sedak Pushes the Limits with Transparent Glass Spacer

A glass spacer may seem like an unusual request, but when architects ask for innovation sedak responded. sedak, a manufacturer of oversized insulating and safety glazing based in Gersthofen, Germany, has developed a glass spacer for insulating glass units (IGUs).

Glass spacers were made 25 years ago by a different company and used in a few projects in Europe. According to sedak general manager and sales director Ulrich Theisen, an architectural office in Switzerland asked his company to develop a new glass spacer that could be used in those projects where the older spacer was beginning to fail. The new development can be used in the vertical (visible) glass edges and joints of IGUs to provide a transparent appearance. A traditional spacer would be used for the horizontal edges, which would include the desiccant to maintain a dry atmosphere within the cavity.

One challenge in creating the glass spacer was finding a transparent way to connect it to the interior surfaces of the inner and outer lites.

“If you glue glass to glass most of the time … you have bubbles or air inclusions. In this system it’s nearly invisible,” says Theisen. “It looks like it’s glass, glass and glass.”

Theisen says that the glass spacer could be less energy efficient than traditional thermoplastic spacers, which have a higher U-value, but that low-E performance coatings and argon gas fill within the IGU make the unit with glass spacers comparable to traditional systems. Testing is conducted on all IGUs, with either glass or traditional spacers, by an engineer’s office to ensure the units meet the windload and strength requirements.

Theisen thinks architects will be interested in the opportunity to use a glass spacer because he says it offers architectural freedom.

Xinglass Establishes its First U.S. Branch

Xinglass has established Xinglass America in Fairfax, Va., its first branch office in the U.S. Xinglass, a China-based manufacturer of glass tempering furnaces, laminating machines, washing machines and other glass fabrication machines, has been serving the U.S. since 2002.

“We have been selling machines to the us for 16 years, and we have seen that the demands for glass machinery are going up fast these years. Many glass fabricators are considering expanding their plants and acquiring more machines, so we have decided to set up our branch office here in the States,” says Xinglass owner Zhenghong Zhu.

“Technical support for glass machines and equipment is critical to glass fabrication companies. Before, it was kind of hard to provide support to customers in the U.S. due to distance between the two countries, and all communications had to be done under time delays. Now we can provide support and service to all U.S. customers directly without any obstacles, and that is one of the main reasons we set up an office here. I believe we have to be available here to support all our customers,” adds Zhenghong.

Based on the increasing sales of machines, Xinglass expects steady growth of the glass industry and market in the next year. The company plans to expand and build partnerships with more local glass companies.

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