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Upvc Windows And Doors
Steven Holmes   3/10/2009

 

For many years the fenestration products, windows, doors and skylights, were made from wood, the only practical material of the times. Larger residential and many commercial windows were made from steel, but the disadvantage of this window framing was the lack of weather-stripping, thus the windows were drafty at best.

After World War II, the aluminum alloys developed for aircraft production were applied to fenestration products. Aluminum was extruded into various profiles, then processed into window frames and sashes, then glazed. The first aluminum windows were inexpensive, easy to install and quite durable, but they were not very energy efficient.

To manufacture aluminum windows a large factory area was required, an area filled with saws, milling machines, punch presses, air compressors and air operated screw guns, glazing adhesive compounds and assorted other support machinery like roll-out tables, glazing lines and the like. The same with wood window manufacture.

Improvements in unplasticized poly vinylchloride (uPVC) moved the window industry into modern times. UPVC is extruded, much as is aluminum, but the extrusion operation doesn't require a huge, hot, energy-consuming extrusion press and ovens to heat the aluminum billet to 1,100 degrees F. Instead, a liquid pvc is squeezed through a die into water where it is cooled and solidified into a window profile, all in an area a little larger than a garage.

Processing of uPVC profiles into window components doesn't require a lot of punch presses, milling machines and other paraphernalia. It requires only a miter-saw, preferably a double-miter, and a contact welding machine. In all, a very energy efficient operation. Glazing is usually a "marine type," that is a flexible gasket is wrapped around the insulating glass unit edges, then the sash frame is assembled and screwed together around this unit, forming a highly effective, leak-proof sash that is then installed in the window frame. Where the sash corners are welded, like the window frame, the glazing is "drop-in," using a gasket and snap-in glazing beads to hold the glass unit in the sash.

Because of the ease of manufacture the uPVC window manufacturing may be accomplished on a local level. Many window installers began to manufacture their own windows. The uPVC profiles, window hardware, glass and other components are supplied by the uPVC extruder, along with the window designs the fabricator is licensed to manufacture. Major manufacturers still dominate the industry, despite the competition from all the small fabricators, who only supply themselves.

Much of the uPVC technology was initiated in Europe, with the UK and Germany leading the move towards Upvc windows. In the USA, uPVC extruders were set up and quickly moved to the forefront in the industry. Companies who used to make metal windows, quickly converted their operations to vinyl and now, most of the residential windows and doors are of uPVC, both for new construction and replacement. There have been commercial applications to some uPVC designs, as well. Some storefronts, entrances, window-wall and even some low-rise curtainwall are of uPVC.

As well as the manufacturing advantages, Upvc windows offer design flexibility, beauty, durability, strength, weather resistance, wind resistance, termite-proof, corrosion and fire resistance. Also, they reduce sound transference and are recyclable and ecologically sound. They require little or no maintenance, other than cleaning and are as much as 30% more efficient that wood or aluminum.
 
(ArticlesBase SC #810726)

(ArticlesBase SC #810726)

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
 

 

 

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