Subscribe to USGNN!

USGNN Original StoryIGMA Annual Meeting Continues in Florida

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) 8th annual conference at the Sundial Beach Resort in Sanibel, Fla., continued yesterday afternoon with a full schedules.

The June meeting had seen a motion to revise the visual quality guidelines document to reflect the differences between residential and commercial products. (CLICK HERE to read more about that meeting.) A "what if" draft document had since been produced to examine points where separate commercial product requirements would make sense.

Bob Spindler of Cardinal IG pointed out that window manufacturers present at the meeting manufacture both residential and for high to mid-rise buildings. Tracy Rogers of Edgetech IG, chairperson of IGMA's Visual Quality Working Group, took an "unscientific" survey of who in the room manufactured 100 percent residential products, 100 percent nonresidential and those who produced a blend of both; hands were scarce on the first two options. The idea, presumably, was that when manufacturers produced a blend of both, the document should reflect the same.

"Having two documents gives a wrong impression of what the glass manufacturer can and cannot produce," Spindler said. "From an architect's standpoint, why in the heck would you have two documents; does that mean you can do something better for one application than another?"

With consensus aiming toward having one document, Rogers suggested that the next step would be a review of the differences between commercial and residential lie in the document. After discussion of a few examples-such as the importance of an "installed" qualification for nonresidential products-the group agreed to send the revised draft document around for a second review.

Per the June meeting of the Glazing Guidelines Working Group, IGMA technical consultant Bill Lingnell and group chair Ken Shelbourn of Truseal Technologies had combined their research on capillary tubes and prepared a draft guideline for the group's review (CLICK HERE to read the June meeting discussion on closing capillary tubes). Shelbourn explained the verdict on sealing tubes, that resulted from their research: "If you're going to seal a tube in the field, you crimp or snip it with wire cutters … but then put a little dab of sealant on the end of that which will give you a 100 percent seal."

With that question answered, the group turned to examine the SIGMA document, "SIGMA Guidelines for Use of Capillary/Breather Tubes" with the goal of adapting it for future use. The group examined several points closely, including whether they should add a note cautioning individuals not to use capillary tubes in gas-filled units.

Spindler noted that it does happen that people use tubes in gas-filled units. "The intent is that the claim can not be made that the unit has a specific performance," he said.

"We're not a group that gives permission or not," said Chris Barry of Pilkington, "it physically can be done." Should not use capillary tubes with gas-filled units was the prevailing recommendation.

Once the capillary tubes are in, Greg Carney of the Glass Association of North America (GANA) said that it's not unlikely that glaziers will try to take them out.

"I have seen situations where they are in the way and they cut capillary tubes, altering them dramatically," Carney said.

Section 6.0 on glazing thus gained a recommendation that capillary tubes not be shortened or removed during glazing.

The Gas Permeability Working Group noted that Phase 1 of its research project has been completed.

"We have now the executive summary, it's been circulated, but you haven't seen the completed document," said Bruce Virnelson of PRC DeSoto International, group chair. "That now will be the final document for that test protocol."

The group then turned to its request for proposal seeking a lab to develop a test protocol for argon permeability through insulating glass units. To date, the group has received proposals from two different test labs, while a third lab is interested and has requested an extension.

Speakers from TNO and CAN-BEST were at the meeting to offer presentations about how they would conduct the tests, as well as the approximate costs of each step.

Following the big numbers, a member of the audience asked whether there was someplace else from which some of this test data could be pulled rather than seeking funding for the testing.

"This will be the first time it's broken down into a small component," Virnelson responded. "We're pioneers."

The group is now aiming to get additional proposals in for consideration prior to the next meeting, and to have time to "really digest these proposals" made in Florida. Its goal is make a decision in time for the June meeting.

The Thermal Stress Working Group is aiming to pioneer research into thermal stress breakage, but is still short a few case studies. The group has had no responses to its survey, IGMA executive director Margaret Webb reported.

"I think some people got a little conservative," said Carney. "If you start having problems, you don't necessarily want to report them to others." However, the group noted that case studies could be reported anonymously.

"If you want to be a member of this committee you need to provide at least three examples," Chris Barry of Pilkington suggested.

While the group agreed to do just that, additional studies would provide further insight. CLICK HERE to share your thermal stress breakage case studies or recommendations.

CLICK HERE to read about Monday's Certification and Education Committee meeting.

The meeting continues through January 31, 2008. Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for daily updates.

The next IGMA meeting will be held June 16-19, 2008, at the Westin Resort and Spa in Whistler, British Columbia.

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.