Revamped IG Product Testing to be Discussed During IGMA Summer Conference

The insulating glass industry can expect a streamlined approach to certification product testing in the coming months. According to Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) executive director Margaret Webb, the organization’s annual Summer Technical Conference will focus on developing more stringent but shorter standardized testing for existing certification program participants to introduce new product lines to the market in a shorter time frame than current testing provides.

“This group is addressing the backlog we have on testing for certification,” Webb says. “We’re looking at ways to ramp up existing test methods to make them more stringent but shorter so that we don’t end up with the backlogs at the labs and people can then bring in more products much more quickly.”

Webb says currently there is a minimum of a seven-month turnaround to get product testing done. One method up for review includes humidity testing.

“This task group will potentially have an enormous impact on the industry as a whole,” she says.

The group will also focus on developing standardized approaches to the creation of testing methodologies for new glazing technologies in fenestration products such as dynamic glazing, photovoltaic products and new upcoming technologies will be developed by a National Renewable Energy Labratory (NREL) Advanced Fenestration Testing Task Group, Webb says.

“Ultimately the methods created by this task group will benefit the fenestration industries by creating a standardized, accepted method for testing prior to bringing new technologies to market,” Webb says.

The task group’s members will be designated by the recently formed Emerging Technology and Innovation (ETI) Committee, which focuses on the next generation of insulating glass technology. Much of this work comes from research IGMA has conducted over the last several years.

“We probably spent close to $300,000 to 400,000 in the last eight years on new research,” Webb says.

Under the new committee, Webb says IGMA placed one of the existing research projects, which is to develop a standardized test protocol for gas permeability and deals with the issue of argon staying in the unit.

 “Thatone has been going on for some time because we are trying to develop a new standard, but we have to do all of the preliminary research up front first,” she says.

 Webb says the conference also will include a meeting of the Vacuum Insulating Glazing (VIG) Task Group (VIG), which will compose and release research on the different ways to fabricate VIG, in addition to the benefits.

 “Ultimately the group hopes to develop a test protocol specific for the VIG units,” Webb says. “Right now they kind of go through the ASTM E2190 [test speculation for samples] but we’re looking for something that would more specific to that unit.”

 During the conference, several proposals regarding a standard approach to testing methods also will be discussed. Attendees of the conference will have the opportunity to provide feedback to test method proposals.

 “This task group puts IGMA ahead of the pack in terms of next-generation testing for existing and new technologies,” Webb says.

 The conference will be held from June 4-7 at the Ottawa Marriott in Canada. For more information about the conference, visit the IGMA website.

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