Volume 45, Issue 7 - July 2010


Dow Sealant Batch Causes Problems for Viracon, Glazing Contractors
In early June, certain glazing contractors received in the mail a notice that they may have installed products using a defective batch of sealant.

According to a letter sent out by Owatonna, Minn.-based Viracon on June 8, Dow Corning “received reports from the field of insulating glass units with air in the secondary seal” in units using batches of 982 silicone insulating glass sealant delivered to customers after March 10, 2010.

Dow Corning provided USGlass with a statement ten days after the initial letter. The statement said the company had “conducted a comprehensive investigation and found this intermittent and isolated issue was likely caused by a failed seal in a drum off pump, but only when certain environmental and/or processing conditions were also present. The failed seal was immediately repaired upon discovery. Dow Corning has implemented engineering and process controls to prevent similar incidents in the future.”

The company further stated, “The drum off process is dedicated to Dow Corning® 982 Silicone Insulating Glass Sealant base. No other products are affected due to this issue. Based on the investigation to date, the potentially affected sealant is only present in a small percentage of batches within the batch range 5944452 to 6010209. The time period for this batch range is limited to material manufactured between March 10, 2010 and May 3, 2010.”

A follow-up letter signed by Viracon president Greg Silvestri on June 18 stated, “We have been heavily engaged in identifying specific projects and customers with suspect IG units so we can work to ensure product safety and uphold our customer service commitment. We have inspected thousands of units within our inventory and in customer supply as recommended by Dow Corning and, along with Dow Corning’s investigation and review, believe the scope of this issue has been substantially narrowed.”

In addition, Viracon said its investigation and testing “determined that IG units for installation into four-sided mechanically captured glazing systems need not be inspected for micro bubbles and may be installed.”

Glazing contractors around the country found themselves asking questions about how they might be affected by potential problems with IGUs using the affected batches.

According to one contract glazier, who spoke on condition of anonymity, “I have no idea based on the information provided if this is a major concern for Viracon and Dow … Nowhere in the documentation that was sent to us do I find a statement that tells anyone what may or may not result from the use of what is, for all practical purposes, being referred to as defective sealant. Will the units fail prematurely? Will they come apart? Or do they just look bad?”

Neither Dow nor Viracon has released information as to the total number of installed projects have been affected, or whether the sealant has been used in structurally glazed applications, which could pose a safety risk.

AAMA Launches Certification Program for Commercial Window Installers
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has developed a Commercial InstallationMasters program for installers of doors and windows rated for commercial, industrial, large multi-family and institutional buildings. The program, administered by Architectural Testing Inc. (ATI), is based on the industry consensus document AAMA IPCB-08, Standard Practice for the Installation of Windows and Doors in Commercial Buildings. This standard covers the installation of aluminum windows and doors in punched openings, including specialty shaped, horizontal ribbon and vertical stack openings for both new construction and replacement projects.

Course material includes: accepted installation techniques; proper material selection; the proper installation and sealing of panning, receptor systems and subsills; jobsite safety; quality control; and product care, adjustment, cleaning and more.

As a licensed training provider, ATI offers the two-day training classes, administers exams and issues photo ID certification credentials to commercial door and window installers who seek validation of their expertise. Certified installers also may choose to include their name on a web-based listing of certified installers for reference by customers, and are allowed to use the InstallationMasters™ logo in their advertising.

The program offers several participation options:
• Accredited Instructor: Persons with five years industry experience may apply to become an accredited instructor and attend an intensive four-day instructor’s course. Prospective trainers take an examination and are evaluated for their ability to teach the course materials to the installers;

• Certified Installer: Installers with at least five years of installation experience may attend the two-day class with one of the accredited instructors. If they pass the written examination, they are approved as a certified installer;

• Installation Company Certification: Installation companies that employ at least one certified installer and have a documented quality control system that meets program requirements may apply to become a certified installation company. ATI then performs periodic audits to verify that the quality system is being followed;

• Non-Certification Participant: Those lacking the required installation experience, but who wish to learn (e.g., sales or administrative personnel) may attend an installer training class and receive a certificate of completion.

© Copyright 2010 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.