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What is Insulated Glass? Insulated glass is a contemporary glass having multiple panes separated by an air or noble gas-filled cavity. These are also called double glazing glass and insulated glazing unit (IGU). Double glazing glass having two glass panes separated by an air space and sealed at the edges are most commonly used. The design principle of double-pane glass is to reduce the transfer of heat and aesthetically serve the purpose of building insulation. This significantly helps in the regulation of indoor temperature and serves as a barrier against unwanted heat and noise. Its amazing sound control abilities make it ideal for residential settings where the need for seclusion is the most.

Multiple layers of glass also augment the strength of the design element and make it more durable and strong. The increased strength is one of the main reasons why such glass is normally preferred for commercial and industrial use. Made with modern-day glass, insulated glass units are available in multiple thicknesses and can be made with laminated or tempered glass.

Why Insulated Glass?  

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The incredible design versatility of insulated glass makes it a perfect window and door material choice for a residential, commercial, and industrial setting. The glass helps regulate the indoor temperature and keeps the indoor cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It’s an eco-friendly design option that significantly reduces carbon footprint and also cuts down the electricity cost.

This modernistic glass helps in maintaining a high degree of serenity in the indoors and make the living environment more cozy and comfortable. Multiple layers of glass greatly increase the strength of the overall unit which can also be further augmented with the use of high-strength tempered glass. Double glazing glass turns out to be an economical option in the long-run and is more durable and resilient than other common types of glass.

Energy Efficient 

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Double glazing glass has natural thermal insulation properties that regulates the indoor temperature and helps in energy conservation. The glass can reduce both the amount of heat coming in and going out from a living space and successfully conserves energy every season of the year. Furthermore, Low-E coating can also be applied to the panes of glass to augment the energy conservation levels. The purpose of Low-E coating is to barricade infrared radiation from the sun and is a successful means of keeping the house cool in summer.

Soundproof 

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The presence of air space or gas-filled cavity in between window pane of glass provides better sound insulation. Insulated glass is an ideal window and door material which significantly helps in counteracting noise pollution. This glass is commonly preferred in residential areas where the need for cutting off the traffic noises and outdoor nuisances is the most. Insulating glass units can be designed to insulate low frequency, high frequency, or both frequency sounds. The spacing between the glass panes helps in augmenting sound insulation and sound insulation can be enhanced by increasing space. Normally 6mm space is widely used for residential and commercial glass units.

Strong and Secure 

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The strength and durability of double-glazing glass are among its most notable properties and results in achieving higher standards of safety. Safety has always been one of the major concerns with the use of glass in residential and commercial settings. The modernized double window pane glass has resolved such safety concerns and provides an additional layer of safety. Besides this, tempered glass can also be used to amplify the strength of the unit and make the indoor safe and secure.

Best for Commercial Building 

The flexibility and incredible design versatility of insulating glass units (IGU) make it apt for commercial usage. Glass has always been the preferred choice of material of shop owners who wants to exhibit their stock to the passersby. Adding in strength with the natural translucency of glass makes it ideal for use in a commercial building where both aesthetics and strength hold equal importance. That’s why insulated glass is one of the most common material choices for storefront and commercial windows.

Insulated Glass VS Normal Glass 

Normal glass and double-glazing glass greatly differ from one another and their selection majorly depends on the user’s needs. The contemporary insulated glass is an amplified version of normal glass with the same translucency properties and enhanced strength, insulation, and durability. Double glazing glass is a unique arrangement of normal glass with air or gas-filled cavity in between. This unique arrangement makes it stronger, durable, and effective in thermal and sound-insulating material.

However, insulated glass is far more expensive than the normal glass. The increased capital cost of double glazing glass is often balanced out by its increased strength, low chances of breakage, and durability. Normal glass is also not an eco-friendly material and has no special energy conservation properties. On the other hand, the insulating glass unit significantly conserves energy and helps reduce the carbon footprint. Based on applications, normal glass is usually preferred in indoor residential settings and double glazing is ideally used in outdoor residential, commercial, and industrial settings.

Types of Insulated Glass 

Insulating glass units (IGU) are available in numerous different types based on their application and need for insulation. The design versatility of contemporary glass allows room for modifications based on the user’s needs. The types of double glazing glass are differentiated based on cavity-filling material, additional coatings, and sealing layers. Newer types of such glass are being developed and most commonly insulated glass is available in these three types:

Low-E Insulating Glass Units (IGU)

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Low-E coating glass is also known as low-emissivity glass are designed to reduce the U-Factor and regulate heat transfer. Emissivity coating is accomplished by the application of microscopically thin layers of metal oxides which also gives the glass surface a greenish tint. The additional coating of metal minimizes the heat transfer and makes it a more effective insulating unit. The combination of both low-E coating and space or gas-filled cavity results in the augmentation of thermal insulation. These coatings can reduce energy loss by up to 50% and promotes the idea of energy conservation. Special low-E coatings are designed to allow passage of certain types of light to illuminate the interior space.

Argon-Filled Insulated Glass 

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Argon gas is widely used in insulating glass units to fill up the cavity between the layers or panes of glass. An inexpensive, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic argon gas greatly contributes to the enhancement of the performance of insulated glass. Noble gases like argon are usually preferred over the air as the presence of air in the cavity often fogs up the glass due to the high percentage of moisture. Air does also have lesser insulating properties than the noble gas counterparts. Argon-filled insulated glass significantly improves U-Value and soundproofing. They also help in minimization of heat transfer and can be used in congestion with Low-E coatings. Besides this, argon gas doesn’t corrode the window frames and also does not contaminate the environment with toxicity.

Dual Seal Silicone Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) 

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Dual seal-silicone insulated glass units are modernized double glazing glass which stands apart in terms of longevity and durability. The silicone seal or commonly known as PIB forms the most effective barricade against the atmospheric moisture and helps maintain the insulation properties of the glass. Silicone sealant bonds are incredibly resilient which makes them durable and adequate for commercial and industrial glass use. Insulated glass can be fabricated as PIB or silicone seal insulated glass due to its incredible design versatility and flexibility. Their lower moisture penetration rate helps maintain its insulation property without compromising on the translucency of the glass. Lower moisture means lesser changes of glass fogging up and becoming cloudy.

Insulated Glass Applications 

The incredible design versatility, high-end performance, and aesthetic brilliance of double-glazing glass make it perfect for numerous different design settings. The glass excels in delivering superior general performance and is a more durable and safer option than the ordinary glass. Maintaining a sense of energy conservation, double-pane glass is an eco-friendly design choice perfect for today’s contemporary design world. The contemporary glass can be easily fabricated and modified as per the design needs of the users. Their strength can be increased, insulation properties can be augmented, and their visual appeal can also be modified. This is the main reason for its ever-increasing use in modern-day residential, commercial, and industrial settings. Following are some common applications of insulating glass units (IGU);

Commercial Building 

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Insulated glass is widely used in commercial settings and is a preferred material choice for commercial curtain walls, skylights, glass facades, and sloped glazing. Commercial glass requires to be high-strength and durable and these insulating glass units perfectly serve all such purposes. Energy conservation is also essential in commercial settings and the use of double glazing glass makes it possible to conserve energy and cut down the electricity cost. The normal glass breaks easily and requires frequent replacement which makes it an inadequate design option for a commercial building. The state-of-the-art insulated glass is strong, sturdy, reliable, and energy-efficient.

Residential Building 

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The need for thermal and sound insulation in residential interior spaces is the most and the ordinary glass is inadequate to meet such requirements. Double glazing glass helps in the development of a calm and serene indoor atmosphere and restricts the ingress of unwanted noise and heat. The contemporary insulating glass unit adaptability to different seasons makes it a perfect design element for home windows and doors. During the summer, the glass blocks the heat of the sun from entering into the interior space and in winter, the glass blocks the indoor heat from escaping outside. Commonly double glazing glass is used in exterior windows, skylights, sky roofs, and also in indoor settings.

Outdoor Glass Walls, Windows, and Doors 

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The outdoor walls, windows, and doors require to be strong, resilient, and durable to counteract the forces of nature. Insulated glass is the perfect material choice for outdoor design elements and helps in augmentation of visual appeal and beauty. The ordinary glass fails to sustain the wind forces and weather uncertainties and is an unsafe material choice for outdoor applications. The contemporary double glazing glass is perfect for such places and fulfills the aesthetic needs of the outdoor without compromising on safety. Insulating glass units can also be strengthened with the use of tempered glass as layers of glass panes.

Storefronts 

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Glass storefront and windows greatly help in attracting the attention of passersby. The translucency and transparency of glass make it perfect for use as a storefront material. Besides translucency, the storefront glass also must be strong and resilient to eliminate the chances of a break-in. Insulated glass is widely used as a storefront glass because of its additional protection benefits due to multiple layers of glass. For better security and protection, tempered and high strength glass can also be used in congestion with the double glazing units to make it more safe and secure.

Glass Sky Roofs 

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In tropical areas, insulating glass units are most commonly used in residential and commercial glass sky roofs. These contemporary glass help regulate the temperature of the indoors during both summer and winter seasons. Tropical areas feel the ultimate wrath of both the seasons and maintaining the temperature of the indoors is colossally important. Double glazing glass sky roofs do also successfully sustain the additional wind, rain, and snow loads due to its high strength and enhanced resilience.

Components of Insulated Glass 

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The unique arrangement of the components of insulated glass makes it strong, resilient, and enhances its thermal and sound insulation. The sound and thermal insulation property of glass majorly depend on the width of space present between the two panes and the cavity-filling material. An insulating glass unit that is properly sealed function much more effectively than an improperly sealed double glazing glass. That’s why the proper arrangement and components of double-pane glass hold the utmost importance in its overall performance.

  • Spacer 

Spacers determine the width of the gap between two panes of glass in an insulating glass unit (IGU). Commonly 15mm, 12mm, and 6mm spacers are used depending upon the need for insulation. Their purpose is to provide a fixed gap between two layers of glass and is usually composed of aluminum or thermoplastic material. The desiccant rests in between the spacers which play a critical role in barricading the ingress of moisture from the air.

  • Desiccant 

Desiccant is the drying agent used in an insulating glass unit whose purpose is to remove humidity and moisture present in between the layers of glass. The presence of moisture fogs up the surface of glass and results in loss translucency. Silica and zeolites are the most commonly used desiccant in insulated glass.  

  • Cavity 

The separation of two panes of glass by air or gas-filled cavity in between gives insulated glass its insulation characteristics. It is essential to make sure the gas filled in the cavity is an insulated glass that restricts the ingress of moisture and humidity from the air. Air most commonly used in cavity of double-glazing glass however noble gases such as argon function more efficiently as cavity filler.

  • Sealants 

Sealants are an essential component of insulated glass whose purpose is to make sure the insulated air doesn’t escape from the cavity. Improper sealing results in loss of insulation properties of the glass and makes it ineffective and weak. Butyl sealant is commonly used double glazing sealant which restricts the escape of insulting gas and also blocks the ingress of atmospheric air, moisture, and humidity. The purpose of the sealant is to seal glass and spacers airtight. In addition to butyl sealant, a secondary sealant is also used to enhance the structural integrity of the overall unit. Polysulfide and silicone are the most commonly used secondary sealants.

Pros and Cons of Insulated Glass 

Double glazing glass has many advantages over the outdated ordinary glass. The incredible design versatility of insulated glass is one of its major characteristics. However, glass do also have some disadvantages in terms of cost, maintenance, and cloudiness. Here are some of the common pros and cons of insulating glass units (IGU).

PROS/ADVANTAGES

Safe and Secure 

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Insulating glass units are strong, durable and hard to break. Safety and security have always been a major concern with the use of aesthetically-superior glass. The modernized glass has resolved such issues and is adequate for outdoor residential, commercial, and industrial use. The multiple layers of glass provide the extra protection required for an outdoor design element. This glass can be made safer and securer with the use of high strength tempered glass in place of normal glass.

Energy Saving 

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The contemporary insulated glass can reduce energy loss by up to 50%. Their energy-efficient characteristic vividly promotes the idea of sustainability. The energy efficiency depends on the material used to fill the cavity between two layers of glass. This glass is also commonly used in the modern-day energy-efficient buildings. Double glazing glass conserves energy without compromising on aesthetics and visual appeal of the living space. This characteristic comes into great use, especially in industrial and commercial settings.

Additional Barrier 

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The insulating glass unit (IGU) serves as an additional barrier against the thermal heat of the sun and unwanted outdoor noises. The multiple layers of glass separated by air or gas-filled cavity help regulate the inside temperature. The two panes of glass serve as two barricades against excessive thermal energy and noise pollution. Additionally, Low-E coatings can also be used to augment their insulation properties.

Cozy and Comfortable 

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The temperature regulatory characteristic is one of the major advantages of the modern-day insulated glass. The regulation in temperature helps develop a cozy and comfortable indoor environment. Blocking the sun’s heat makes the indoor pleasant during the hot days of the summer. Similarly, this glass also helps in making the indoor cozy and comfortable in winter by restricting the outflow of heat.

 Reduction in Noise Pollution 

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Barricading the noise pollution of the outdoors is significantly important in crowded areas. Traffic congestion also results in the generation of noise pollution which causes disturbances and nuisances. Double glazing glass serves as the restrictive barrier against all such unwanted noises and pollution. Controlling noise pollution helps in the development of a calm and tranquil living environment. Their sound insulation characteristic makes them the perfect material choice for conference areas, meeting rooms, and entertainment centers.

Reduced Carbon Footprint 

Lowering the carbon footprint benefits the environment and helps in the development of an eco-friendly environment. Lesser use of electronic appliances contributes to the reduction of the overall carbon footprint. Double glazing glass regulates the temperature of the interior space both in summer and winter and results in the minimization of air conditioners and heaters use. Thermal insulation takes the load off such appliances and makes it easy to achieve the desired cozy temperature without excessive use of power and energy.

Reduced Energy Cost

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Insulated glass provides high-end thermal insulations which result in lesser use of electronic appliances and ultimately reduces the energy cost. The increased capital cost of the double glazing glass is balanced by the amount of money saved from the electricity bills. Being able to regulate the temperature of the indoors without excessive use of temperature-regulating appliances is one of the most admired advantages of such contemporary glass.

Strong and Resilient

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The contemporary insulated glass is way stronger and way more resilient than the ordinary glass units. Their increased strength and improved resilience make them perfect for residential, commercial, and industrial use. This modernized glass can sustain the effects of weather without breakage and have an additional layer of protection in the form of multiple layers of glass. Their high-end design versatility also makes it possible to strengthen the insulating unit with the use of high strength or tempered glass.

 Long-Lasting and Durable

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The durability and sturdiness of insulated glass make them the preferred choice of homeowners who wants to resolve the frequent replacement issues. The ordinary glass has always failed to maintain high-standards of durability required by homeowners and commercial store owners. The multiple layers of glass separated by a gas-filled cavity make them more durable and able to withstand the tests of time.

CONS

Cloudiness and Fog

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The presence of moisture in between the panes of glass fogs up the glass and results in loss of translucency. The transparency of the glass is its leading aesthetic characteristic which makes it unique and aesthetically-superior. The loss of transparency because of humidity and moisture is one of the biggest cons of insulating glass units. However, this can easily be resolved and prevented with the use of good quality sealant which restricts the ingress of moisture and humid air.

High Capital Cost (Expensive)

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The contemporary insulated glass is more expensive as compared to the normal annealed glass and appears to be the least economical alternative. However, the modernized glass is far more economical than the normal glass in the long run. The energy conservation properties of such glass along with its high-strength and better durability make it far more superior to the outdated cheap glass. The amount of money saved yearly through better energy conservation balances up the high initial cost in a short time.

Difficult to Replace

Another common disadvantage of double glazing glass is it is incredibly hard to repair and replace the broken glass. The advent of technology had made it possible to repair and replace the normal glass with a great degree of ease. Meanwhile, replacing a broken insulating glass unit is not as simple and usually requires a new unit.

How to Prevent Insulated Glass from Fogging?

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A damaged or broken seal is usually the leading cause of glass fogging and is due to the ingress of moisture from the humid air. The best way to prevent double glazing glass from fogging is to use a good quality sealant to seal the edges of the glass and restrict the entrance of moisture. Besides this, the use of drying agents or commonly known as desiccants such as silica and zeolites also effectively reduce fogging. Alternatively, a dehumidifier can also be used to remove moisture from the air.

Characteristics of Insulated Glass

  • Double glazing glass has better thermal insulation properties due to the presence of a gas-filled cavity between the panes of glass.
  • During the summer season, IGU helps keep the indoor cool by blocking the entrance of heat energy.
  • In the winter season, IGU restricts the outflow of indoor heat and helps develop a cozy and comfortable indoor environment.
  • Insulated glass has high sound insulation properties and is best for crowded areas where the need for seclusion is the most.
  • The surface of the insulating glass unit prevents excessive condensation which results in the fogging of glass.
  • They have enhanced strength and can withstand the wind and snow loads. That’s why, glass is usually preferred for sky roofs, skylights, and exterior windows.
  • They are incredibly versatile and flexible. The insulating glass unit can be modified in accordance with the user’s needs. The strength of the glass can be increased, insulation properties can be augmented, and aesthetic appeal can also be improved.

When insulated glass gets fogged between double panes, becomes cloudy, or even breaks- How to repair it?

The contemporary insulated glass is often hard to repair and replacement is usually the only option. However, the modern-day advancements had led to the development of some techniques which can be used to repair insulating glass units that have minor fogging and translucency issues. Defogging is one such unique modern technique that is used to dry out the humidity and moisture present in between the panes to get back the glass transparency. Moisture usually enters in between the panes due to faulty or broken seals. In such cases, proper sealing of glass unit after defogging works the best and helps prolong the life of the durable and long-lasting glass.

Amazing Home Renovation Ideas Using Insulated Glass

Double glazing glass has become the preferred choice of glass in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. The remarkable design versatility and state-of-the-art characteristics of glass are the major reasons for its widespread popularity. There are tons of amazing home renovation ideas that can be adopted with the use of insulating glass units. Here are a few common examples;

Changing Color Schemes

The contemporary insulated glass can be fabricated and designed in a numerous different color through the process of surface tinting. Changing color schemes of durable and long-lasting glass units is one of the most common ways of injecting a touch of creativity in interior space design. The low-cost renovation options help the glass blend in smoothly with the modernistic themes of the interior spaces and never ceases to catch the attention of the passersby.

Get Natural Lighting

The major purpose of the double-glazing glass unit is to restrict the ingress of thermal energy which restricts the passage of natural light. However, there are unique design techniques and fabrication options that allow the insulating glass unit (IGU) to allow passage of certain types of light without compromising on its thermal insulation.

Better Conduction and Heat Pump Systems

Heat pumps are an effective way to reduce the carbon footprint of the homes. Insulated glass also serves the same purpose and helps heat pump systems work more efficiently by restricting the harmful radiations of the sun. Thermal insulation plays a key role in the reduction of carbon footprint and switching to insulated glass units is a cost-effective way of conserving energy and reducing carbon footprint.

Kitchen and Bathroom Renovations

Double glazing glass is not only perfect for exterior windows and doors but can also be used in interior settings. The incredible design versatility of such glass makes it possible to practice creativity and helps homeowners fabricate the glass based on their unique design requirements. Besides this, the durability of insulated glass also makes it an ideal material choice for kitchen and bathroom space renovations.