do to support GANA’s efforts to develop these codes and standards?”

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

USGlass Magazine

USGlass Magazine