Collapsed Glass in Thermopane Windows

Thermopane or Dual paned windows consist of two panels of glass, separated by a spacer bar and sealed together. Some windows were manufactured with Argon gas injected into the cavity between the glass panels to increase energy efficiency. Argon was used because of its higher insulating qualities over ambient air. In some situations the Argon gas will dissipate out of the window cavity causing the window cavity to have a partial negative pressure or vacuum.

Other Causes of Collapsed Glass

There are other possible causes of a collapsed glass window. During the manufacturing of large thermopane units, one panel of glass is laid over top the other panel, separated by the spacer bar, and then are sealed together. The top panel of larger thermopane units will naturally flex downward in the center due to its weight, as it is sealed into the thermopane. The result is less pressure or gas on the inside of the window cavity, which can lead to a Collapsed glass condition after it is installed and cooled. Ideally, after the large unit has been manufactured, it would be placed upright and briefly vented with a breather tube and resealed to allow the cavity to equalize. The large thermopane that is not equalized will have a lower pressure within the window cavity after it is stood up.

Some smaller thermopane glass units are manufactured with single strength glass (1/16″). This glass can, because of its weakness, flex inward in extreme cold conditions, reducing the insulating qualities of the window.

Lower pressure inside a glass cavity is a significant issue in colder climates, because the gas (air) within a collapsed window cavity has a partial vacuum (low pressure) which contracts, and causes the two panels of glass to flex inward.

Factors that Contribute to Collapsed Glass

  • If the Argon placed inside the thermopane unit has dissipated through the seal.
  • If the spacer bar (the visible, in most cases silver, bar that runs around the perimeter of the thermopane unit) is a narrow type as it was constructed, and leaves very little room for the glass to flex before the glass touches.
  • If the glass in the unit is single strength (1/16″) which is weaker and easier to flex.
  • If the temperature decreases causing the air left inside the window cavity to contract further, pulling the two panels of glass inward.
  • If the thermopane consist of large panels of glass where the top panel of glass flexes downward during construction and is sealed in that position, leaving less air in the window cavity.

How to know if you have Collapsed Glass

The telltale sign of Collapsed glass is a faint rainbow colored spot in the center of the window (this is where the glass panels are touching), and in some cases an oval or round condensation spot in the center of the window on the inside of the home. The homeowner may think that because the oval condensation spot disappears during warmer temperatures, the problem may have resolved itself, but that is not the case. The condition will probably recur and the heat loss through the glass will resume.

Problems associated with Collapsed Glass

A windows R-value is mostly determined by the amount of space inside the window’s cavity. When the space between the glass is reduced, the insulating quality (R-value) of the thermopane unit is reduced. Collapsed Glass causes the two panels of glass to flex in, reducing the space inside the window’s cavity, which reduces the insulating qualities of the window. This extreme flexing of the glass panels can also lead to premature seal failure, which will then require thermopane replacement. In some cases the glass can be flexed so forcibly together that one or both panels will shatter.

Repair Collapsed Glass

Collapsed Glass can be repaired. Using specialized tools a technician can penetrate the glass, which will relieve the negative pressure and equalize the window cavity with the outside environment. A clear seal is then placed over the hole to re-seal the window. This will restore the insulating qualities of the window minus the original argon. If the collapsed glass occurs in a tempered glass window (patio door or other large units where tempering is required) the glass can’t be drilled as it can in an annealed unit (regular thermopane). These tempered glass units can be removed from the window frame allowing the procedure to be accomplished by penetrating the seal and spacer, allowing ambient air in to equalize the window cavity, and then re-sealing the unit.

Conclusion

Collapsed glass is becoming more of a problem as windows age and the original Argon gas dissipates from the window cavities. As energy prices rise, it is more important than ever to restore the windows insulating characteristics and save the glass from future replacement.

Egermann Glassware and the Inventions of Glass Decoration Techniques

History of Egermann

The company Egermann is situated in the scenic city of Novy Bor in the beautiful area of Northern Bohemia, Czech Republic. The roots of the company go back to the beginning of the 19th century. The name of the company comes from the famous glass technologist and glass painter, Friedrich Egermann.

Egermann, born in 1777 in north Bohemia, learned the art of painting as an apprentice in Meissen, German. Meissen was at that time the center for porcelain. He learned the different manufacturing processes and how to paint on porcelain. Back in Novy Bor he focused on painting glass and he devoted his time to experimenting with new decorating techniques.

It was in 1817-1818 that the he invented the yellow glazing for glassware. He was able to exchange sodium ions from the surface of the glass by silver ions.

About ten years later, in 1829, he invented Lithyalin glass. This type of glass has a marble look. Actually the material was already known but Egermann worked the surface in such a way that they looked exactly like precious stones. These glass stones became very popular and Egermann and imitators exported their products through the whole of Europe. His invention of the Lithalyin glass stones was the first impulse with which Friedrich Egermann changed the glass industry in Bohemia and the rest of the world. He showed the other glass makers that by innovation it was possible to change your market position.

Then in 1832 he did his biggest invention: the red glaze. Red was always a popular color for glass and until then the glass makers only knew how to make a nice ruby red with the help of the expensive ingredient gold.

Egermann found a way to make a nice ruby red glaze with the help of just copper ions. This invention made him rich. Unfortunately the formula was stolen around 1840 and soon after that the technique spread over Europe and the US.

His inventions didn’t only make him a rich man but he also got numerous prices and honors for his work and when he died in 1864 he was famous around the world.

The majestic glassware of Egermann

The factory in Novy Bor, still produces the so-called Egermann glassware. First they produce the “raw” glazed glassware and after that they do their famous cutting, etching, engraving and other decorations.

Their products range from the stained (glazed) glasses, cut and etched and sometimes afterwards painted, highly enameled glassware, cut crystal products and stained glass windows.

The typical Egermann glasses they have not only in yellow stain and the famous red stain, but also in green and black. The decorations on the stained glassware go from simple but elegant grape designs to very detailed images of castles, etched and cut into the surface.

Egermann wine glasses are not the modern wine glass as what we mostly use today. The modern wine glass was only invented in 1957. The modern wine glass is a thin blown glass bowl on a long slim stem. This design makes it possible to enjoy the taste of wine to its maximum. Egermann wine glasses are the old style: heavy, thick-walled glass and richly decorated.

Although the connoisseurs normally drink only wine from modern wine glasses they must admit that drinking wine from an Egermann wine glass is a special experience. While drinking you might not get the maximum taste experience but you will step back in time with every zip of your wine. The majestic wine glasses of Egermann have been used by the rich and noble for over two centuries and drinking wine from these glasses brings you back to those times.

Especially beautiful are the so-called paneled glasses. The glass is first stained and then the majority off the glaze layer is removed by cutting, the clear glass is then polished and at the end decorated with gold paint. The panel wine glasses are the ultimate Egermann wine glasses. A dinner table with these glasses looks royal, even when the food has not yet been served.

Until today the glassware at Egermann is made with the traditional Bohemian techniques. Each vase, glass or bowl is therefor a unique product in the tradition of the grandmaster Friedrich Egermann.

Types of Glass for Conservatories

In their own glass

Typical conservatories can add an extra value of up to 7% to your home, but imagine if they were modern, like glass conservatories, they give a chic and sophisticated feel to your home, now we’re certain that will add a lot more value to your home. So we discuss several glass conservatory designs to add some panache to you extravagant home.

Frameless glass conservatories

These conservatories sometimes referred to as a ‘glass box’ gives a very modern edge to conservatories. With the use of commercial glass technology and structural sealant applications, these conservatories allow you to enjoy tour garden all year round in whatever weather, be it rain or the sunshine, you can experience it all from the comfort of your own conservatory. Glass conservatories can satisfy even the strictest thermal and structural regulations with their unique design comes thermoregulation. Glass is an insulating material, so no need to worry about having cold feet during the winter.

Self- Cleaning glass

An outer coating of titanium oxide is put on the surface of the glass. Titanium Oxide is a photocatalyst, meaning chemical reactions take place when the right kind of light hits it. The kind of light that normally triggers this reaction is ultraviolet light; it is the part of sunlight invisible to the human eye. The outer coating reacts with the UV light to break down dirt on the surface, it does this by breaking down carbon-based (organic dirt) grime making it easier for the rain to wash it away. This is extremely convenient as it means you do not have to wash it as much as regular glass, so this is definitely a godsend.

Anti-glare, reflective or tinted glass

This can be really useful for conservatories, which faces the sun for a majority of the time. During the height of summer the glare of the sun can be really intimidating, so having tinted, anti-glare or reflective glass can be really helpful, and not only that, having coloured tinted glass can leave a beautiful cast of light over your conservatory, which emphasises the modern element that glass itself already adds.

Curved Conservatory glass

This glass is used to take your modern conservatory a step further; with this, endless styles are an option. Usually, homeowners that want to maintain their home’s original style opt for curved glass. This type of glass also come laminated, toughened and heat reflective.

Laminated Glass

Is it a Plane? Is it a Bird? No, it’s laminated glass. This is the superman of glasses, it is an assembly made up of layers of glass with a plastic glazing sheet acting as an adhesive to join them up. This makes the glass extremely strong, and there are various types of laminated glass for whatever disaster, such as:

Fire resistant laminated glass:

Does your conservatory spontaneously catch fire? Well not to worry; this fire-resistant laminated glass contains at least one interlayer that reacts to the sudden rise in temperature giving the glass its fire resistance, it stops the fires from spreading, containing it and potentially keeping you safe.

Bullet-Resistant laminated glass:

The bullet- resistant glass is extremely different from the good old regular glass. It is made up of polycarbonate; which is essentially really tough plastic. The polycarbonate is used as an adhesive between pieces of toughened glass. The layer of toughened glass and polycarbonate is called a laminate. When a bullet hits the glass, the energy emitted from it spreads out, and because all the energy doesn’t just hit one place, it can be quickly absorbed, making the bullet slow down not allowing it to pass through. The glass does break but the beauty of the polycarbonate means it stops the glass from flying apart.

Manual attack resistant laminated glass:

If you know a crazy person that has a thing against conservatories and feels the need to try and smash the glass, then this one is for you. With its axe, crowbar, pickaxe etc. repellant tendencies you’ve just become a little be safer, but not too safe as however strong the glass is, it will eventually give way if being hit in the same spot time and time again. However, it does give you time to run.

Blast-resistant laminated glass:

This glass is for those unfortunate days where conservatories just automatically detonate. This glass tries to contain the blast reducing the levels of risk. As well as conservatories, they are usually used for high-risk buildings such as military based for obvious yet sad reasons.

Frosted conservatory Glass

If you are looking for beauty as well as privacy then you have found your soul mate. Frosted glass – also known as etched glass- can be used in your conservatory if privacy is an issue, for example, if creepy neighbours or creepy traffic overlooks your conservatory then this glass is generally recommended. It is available in a number of patterns and tints so your privacy looks good, it is amazing too as it can be etched into different finishes, so you can choose whatever you like!

Energy Efficient Conservatory Glass

PLANITHERM is a new term referring to the new cutting-edge glass technology. It uses a metallic coating that reflects heat from radiators or fires in your home back into the conservatory, instead of allowing it to go through the windows. It does this while simultaneously allowing free heat and light energy to pass through the glass. So in short, you save so much money on the energy bill, and we all love a good bargain.

Georgian Bars

If your home already has Georgian style windows, then, of course, you would want your conservatory to match the aesthetics. Doing this, however, is more expensive than the other types of glass mentioned; this is because of the time and the types of materials used to make them, but they seem to be worth the price because they are just gorgeous, and gives your conservatory an old but modern feel, if that makes sense.