Volume 38, Issue 10, October 2003

Dotting All the i’s
IG Industry Gathers in Ottawa for IGMA Summer Meeting

by Ellen Giard Chilcoat

Just days before the blackout of 2003, the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) met with lights and electricity in Ottawa, Ontario, at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier for its summer meeting. The event took place August 9-12 and approximately 70 individuals took part. 

Team Building
The meeting got underway on August 10 with the “Building Effective Teams” workshop, led by Michael Hart of the American Society of Quality and Catherine McKenna, an Ottawa-based consultant who specializes in team and organizational effectiveness.

IGMA designed the workshop to help working group members find and build upon successes, in turn allowing working groups to operate efficiently, even when they are away from the actual meeting. Thirty participants took part.

“I found the workshop very insightful toward building team unity and goal achievement,” said Randy Wadley, national accounts director for Besten Inc. “It reaffirmed the importance of concentrating on positive elements, present during our best moments, when setting new or improved goals.”

Technically Speaking
A number of topics were on the agenda for the day’s technical working groups session that afternoon. Tim Harris of TruSeal led the discussion on the IGMA glazing guidelines, followed by Randi Ernst of FDR who led the GasGlass best practices working group discussion and Bruce Virnelson of PRC Glass Sealants who lead the gas permeability working group discussion.
Technical working groups met during the summer meeting.
The group is currently working to harmonize the guidelines of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance of Canada (IGMAC) and Sealed Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association (SIGMA) into one document. The document is in the final stages of revisions, and once those are completed, the document will be forwarded to the technical policy committee for review, then on to IGMA legal counsel for review and finally to the board of directors. Once approved it will be published and distributed. 

Ernst next provided an update on what the GasGlass best practices group had done since it was established during IGMA’s winter meeting last January in Dana Point, Calif. The group is working on matters such as developing standards for instrument calibration, developing a standard operating procedure for measuring argon, developing IGMA guidelines for a GasGlass standard test method and more. Currently, the group has completed the calibration standards.

Virnelson next talked about the gas permeability working group’s activities. This group is working to develop technical information on the “gas permeability rate through different sealant membranes.” The data will be used in aiding predictions of the gas-loss rate from sealed insulating glass units. The working group has developed a request for proposal document that will be circulated to research facilities approved by the technical services committee.

Industry Update
The next morning a number of presentations on various industry topics took place. 

The first speaker was Steve Selkowitz of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, who discussed electrochromics and smart windows. He explained that while in the 1970s most windows were single-glazed, today almost all are double-glazed with some sort of coating, such as low-E. He said windows were becoming a more viable part of buildings as they are becoming a more active element. 

The next presenter was Carl Wagus, technical director of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). His presentation was titled “The Building Envelope and its Effect on Window Durability.” The purpose of Wagus’ presentation was twofold. He first discussed various glazing guidelines (i.e., IGMA, AAMA, GANA, etc) and how they relate to the design of windows. His second point focused on the restraints of the glazing guidelines and the way windows and doors usually are installed. He also included a number of examples that showed installations that, according to Wagus, “obviated the careful design of the window to accommodate the needs of insulating glass units, such as excessive water penetration and incomplete support of the glazing because framing was not attached to the building completely.” He also showed examples installed according to ASTM E2112 that were consistent with the guidelines. 
Providing a history of glass in architecture, Tom O’Connor of the Smith Group led “Architecture and Glass 1853-2003.” O’Connor offered somewhat of a glass timeline, citing the launch of a number of glass companies (many of which were represented during the meeting) as well as interesting glass history facts. For example, many may have been surprised to learn that in 1895 PPG was making 20 million square feet of plate glass, and that insulating glass (IG) was developed in the United States in 1930; gas-filling followed in 1935.

That afternoon some attendees took part in a tour of the National Research Council (NRC) testing facilities and demonstration homes. The NRC’s Institute for Research in Construction conducts research and testing to aid Canada’s construction industry in improving safety, durability and comfort in homes and other buildings. The labs work toward developing test methods and standards and also provide services to clients. Participants visited a number of labs (the sealed unit lab, the roofing lab and the thermal insulation lab), as well as the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology (CCHT) demonstration home. Two identical homes are included in the CCHT testing facility, a reference house and a test house. The reference house is a controlled unit, while the test house is modified according to specific research. Researchers are using the homes to learn how new technologies can affect energy costs and savings. 

Technical Matters
The final day began with the technical services committee meeting.

One of the key discussion topics of the meeting was the adoption of ASTM E2188, E2189 and E2190 into Canadian standards.

“The majority of IGMA’s standards development activities for 2002/2003 … have been focused on the adoption of the HIGS in Canada,” said Margaret Webb, IGMA executive director. “We are guardedly optimistic that the ASTM standard will be referenced in the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) at their meeting in late October or early November this year. With the successful referencing of the ASTM under the NBCC, harmonization of the IG standard will be accomplished.”

Webb said they are also looking to harmonize ASTM E1300 and Canadian General Standards Board 12.20 standards on glass design. 

The activities of three research projects were also discussed.

Phase I of the GasGlass vs. Gas Chromatography (GC) project is complete, and according to results, it is possible that the GasGlass device could replace the GC as an argon testing method. Later that afternoon, David Bailey of Bodycote Materials Testing Canada Inc. conducted a presentation on the study, which was titled “Determination of the Gas Concentration of Insulating Glass Units by Gas Chromatography vs. GasGlass Technology.” 

An update was also provided on the evaluation of the gas permeability of sheet materials project. IGMA has been developing a protocol for a new test method to determine slab permeability. The working group is developing a request for proposal that will be sent out to testing facilities to develop the new test method.

An update on the 25-year field correlation study, which was started 23 years ago by SIGMA, also was provided. The study is examining approximately 16,000 IG field units and is said to be the only available data on the durability of IG units in the field. 

Certification and New Publications
In February IGMA launched its certification program for the new harmonized insulating glass standard (ASTM E2188, E2189 and E2190). Bill Lingnell, IGMA technical consultant, formally announced the launch of the certification program during the summer meeting.

In addition, IGMA published/will publish two documents this year: the Insulating Glass Manufacturing Quality Procedures manual, which was published earlier this year; and the Preventing IG Failures Technical manual, which is expected to be published this fall. The manual is currently undergoing legal review and will then be reviewed by the board of directors for final approval.

Additional working groups were also established during the meeting. The groups and chairs for each are: visible obstruction: Bill Lingnell, Lingnell Consulting Services; educational seminar: Mike Burke, GED; field correlation (ASTM E2190): Kristen Gray, H.B. Fuller; and volatile fogging: Bob Spindler, Cardinal IG.
Participants had the opportunity to tour the NRC testing facilities.
Four technical presentations took place that afternoon. Steve Crandell of PPG, Gerhard Reichert of Edgetech, Dan Braun of Architectural Testing Inc. and David Bailey of Bodycote Materials Testing Canada Inc. were speakers.

Crandell spoke first, with a presentation titled “Dual Seal Equivalent (DSE) Sealant, Fact or Fiction.” He provided an overview of what dual seal is, including a definition, history, requirements and system options. He also covered properties and attributes and why DSE units perform differently.

According to Crandell, there are a number of products available that make claims about DSE.

“Don’t get the idea that you pick one and you’ll get dual seal. You may or you may not,” Crandell said. “It’s the sealant manufacturer’s responsibility to work with the IG manufacturer to provide dual seal.”
The next presentation, “Thermoset Spacer Technology (TSS),” was led by Reichert. He explained that TSS is the “reverse” of a dual seal system, in that the thermoset materials are at the front of the spacer, anchoring it to the glass structurally, while the thermoplastic butyl seal is gunned from behind. With traditional dual seal, he said, the spacer has extruded butyl on the glass contact sides with no “structural merit.”

Reichert was followed by Braun and his presentation on solar heat gain testing. Braun covered a wide range of information, including different types of calorimeters (a device used for measuring heat transfer), to the properties that affect solar heat gain (transmittance, reflectance, absorbtance and emittance).

“Determination of the Gas Concentration of Insulating Glass Units by Gas Chromatography vs. GasGlass technology” was the day’s final presentation, presented by Bailey. Reportedly, the results of the study that began in January 2001 are favoring the GasGlass instrument as a “viable alternative” for the non-destructive measurement of initial argon gas fill in IG units in a laboratory setting. Bailey said field inspection is not recommended since there are numerous variables that could skew the results. Further research will now be conducted on the instrument by the GasGlass best practices working group.

Future Meetings
The next IGMA meeting, its 2003 technical seminar, will take place November 17-18 at the Days Inn Toronto Airport in Toronto. IGMA’s annual meeting is scheduled to take place February 25-28, 2004, in Kissimmee, Fla., at the Radisson Resort Parkway.

To learn more about IGMA, visit www.igmaonline.org


Ellen Giard Chilcoat is the editor of USGlass magazine.


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