Spacer

For all those Replacement Window questions
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Guy
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#46 Post by Guy » Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:50 pm

I can tell you one thing and stand behind it with all my belief in the trade. When it comes to glass Oberon is one of the most educated and knowledgeable people I know. He makes his living in the glass industry and deals with it on a daily basis. I would take his word as the Gospel. Just as I take FenEx's word in the Fenestration and Home Energy Efficiency industry. FenEx is also very educated in the glass industry. I wish I knew half of what they know.

Bill
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#47 Post by Bill » Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:56 pm

The energy performance of Swiggle is a little better then Intercept but the problem with Swiggle is that the material can begin to collapse and distort especially in a window that is exposed to direct sun light.

I would not sell a window with Swiggle due to this problem; we have changed several IG units in the past because of this problem.

This is why manufacturers have changed from Swiggle to Intercept.

Bill
Uneeda Window of NJ

Oberon
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#48 Post by Oberon » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:14 am

Thanks Guy! I take that as a huge compliment. I will always try to do my best to be honest and impartial when posting.

I tried to keep that post as unjudgemental as I could. I was trying really hard not to compare spacers with one another but to relate them on their own merits. Obviously, some comparisons are unavoidable when discussing different and competitive products, but I wanted it to be as generic as I could make it.

As a follow up, I really do understand unknown's confusion and frustration (as I suspect we all do). Heck, there are many very good, and very honest, and very knowledgeable window professionals who post here, and they certainly don't always agree. Not everything is absolute and there are definitely areas of controversy that allow a great deal of disagreement among even the best in the industry.

Concerning who is using what spacer, there are over 1000 window manufacturers in North America. I can say that I have familiarity with maybe 50 or so, maybe another 50 or so I have heard of, but really don't know much about, and about 900 more or less that I probably have never heard of. With that limited view, I would never claim to understand what everyone does, or why they do it.

In my view (and I admit it is limited - please see the above), people leaving Swiggle are going primarily to SuperSpacer. Most manufacturers that I am familiar with actually say that it is improved production as the primary reason - with improved performance and longevity as a secondary - but very important - reason.

Intercept has been losing market share for several years now. Virtually all of the largest window manufacturers in North America were once Intercept users, but that has gone down dramatically. In his last post, nobody had a link that described why Intercept was better than a "conventional metal" spacer. Sounds good in theory, but in the real world Intercept has a tremendous number of seal failures and the numbers are growing daily. The last number that I heard - and I cannot verify it personally, but I trust the source - the failure rate for Intercept is approaching 17%.

While this is more of a production issue than a product issue - using other than stainless steel in the construction (cheaper, stainless is expensive), or using single seal polysulfide or hot melt rather than dual seal as recommended by PPG, it is happenng and it is reflected in the field. And there are manufacturers who use Intercept that are having no problems at all, because they are doing it correctly.

FenEx
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#49 Post by FenEx » Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:50 pm

Good to see you posting again Oberon

I can see we are in agreement on just about all of the topics... just about.

There are poor spacers, good spacers and great spacers... but the key to the success of any of them is indeed reliant upon the manufacturing process and how they are applied. It appears that I am a bit more of a sceptic than you are when it comes to the manufacturing end, and with good reason as I spend equal time researching installed units as I do manufacturer publications. Mass production of anything leads to the desire to cut corners of time, material costs and the expensive attention to quality control. Warranty fail-safes are indeed a large part of this industry... desiccants included.

As for your closing remark on your previous post:
"Filling the spacer completely full with desiccant beads allows the spacer to be bent without creasing the corners of the spacer. THAT is the real reason why metallic spacers are filled full with desiccant."

I read it twice looking for an "LOL". You can't seriously believe this. Metal tubing has been bent successfully without kinking for centuries. The ordinary progression in an automated insulated glass production line using metal spacers is to have desiccant filling immediately following the bending process. As I know you are a Cardinal glass man (i.e. Andersen Windows), I am sure you have seen the Cardinal CG notification to manufacturers using their products, stating that their warranty is null and void if the desiccants used are not up to snuff and able to properly absorb internal moisture in an IGU as it destroys their Low-E.

Pre-filling a spacer bar might have other advantages in production to some, but it IS NOT why desiccants are used. Desiccants serve one purpose... to absorb moisture. This information can be easily found by anyone by simply researching the word. If it was necessary to have a filled cavity to avoid creasing during a bending process (and it's not), I am certain that sand would be used for it's abundance and cost.

Aside from that, we agree on most of the issues... most. The Swiggle spacer uses "similar" materials as others but it incorporates a metal spline. The beauty of butyl is that it reconstitutes with temperature changes and flexes. Wrap it around corrugated, conductive metal which does not, and you have a problem and a conflict. It has a metal Fly in the ointment.

Super Spacer is indeed a fine product when properly applied and is a reverse application compared to other dual sealed units. Just to note it though, as you mentioned, the initial seal is acrylic. Acrylics are adhesives.. not sealants (i.e. glue). The ability to retain insulating gases is almost entirely put on the shoulders of the secondary seal. Look closely at the mylar (vapor barrier) thickness on the spacer itself and "it's" contact surface area to the glass (.05 mm) and I am sure you will agree. The cell foam of the spacer is a GREAT insulator... which is why it performs so well in testing.. but a spacer's small surface area of conductivity only makes it a true value if it maintains the seal and performance of the entire IGU.

Fenex

Diogenes
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Re: Spacer

#50 Post by Diogenes » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:41 am

I know this topic is four years old but is there anything new to add at this point?
For the windows I am looking at it is a $20 upgrade, so it may be worth it.

liderbug
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Re: Spacer

#51 Post by liderbug » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:04 pm

We have a bay window - 5 pair, 22x28. First let me announce - I'm cheap! .... well at least thrifty. [ one has to be living on SSI ]. All ten windows are heavily fogged and the best price I got was $75 each, cash&carry. So I ordered a 66' roll of Super Spacer 1/4 x 1/4. I've been pulling out 1 at a time and cutting them open and cleaning the glass. Then resealing with SS and silicone. I'm now waiting on my second 66' to finish the last 3 windows.

Edgetech has a neat video - ask Google for it.

My shop setup duplicates theirs .... :lol: I recreated the applicator tool using a 3" 1x2, my saw and small piece of brass. The inside of the windows was so bad I took to using Glass Top Stove Cleaner and my drill with a 8" buffer pad. I've been able to do about 1 window per day. The silicone says 50 yr - if that's true the headlines should read "World's oldest man's window's fail." I can't afford a argon setup but I did have a left over $15 bottle of helium and I've been injecting that. I will say now that if you get up real close and get anal - they are not as good as factory made - but from a couple of feet away looking out at the yard and trees, their perfect. In 6 months if they still look as good - there's this sliding glass door (3x) and the kitchen windows and the ....

Chuck
Last edited by liderbug on Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

Skydawggy
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Re: Spacer

#52 Post by Skydawggy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:13 pm

I love your ingenuity. Kudo's to you. Thank you for posting. :mrgreen:

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Spacer

#53 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:48 pm

Bravo.

This is where some of the best inventions have come from.

Put some butyl sealant on the exterior of the spacer system as well. I understand that silicon is gas permeable.

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Re: Spacer

#54 Post by Skydawggy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:13 pm

Those helium filled IG's ought to make the windows easier to open. :lol:

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Spacer

#55 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:50 pm

EcoStar Windows wrote:Those helium filled IG's ought to make the windows easier to open. :lol:
That and they may fold them selves back in after cleaning. :lol:

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Re: Spacer

#56 Post by Skydawggy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:18 pm

Windows on Washington wrote:
EcoStar Windows wrote:Those helium filled IG's ought to make the windows easier to open. :lol:
That and they may fold them selves back in after cleaning. :lol:
Auto closing sashes. Now that's innovative thinking. :lol:

Oberon
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Re: Spacer

#57 Post by Oberon » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:12 pm

Agree with the others; kudo's to you for taking on a real challenge and running with it!!

liderbug
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Re: Spacer

#58 Post by liderbug » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:17 pm

I've included 5 images in this post - assuming they display in order - #1 is The Project, our dinning room bay window. Pls take note of all the white **** in the image on April 27th. *^@*^&!$#. The bottom row is done - they were even treated to new screens - ooooooooo...... The first 3 on the top are done, #4 sitting in DR, which leaves #5.

Image 2&3 is my Superspacer app tool - a couple of inches of 1x2 - the first notch is for the glass and the second notch is 1/4"(minus) so as to press the SS to the glass as it slides along. And a little metal finger to hold the SS in place.

Image 4 is another small hunk of 1x2 notched to the width of the finished window (+.001/2") so it will slide. Then I epoxied a strip of metal to one end with 2 notches for the glass and part that fits between the glass that sticks down ?1/16(32)?" - see image 5.

Edgetech sells only to wholesalers - which only sell to dist. - which only sell to retailers - I found one window place locally who would order it for me. However ... Ebay - search for [ edgetech spacer ] - same price I paid. - Only comes in 66' rolls at approx $1/ft - and I'm going to end up with about 40' left over (second roll) (on this project) It'll be fersale.

I injected all of my windows with helium (because I had a left over tank sitting in the garage) - I figured it was "dry". I ran across a web page - .. heat conductivity of various materials. Silver was the best at 429, then Copper at 401, window glass at .96, etc. Helium at .142, Nitrogen at .024 with Oxygen at .024 and (ta-da) Air at .024. Argon at .016 and something called Carbon dioxide at .0146 the lowest. Wonder where one could find that? Anything to keep the Dihydrogen Monoxide (DMHO) out of my windows.

All I can think of right now - Oh, DO NOT lean a finished window against the house during windy weather - you'll end up in a realllllllllyyyyyyyyyyy foul mood!

Chuck
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liderbug
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Re: Spacer

#59 Post by liderbug » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:18 pm

Because I can only do 3 images...
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Oberon
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Re: Spacer

#60 Post by Oberon » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:35 am

liderbug wrote:I injected all of my windows with helium (because I had a left over tank sitting in the garage) - I figured it was "dry". I ran across a web page - .. heat conductivity of various materials. Silver was the best at 429, then Copper at 401, window glass at .96, etc. Helium at .142, Nitrogen at .024 with Oxygen at .024 and (ta-da) Air at .024. Argon at .016 and something called Carbon dioxide at .0146 the lowest. Wonder where one could find that? Anything to keep the Dihydrogen Monoxide (DMHO) out of my windows.

All I can think of right now - Oh, DO NOT lean a finished window against the house during windy weather - you'll end up in a realllllllllyyyyyyyyyyy foul mood!

Chuck
Some years back I started a thread in either this site or the other one about banning DMHO. Horrible stuff really. It wrecks almost everything it comes into contact with and yet the federal government does nothing about it.

And while I am basically a lab guy, and I don't have the opportunity to work with windows in the field like the pros in here do, I have a pretty good idea that the suggestion to avoid "leaning a window against the house in a high wind" is a good one and is one that is very well known and respected ....

Also and finally, you used to be able to buy superspacer from CR Laurence, but I haven't looked in their catalog for awhile so I don't know if that is still true. Every pro on this site knows who CRL is I would bet...

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