G U E S T C O L U M N  
Next-Generation Fenestration is Here  
New Technology Delivers Near-Zero Sight Lines, Extreme Efficiency  
B Y P H I L I P G . M O R T O N  
aximum glass area, minimal  
A unique set of high-performance PVC profiles. Technical challenges  
frame lines and high thermal properties are created when polyure- limited the material’s applications to  
values are the dominant door thane is cross-linked with a high per- simple forms.  
and window design trends today and centage of continuous-strand glass  
We focused on solving multiple  
in the future.  
fibers. Polyurethane polymer is natu- challenges associated with produc-  
Architects are increasingly seeking rally resistant to water, salt and most ing large and complex architectur-  
to bring the light and warmth of the common chemicals. A super-stable al shapes. Door and window profiles  
outdoors into buildings and homes thermal polymer, polyurethane is for commercial and large multi-panel  
via doors and windows that optimize incredibly tough, durable and resis- door systems could not be produced.  
the visual experience with a strong tant to the effects of extreme heat The structural and thermal require-  
priority for energy efficiency and year- and cold. It does not crack or break ments of commercial windows led to  
round comfort.  
with fatigue. PUR is a strong, solid the focus on development of specific  
Designing frames with minimal and tough framing material technol- profiles such as curtainwall pressure  
sight lines while increasing thermal ogy that is 25 percent lighter than plates as an ideal candidate to benefit  
performance may seem like an impos- aluminum with exceptional thermal from the properties of PUR.  
sible feat. Traditional aluminum insulation properties.  
frames often have slim sight lines but Perhaps the most beneficial material, improvement efforts were  
are highly inefficient at insulating the characteristic of PUR is its perfor- focused in three key areas:  
inside from hot or cold air. mance-vs.-cost ratio, which provides 1) Tool life—the production toolset  
A completely new approach to desirable features at economical prices.  
To achieve success as a fenestration  
must last for at least 2 million feet  
to be economically viable.  
continuous chemical reaction pro- 2) Set-up to run-time ratio—must  
framing material is needed to meet  
these design challenges.  
Created using a heat-accelerated  
Such a material must have the cess called pultrusion, PUR can be  
physical properties to go head-to- made into custom lengths. The poly-  
have a ratio of at least 10 to 1 with  
20 to 1 as the target.  
head with aluminum yet exhibit the urethane resin polymer is chemically 3) Recycling/reuse—the PUR thermal  
extremely low thermal conductivity of fused and bonded (cross-linked) to  
vinyl. It must be durable and stable in the glass strands that are like steel  
the harshest conditions, such as desert reinforcement bars in concrete with-  
heat, storm-force winds and the brutal out the brittleness often associat-  
set material cannot be reheated  
and melted for traditional recy-  
cling. A solution is being tested.  
corrosion of coastal environments.  
ed with fiberglass. The high load of The Future is Now  
continuous glass fiber strands limits As continuing advances are made,  
PUR is Here  
the thermal expansion, making it the this material technology will success-  
fully replace more and more metal  
The resulting fenestration materi- components in commercial fenes-  
Thisuniquetechnologydoesexist— same as the glass itself.  
continuous glass fiber reinforced  
polyurethane, or PUR. Developed al provides metal-like stiffness and tration systems. Aluminum-based  
more than 20 years ago, PUR has been strength, and high tensile and com- architectural companies offering  
limited to secondary components in pression strength, with virtually no component parts made with glass-fi-  
high-performance fenestration prod- creep or permanent set. Additionally, ber-reinforced materials recognize  
ucts but will soon be available for it is highly resistant to fatigue failure the potential benefits of high-perfor-  
use in a broad range of commercial with extremely low thermal conduc- mance composites, such as polyure-  
fenestration applications to meet the tivity, near-zero water absorption and thane-based Rovex, that offer met-  
growing demand from architects.  
Let’s take a closer look at the char-  
near-zero electrical conductivity. al-like mechanical properties with  
Since 2012, the technology has been high thermal resistance.  
acteristics of this door and window available as Rovex from Deceuninck  
framing material technology and NorthAmericaintheformofINNERGY Philip G. Morton is the director of market  
potential applications.  
internal reinforcement members for development at Deceuninck Americas.  
Door & Window Market  

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