IGMA Annual Meeting Underway

INDIAN WELLS, CALIF.-The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) is currently holding its annual meeting at the Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif. Nearly 130 individuals are taking part in the meeting, which runs until Saturday. Technical working groups opened the morning session, beginning with the glazing guidelines working group, chaired by Ken Shelbourn of TruSeal Technologies. The group reviewed an amendment that had been re-submitted by Advanced Elastomer Systems to include thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) setting blocks. Robert Lietz and Lorin Beaber gave a presentation to the group about their company and the TPE products it produces as they are asking to have information on TPE setting blocks written into IGMA's Glazing Guidelines manual.

There was a concern from some working group members about the products' potential incompatibility with some sealants.

Shelbourn said the document would need to stress the compatibility requirements that are already there.

"Spell out in the guidelines when and where not to use it [TPE]," said Roland Temple of Velux.

Bob Spindler of Cardinal IG also pointed out that color changes of the sealant have been a concern with some window manufacturers in regards to TPE setting blocks.

"If the sealant being used changes colors in the area where you have the setting blocks, what's it doing to the [long-term performance] of the glazing sealant?," asked Spindler.

Others in the meeting added, though, that it's not just TPE setting blocks that can cause sealant color changes.

"We're not interested in color changes, but in the performance changes," said another attending the meeting.

Bill Lingnell, IGMA technical consultant added that sometimes with TPE setting blocks you may see performance issues, such as compression, but noted that sometimes such a problem is more related to the design rather than the products.

Advanced Elastomer Systems is awaiting test results. The group decided it would wait to receive these results and would then send out an electronic ballot on the issue.

The next group to meet was the visual quality working group, which is co-chaired by Temple and Joe Hayden of Pella. The group is working to draft guidelines for determining criteria for observing unintended visual obstructions in sealed insulating glass units. The group drafted a list of visual obstructions to include in its document at the summer meeting last August.

Lingnell pointed out that some of the obstructions do have visual issues, but also measurement issues. The list was then reviewed to determine which had measurement issues and/or observation issues. The list includes:

  • Desiccant dusting, observation;
  • Chemcial fogging, observation
  • Moisture fogging, observation
  • Spacer (sightline), observation and measurement;
  • Sealant (sightline), observation and measurement;
  • Fingerprints, observation;
  • Muntins out of alignment, observation
  • Dirt, observation;
  • Sticker residue, observation
  • Suction cup residue, observation
  • Water marks, observation;
  • Equipment marks, observation.

The question over what, exactly, the document needed to be, however, was also raised. Mike Grossman of ACI Distribution, had an answer.

"What I need as a fabricator is a [document] that says these are the things your will likely see [in the IGU]. If [the obstruction] is beyond that [common fabrication marks] you give [the customer] a new unit. If not, they [customers] need to know these issues are typical of the product."

Another question was raised as to whether the group should distinguish between IG used in residential versus commercial applications.

"There can be differences based on sizes, etc.," said Lingnell, "but we did not want to differentiate because we see this as the criteria an IGU should meet, regardless of where it is used."

The thermal stress working group also meet this morning to discuss its work toward developing guidelines on avoiding glass problems that may arise from breakage caused by thermal stress conditions. Bill Lingnell chaired the meeting in the absence of Steve Crandell of PPG Industries who was unable to be at the meeting.

This task group has been working on drafting a "Do and Don't" guideline for fabricators, and had asked for feedback from members during the August meeting. The response rate, though, had been minimal.

"When we began this [at the August meeting] it seemed positive, but maybe we need to re-look at it and see if there will be enough information," said Margaret Webb, IGMA executive director.

Based on hand count asking who would be willing to participate, the numbers this morning still were low. Webb said that AAMA had also requested that its members be involved in the survey as well, which would also help broaden the participation level. Lingnell added that all information provided would be kept confidential.

Pointing out the importance of the project, one attendee added, "Glass breaks and without a good examination you may miss the cause."

The gas permeability working group was the last meeting on the morning agenda. It was chaired by Bruce Virnelson of PRC-Desoto. This group is working on a research project that looks at the performance sustainability of IGUs; the project also includes the development of a test protocol for argon permeability through the units. The first phase of the project is complete and during the meeting the group reviewed final data points on the evaluation of the permeability of sheet materials testing done by TNO. The group also began discussing phase two of the project: evaluation of the gas permeability of edge seal assemblies. Virnelson said they will work on a request for proposal for the program, which they will review at the next meeting and will also start sending out quotes for the financials.

CLICK HERE to see photos from the IGMA Annual Meeting.

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