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USGNN Original StoryET Foundation Presents 2008 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Awards

The ET Foundation awarded its 2008 International Aluminum Extrusion Design awards during the Ninth International Aluminum Extrusion Technology Seminar and Exposition (ET '08) in Orlando, Fla. last month, and among the winners, two glass-related entries stood out.

Christopher Trovel of Imperial Glassworks in Maspeth, N.Y., received an honorable mention award in the professional class for his green latch curtainwall/window wall system. While he admits that aluminum extrusion design is "a whole new world [he's] just beginning to explore," he looks to everyday life for inspiration.

"One guy at work said how he had stuck his arm inside an aluminum tube while on the jobsite, only to find that it was as hot as a furnace. That was something that helped me with my idea," says Trovel.

Moreover, Trovel believes his design promotes a greater understanding of and use of extruded aluminum profiles for it "supports the notion of creating pieces that are recognizable to the public eye. People can readily associate the colorful extrusion with green technology when it's placed at a conspicuous spot like the exterior of a building."

Trovel also credits the judges' acknowledgement of his design idea for "the core of the design is centered on just one extruded shape, actually two parts that slide together for a thermal barrier and bolt to the curtainwall. I think the judges recognized how the piece could channel air, but also perform structurally."

In the student class, Corey W. Friedenberger of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa. received a $1,000 scholarship for his aluminum storm protection curtain design. This window protection system offers a reusable, durable and aesthetically pleasing solution to storm window coverings.

Friedenberger credits the selection of his project as an award winner for its three key elements.

"It promotes safety by providing a significant and unique improvement on previous attempts at the same goal; it is feasible, as there is a viable market for this sort of project and the design makes it attractive to consumers; and the design is simple. People often forget that the simplest design is often the best design, and for a product like this, which someone's life may depend on, failure would be catastrophic. Thus, my goal was always to maintain a simple, reliable design," says Friedenberger.

Friedenberger also hopes that others obtain a greater understanding of and use of extruded aluminum profiles.

"I think a lot of people see metal, especially bare extruded aluminum parts, as 'ugly' or as something that should be inside of a building as load-bearing members. I think aluminum is more aesthetically versatile than that, and I think it can serve a purpose everywhere in life, whether it be inside of a wall or protecting valuable assets out in the open. My design promotes just that, by using aluminum as the functional and visual centerpiece of an important product that saves lives."

The competition serves to promote a greater understanding and use of extruded aluminum profiles, as well as to highlight innovations and recognize excellence in aluminum extrusion design. The Foundation received nearly 100 entries from students and professionals across the United States, Canada and abroad. The judges awarded those entries that they felt best demonstrated extruded aluminum's inherent attributes including the effective use of close tolerances or complex profiles, extrusion process improvement, innovation in design and likelihood of market success. The designs needed to be original and were required to make use of one or more extruded aluminum components.

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