Guardian to Launch UV Protecting Glass Product

Guardian Industries of Auburn Hills, Mich., is gearing up for the launch of a brand new product, ClimaGuard SPF™, designed to not only provide comfort and energy savings, but fade protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays as well. The product will be officially unveiled at the Builders Show, which will be taking place January 11-14, 2006, in Orlando.

According to Tim Singel, director of residential glass products for Guardian, homeowners are consistently faced with the problem of household damage caused by the fading energy of the sun-UV-A rays.

"Fading is the result of a combination of UV radiation, as well as fluctuations in temperature and humidity," said Singel. Low-E glass, Singel explained, which is already used in the majority of residential windows in the country, does not address UV-A rays, which are primarily responsible for damage (i.e., fading).

Recognizing the need to offer a product that addresses this area, Guardian began developing its ClimaGuard SPF glass. The company looked at a variety of products including standard clear glass, spectrally selective low-E, laminated glass and after-market films in search of a solution for fade management.

"But none of the scenarios were commensurate with performance and cost," said Singel, "so we had to find another solution." That's when they chose to visit the textile industry. Singel explained that the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists offers a reference standard that can determine the relative color fastness of fabrics-ISO 105-B01 Textiles-Tests for Color Fastness. The test involves a wool cloth, colored with blue dyes that have varying degrees of colorfastness. Light is filtered through various window configurations onto the cloth in order to compare the UV blocking ability of the different products. A control sample-black paper over the glass-was also tested.

According to test results, the blue wool sampled protected by ClimaGuard SPF resulted in an imperceptible change in color after 40 days in accelerated testing when compared to the control sample.

"ClimaGuard SPF delivered nearly the same results as the control sample," said Singel.

Test results show that ClimaGuard SPF offers 99.9 percent UV-blocking protection compared to low-E's 76 percent and 43 percent with clear glass. It also has daylight transmittance of 69 percent (low-E, 71 percent) and 11 percent reflected glare (low-E, 10 percent). Other results showed a U-factor of 0.24 (argon) and solar heat gain transmittance of 0.38.

And while the official product release is not until January, Guardian has actually been selling it for two years to Beta test customers.

"We've been very pleased with the Beta trial," said Singel. "We've been working closely with a number of high profile window manufacturers and we are very pleased with the progress."

ClimaGuard SPF is primarily designed for the residential window market, but Singel said it does have an appeal as an architect-specified product as well.

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