Thermal stress standard, gas permeability, NREL top agenda at IGMA meeting

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance gathered in Ottawa, Ontario, June 4-7 for its Summer Technical Conference. The group made strides on several fronts, including a thermal stress standard, several technical documents, and its work to address gas permeability.

Thermal stress standard

IGMA has agreed to provide the majority of the funding required to develop the models for the development of an ASTM standard for thermal stress for insulating glass units, according to Margaret Webb, IGMA executive director. Total funding required to develop the standard is $75,000. "This project has been on hold for the past three years," she says. "Previous solicitations to the industry for funding have been unsuccessful due to the economic hardships that the industry has endured. IGMA will be contacting other organizations to determine if there is interest in participating."

Technical documents

For the past few years, IGMA has been working on three major documents, Webb says:

  • Design Guidelines for Multiple Cavity IGU's
  • Guidelines to Reduce Incidences of Thermal Stress
  • Guidelines for Use of Capillary Tubes

In 2012, "at least two of these long awaited technical reports will be published," Webb says.

Multiple cavity guidelines

During the meeting, the Technical Services Committee, IGMA's standard developments committee, passed the Design Guidelines for Multiple Cavity IGU's (TR-1300-12). "The document will now be reviewed at the IGMA Technical Policy Committee, then proceed to legal review with final approval at the IGMA Board of Directors. This document will be available this fall," Webb says.

Thermal stress and capillary tubes

The task group working to develop the Guidelines to Reduce Incidences of Thermal Stress has completed its work, and the document will be balloted to the Technical Services Committee, according to Webb. The Guidelines for Use of Capillary Tubes will also be balloted to the Technical Services Committee in the next month. "It is expected that any negative comments on either ballot will be resolved and both documents proceed through the remainder of the technical approval process," she says.

Gas permeability

The Gas Permeability Task Group amended and expanded the task group scope. "The original objective of the gas permeability research was to develop a test method for the determination of gas permeability through various edge seal systems," Webb says. "The group discussed that gas permeability is one aspect of gas loss, and 90 percent of gas permeability is workmanship. So the group will now focus on developing a standard for gas loss." The following revised scope was proposed:

Develop test protocol to determine gas loss with the base test method as ASTM E 2190. Develop research method to correlate gas loss as determined by ASTM E 2190 to field performance.Test units to destruction to validate ASTM E 2190Conduct a field study of gas-filled units starting with a select number of test samples and then exposing them to field performance after ASTM E 2190 testing.

"Tying into the work of the Gas Permeability Task Group, IGMA is working with industry partners to validate the MOCON OpTech as an alternate measurement methodology for exotic gases and gas blends," Webb says.

NREL task group

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory Advanced Fenestration Testing Task Group is working to develop a more stringent test methodology for IGU's based on the current ASTM E2188 standard, according to Webb. "The objective is to provide the industry with an advanced screening methodology, which will allow products to be introduced to the market much quicker than current testing permits due to backlogs. This task group will also develop test methods specific to new technologies such as vacuum insulating glazing," she says.

IGMA will be holding the Performance and Innovation in Insulating Glass Units educational seminar at GlassBuild America in Las Vegas, Sept. 11-12.­­­­