Glass spacers were made 25 years ago and used in a few projects in Europe. According to sedak general manager and sales director Ulrich Theisen, an architectural office in Switzerland has now asked sedak to develop a new glass spacer to replace the old ones in failed IGUs in those projects. The spacer can be used in the vertical (visible) glass edges and corners 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. Theisen says the glass spacer is ideal for high-value projects in entrance areas or viewing areas in residential buildings.
A challenge in creating the glass spacer was finding a transparent way to connect the glass spacer to the in interior surfaces of the inner and outer lites.
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 IGUs. 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.
But a glass spacer won’t likely be a mainstream product any time soon. Nevertheless, Theisen believes architects will be interested in the opportunity to use a glass spacer in an IGU because he says it offers architectural freedom.
sedak will show the product at the BAU 2019 show in Munich, Germany, in January.