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It’s certainly no mystery that warm edge technology is one of the Fenzi Group’s winning plays on the insulating glass playing field. In fact, this specialization has allowed the group to expand and establish itself as a leader in markets around the world, thanks to its vast and diversified product offering.

The most recent innovation was the presentation of Butylver TPS a year ago, and its ensuing positive track record throughout the marketplace in the months that followed. The new thermoplastic spacer bar was developed to adapt specifically to the Bystronic Lenhardt® applicators, and conforms to the ultra-high mandatory qualitative standards that all products that leave the Fenzi labs must meet. Thus, making it possible to bring out the best features of TPS technology, thanks to its workability and superlative, long lasting thermal performance.
The time is right to take a preliminary look at the life of the new Butylver TPS and get an idea of what developments we might expect in the near future. We spoke briefly about it with Ljerka Wiesenhofer, head of sealant research and development for Fenzi Belgium.

After the launch of Butylver TPS one year ago, did the success enjoyed by the product meet your expectations?

Butylver TPS (thermoplastic spacer) is a very sophisticated system as a result of its physico-chemical properties, its production system and range of applications. Its overall development, from the very product idea to its launch on the market with all necessary certification, required massive R&D efforts. Today we have an extremely well controlled and optimized production process of TPS. We have successfully completed application trials at Bystronic Lenhardt in their application facility as well as production of double and triple glass on several generations of Bystronic TPS applicators at insulating glass producers. Butylver TPS has excellent application properties with both common 6.8 and 5.8 mm nozzles. Butylver TPS was certified in compliance with all requirements under EN 1279 for insulating glass and we are already delivering the product to our European and non-EU customers. All these results have exceeded my expectations.

What is the winning feature of Butylver TPS?

Butylver TPS is competitive compared to all other thermoplastic spacers on the market. Its most distinguishing feature is the fact that it very rapidly adheres to both sides of the glass immediately after application and provides optimal adhesion to second barrier sealant.

Do you anticipate any further developments of this product?

The market share of thermoplastic warm edge systems is increasing. As Butylver TPS belongs to a relative young group of products for insulating glass production, ongoing research and development work are required. We are already working on the development of a reactive thermoplastic spacer which allows chemical bonding of thermoplastic-spacer to glass. Such product may completely avoid movements of TPS and open a possibility of TPS usage for gas filled units with silicon as secondary sealant.

In your opinion, what warm edge technology developments do you expect?

Regulations for energy saving enforced in the past few years have injected fresh momentum in the development of warm edge systems. The possibility to use an automatic robot application for warm edge spacers will definitely influence further development. Only such an application can ensure production of IG edge with millimetric accuracy, absolute parallelism and linearity, highly important factors especially in the production of triple glass. This is a key criterion for the high visual quality of triple glass. In addition to optical properties, the better thermal transmittance (ψ-values) of warm edge will drive further developments. A high degree of automation also allows high flexibility of IG production in terms of variety of shapes, cavity widths and sizes of IG units.
Thermoplastic, flexible spacers fulfill all these requirements and are bound to have an enormous impact on glass production in the near future.

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