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Worries Argon

Glass Plant Review
by Laura Weil

When your glass supplier carries around an argon detector worth more than an average sedan, you know he’s taking his glass business seriously.

We recently walked the glass factory with Kempenfelt Windows to learn more about the recent developments and changes that are occurring in the North American glass industry.  Here is what we took away from the day;

There is a clear glass shortage

Without a LoE coating on the glass there is a minimal value for the float glass companies.  The result; blocks of clear glass are purchased or produced and a coating is applied to prevent it from being just a commodity material, and instead, a value added coated product is delivered.  The problem with this though, is that a clear lite is a major component to insulated glass units.  We still need clear glass!  Fortunately our insulated glass company has been proactive on this and continually maintains their hierarchy position for glass 

Spacer technology continues to evolve in numerous directions, from material types through to sealant processes

The process of pinning was an insulated glass standard – a few decades ago.  This is where a glass unit is sealed together and a pin is inserted through the spacer and into the cavity.  Argon is pumped into this space through the pin as air is drawn out through the same pinning nozzle.  This process is still being used by some manufacturers and meets initial fill level requirements.  There are a few shortcomings of this process pertaining to the actual argon fill values and the subsequent retention of argon glass inside the unit.  Argon filling helps insulate a sealed glass unit, as the gas is denser than air.  It is one of the four key components to an effective sealed unit; coated glass, warm edge spacer, gas filling and secondary sealant.  There are thousands of variables for these ingredients and it is, of course, always a debated topic of ‘what’s the best’.  Tenting for argon though, is rarely debated.  This was the process that we watched and admired during our glass plant tour.   The glass unit is placed into a large argon chamber where the internal area is then filled with argon gas.  The glass units are pushed together inside the big blue argon filling beast – effectively gulping argon and keeping it inside during the secondary seal process. 

The glass sealing process is captivating to watch in action


Our sealed glass units meet and exceed argon fill testing and requirements


Throughout the plant we would stop, test a random unit of any shape or size, grin when the percentages were consistently over the required 90% and carry on to the next area.

We see this glass every day.  It comes to us sealed up and ready to go into the windows and doors that we manufacture.  We glaze it into your windows and send them out to be a part of your home.  Sometimes it is a nice to gain a fresh perspective of a usual scene.  Especially when it is so well crafted.


written by Laura Weil 
sales/service/marketing for EVW 
super proud of our glass supplier / super tall woman 


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