Volume 36, Issue 9, September 2001


gas-filling equipment
Sparklike’s GasGlass is Put to the Test
-by Randi Ernst

While still a prototype unit, the first gas-fill detection device to be offered for sale is Sparklike Ltd.'s GasGlass. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with one. While there may be difficulties with certain configurations, based on the sample units we tested, it yielded satisfactory results. We placed a mix of certified gas, 90 percent argon and 10 percent air, in test units with clear glass and three different low-E coatings. The GasGlass gave consistent readings showing a 90-percent fill (90.0 percent to 90.7 percent).

Generating a Spark

The GasGlass ignites the inert gas fill creating a plasma or light.

It appears the Sparklike device uses a high-voltage tesla coil to generate the spark that creates the plasma. To obtain a reading it was necessary for the spark to jump across to the opposite glass lite. If the spark would or could not jump across, it created a starburst appearance on the glass. This became an instant way of knowing if you would get a reading or not: If the spark jumps across it will read; if it starbursts it will not.

Another area of concern may be the spark. The tesla coil idea has been around a long time. When looked at years ago one concern was that the spark would burn the coating. The Sparklike has a 1-second or-so spark at a lower setting than the tesla coil we have here at FDR. In retrospect, I should have made repeated readings in one spot with the Sparklike device and then inspected the glass but did not think of it at the time.

Computer Interface

Dr Elmahdy

Dr. Hakim Elmahdy of the National Research Council Canada displayed this working prototype at the 2000 IGMAC meeting.

The interface is novel, but has a couple of shortcomings that may be worked out for the production version. It uses a Compaq Ipaq palm computer to display the results. 

There is a histogram of sorts on the display but there is not a date/time stamp or other means of connecting the data to a specific test or unit. There is also (at present) no way of printing out or saving the data. I also wonder how well the Ipaq will hold up on the factory floor. While fine in the office or for lab-type tests, I would be concerned about the durability of the Ipaq and its touch screen when it encounters the sealant-covered paws of the typical glass-plant operator.

To test a unit you hold the flashlight-shaped wand on the non-coated side. The instructions say to be within a couple of inches from the spacer. I think this is so the spark does not short out over to the spacer bar.

In our tests we took at least three random location readings and it did not matter where on the unit we placed the wand as long as we got the spark to jump straight across.

You press a button on the wand and about two seconds later you hear and see the spark. It sparks for a second then stops, then the Ipaq thinks for a few more seconds and displays the results. The total test time is less than ten seconds.

For an expanded version of this 
article see the Fall 2001 issue of Door & Window Maker magazine, page 58.

Randi Ernst is president of FDR Design Inc. in Buffalo, Minn.


Bystronic to Unveil Latest Launches at Vitrum ’01

Bystronic’s CNC laminating glass-cutting machine will be on display at Vitrum ’01.

If you're heading to Vitrum in October in search of new glass-cutting machinery, you may want to pay a visit to Hauppage, N.Y.-based Bystronic Inc.'s booth. The company plans to demonstrate several of its recent offerings.

For example, Bystronic will be demonstrating under production conditions its new fully automatic CNC laminating glass-cutting machine. The machine can handle glass up to 130- by 240 inches and can handle a maximum cutting width of 185 inches. It is also equipped with an edge-deletion device to process low-E glass and a shape-cutting tool for glass.

TPS IG The TPS IG production line can produce units of many different shapes and sizes.

Bystronic's Lenhardt division will be running a complete TPS®-insulating glass (IG) production line as well. According to the company the system can produce IG units of most any shape or size.

Likewise, Lenhardt will also be operating its new automatic spacer-bending machine for stainless steel and aluminum spacers with integrated desiccant filling station. The machine can process shapes in sizes ranging from 87- by 158 inches and can handle spacers from 6 to 24 mm.

spacer bending machine Bystronic Lenhardt’s spacer-bending machine will also be on display at Vitrum ’01.

storefronts & entrances
Vinyl Building Products Offers New 1100 Series
Vinyl Building Products Inc. of Oakland, N.J., has available the 1100 series swing and sliding doors. Both doors are equipped with high-security and multi-locking systems. The sliding door features easy alignment adjustment, an adjustable keep rail and an added security mechanism. The swing door features a specially engineered hook with beveled sides, allowing for either right or left door installation, along with a steel latch and dead bolt. 

doors & door hardware
CRL Opens Up with New Concealed Door Closer
One of the latest launches from Los Angeles-based C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (CRL) is its new Husky retrofit overhead concealed door closer.

door closer

“This new Husky retro overhead concealed door closer incorporates a spindle set in the diamond position, instead of a squared position at 0 degrees,” said John Geukens, CRL product manager. “This enables door installers to retrofit existing pre-1998 Kawneer original style Husky closers without the need to change the door arm, which requires a diamond pattern spindle engagement,” he added.

The new Husky closers are available in 105-degree hold-open and non-hold-open styles, with regular-duty spring tension and an 8.5-pound model for American Disability Act exterior door applications.


Spotlight On

Curtainwall and Sloped Glazing Systems
Duo-Gard Clears the Way


Duo-Gard Industries Inc. of Canton, Mich., has available a translucent daylighting system that features glazing of 6- by 37-foot sheets of 16-mm triple-wall polycarbonate in a custom-engineered structural framing system. According to the company, the system eliminates the problem of extreme expansion and contraction. In addition, it is equipped with a coextruded, ultraviolet barrier that filters infrared rays, Duo-Gard says.

CPI Makes Daylight Intelligent
CPI International of Lake Forest, Ill., has released its intelligent daylighting system. The system consists of ControLite® glazing panels, a complete aluminum skylight/ daylight structural system in sloped, ridge, vertical or custom configurations and miscellaneous accessories, including light sensors, a micro-chip processor and a user interface control panel.


The Intelligent Daylighting System is available with both manual and automatic operation modes, or as a manual system only. 

Thermo-Vu Armed with License to Heat


Thermo-Vu Sunlite Industries Inc. of Holtsville, N.Y., has gained a license from Southwall Technologies Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif., to fabricate heat mirror insulating glass. According to the company, it started up this heat mirror line in an effort to offer its customers high-performance glazing for sloped- and flat-roof applications. Thermo-Vu says its heat mirror glazing offers energy savings, ultraviolet protection, suppression of outside noise, reduced solar heat gain and reduced condensation.

Safety With Clarity
San Francisco-based Safety and Fire-Rated Technology International (SAFTI), a division of O'Keeffee's Inc., had developed SuperLite I TM  glass, an optically clear, wireless and fire- and safety-rated glass. According to the company the glass was created to offer large, clear viewing areas that are impact-resistant. SAFTI says it is the first 20- to 30-minute fire-rated glazing offered with a Category II (400 pounds) impact safety rating. SuperLite I is available in large sizes for installations in a broad range of fire-rated wood, steel and aluminum framing systems according to the company.

Kawneer Releases 1600 Wall System 


The Kawneer Co. Inc. of Norcross, Ga., has developed its 1600 wall system, an inside-glazed curtainwall and ribbon window system. The system features a screw spline construction for easy fabrication and is equipped with an optional split mullion design for ease of installation, according to the company."

The profile is 2 ½ inches and the system is offered in a 7 ½-inch system depth with an optional 6-inch depth. Other options include a mullion anchor diverter clip for condensation management, shear block construction for fabrication versatility, structural silicone glazing and two color designs.

tools and supplies
Glass Supplies Prepares for All Situations

glass supplies

Glass Supplies Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., has available glass-cutting fluids, liquid-washing concentrates, grinding coolants, lubricants and glass markers. Each of these comes in an extended series for use on different types of glasses and coatings.

Adhesives Research Ready for Mounting and Glazing


The double-sided ARclad® 8231 glazing tape offered by Adhesives Research of Glen Rock, Pa., is part of a line of foam glazing tapes. The pressure-sensitive tape offers anchorage to foam and bonding to both the sash material and glass. According to the company, the ARclad foam muntin mounting tapes adhere muntins to wood, painted aluminum and unplasticized vinyl windows and doors. The double-sided tapes also incorporate a UV-resistant polymer.



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