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Reducing energy consumption is undoubtedly a must today. This priority factor has automatically involved the frame industry as well, resulting in the requirement for windows with increasingly lower thermal transmittance values, Uw [W/m2 K]. The new generation of spacers used in the “warm edge” insulating glass units has played an important role in the achievement of these objectives.
“Warm edge” spacers are defined to be all those spacers built with materials whose coefficient of linear thermal conductivity (λ), significantly lower than that of the conventional aluminum spacer bar, contributes to improving the performance of the window by reducing the thermal bridge at the edge. Various kinds of materials are involved depending on the type of spacer (flexible foams, thermoplastics, plastic/metal hybrids, stainless steel). When choosing the spacer, however, many factors must be considered (environmental, constructional, regulatory and energy factors), and this analysis will demonstrate how the best choice can be made by considering these factors as a whole and also based on the type of application intended for the glass units.
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