Focused Education: IGMA Workshop Offers Hands-On Learning

By Bill Lingnell

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) is in the planning stages of another workshop geared toward the fabrication, design, analysis and procedures pertinent to successful insulating glass unit (IGU) fabrication. IGMA has provided educational seminars over the years, and recently began the fabricator’s workshop to provide a more “hands-on” program.


The workshop has been upgraded continuously, and improvements have been made based on feedback from past workshop attendees and work-station leaders. The topics and work-stations will be arranged so that small groups will go to each station. This ensures the hands-on work can be easily observed and done individually.

The present set-up has eight workstations. These will include a station for frost point testing, which allows a participant to actually take a frost point on an IGU. Participants will learn about the importance of this valuable tool and the related testing and certification programs. A second workstation will introduce participants to volatile fog and how to conduct this type of inspection visually. A third workstation will introduce gas filling and gas content measurement along with a demonstration of how this process takes place. Sealant adhesion testing will be covered in the fourth workstation. It will also address how to break glass safely and perform adhesion testing on the IGU sealants.

The fifth workstation will examine sealant mixing and evaluate desiccants that are used in IGU assemblies.

Participants will learn about glass cutting and washing in the sixth work-station. This will include examination and selection of the proper cutting tool, and inspection of the actual edge after cutting.

The seventh workstation will review and demonstrate IG spacers, offering examples of both well-fabricated samples and others with manufacturing is-sues that may pose potential problems.

Finally, participants will learn about forensic investigations. Using a guideline checklist, along with inspection and evaluation tools, participants will dissect and inspect IGUs to determine possible failure modes.


There will also be presentations about the importance of safety in IGU fabrication. Attendees will be given the proper personal protection equipment for handling and dealing with glass during the hands-on portion of the workshop. Another presentation will focus on the design of an IGU. It will address important items that need to be considered and incorporated into the final make-up and construction of the IGU.

The workshop will take place the week of November 5 at the Intertek facility in Plano, Texas. Two sessions are scheduled to accommodate demand. Additional information is available through the IGMA website:

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