New product to get an airing

Visitors to Swisspacer’s Glasstec stand will see the new Swisspacer Air in action.

This small component is designed to regulate air pressure and prevent sealed unit failures caused by counteracting climatic loads or changes in altitude.

Swisspacer Air fits unobtrusively into the Swisspacer spacer bar and sealant, relieving changes in air pressure inside the unit that cause unit failure, including glass breakages on occasion.

The air in the space between the panes adapts continuously to the surrounding air pressure but is constrained because the system in the unit is closed. If the unit is installed at a different height above sea level from the level it was made, no pressure compensation takes place. That can lead to significant deformation with glass panes bowing out if the inside pressure is greater or sucked in if the internal pressure is less than the external atmosphere. Either way, the seal can be broken and the unit fail.

Until now, sealed unit manufacturers and window fabricators have had to consider carefully the difference in air pressure between the production site and place of installation, and the effect also occurs during transportation when there are large height differences, such as through tunnels, over mountain passes, or by air freight. The risk of such damage can be minimised if continuous pressure equalisation takes place between the external atmosphere and the air in the sealed unit.

Swisspacer Air is a metal sleeve with a special integrated membrane that regulates the air pressure between the panes of glass as it changes with altitude. The component can also be retrofitted to existing windows with Swisspacer warm edge spacer bars.

Dr Martin Henseler, head of development and product management at Swisspacer, said: “We initially launched Swisspacer Air in 2016, but we found some minor manufacturing issues that needed further development. Our research and development team made the relevant changes to the design and, after extensive testing, we are delighted to launch the product at this year’s Glasstec.”

Swisspacer Air has been tested by IFT Rosenheim and is currently in the process of being approved by the German Institute for Construction Engineering (DIBT).