Insulating glass consists of two or more plies of glass enclosed by a spacer. The most common insulating glass unit is constructed with two plies of glass and one sealed air space. This configuration is also known as a dual pane or double pane insulating glass unit, however it is commonly shortened to insulating glass or IGU.
At Viracon, insulating glass units are sealed with a primary seal and a secondary seal of silicone. Insulating units are designed to absorb stress on the unit caused by thermal expansion and pressure, provide a barrier to water and moisture infiltration, provide a gas-tight seal to prevent loss of any specialty gas fill and create a barrier that reduces condensation.
Benefits of Insulating Glass
The primary benefit of insulating glass is the improvement in solar performance that it provides by reducing the heat gain or loss. The performance benefits of insulating glass can be combined with a number of other components to create a wide array of configurations.
In addition to the improved solar performance, insulating glass offers a greater availability of coatings. Low-E coatings which cannot be exposed, and therefore cannot be used with monolithic glass, can be used inside the insulating unit where they are protected by the hermetically sealed space.
Insulating units also have more aesthetic possibilities than monolithic glass. The Low-E coating and silk-screen or digital print, if desired, are applied to the exterior ply of glass leaving the interior ply available for additional treatment. For a spandrel location, a full coverage opaque ceramic frit can be applied to the inner face (surface #4). For vision areas where daylight is desired but view through needs to be minimized, a translucent ceramic frit can be applied to the surface facing the airspace (surface #3).
Components and Enhancements
When specifying insulating glass for your project, it is important to select and clearly outline the configuration as well as each individual component of the insulating glass unit.
In addition, Viracon offers many items to enhance the appearance and performance of insulating glass units for your building.