We caught up with glass industry pioneer, Gerhard Reichert, amidst his whiste-stop UK visit in May. The WorldSpacer innovative technology proved a popular talking point, so we asked him to explain a little more about this revolutionary product.
“WorldSpacer is the world’s first stainless steel backed, flexible polyurethane spacer system. It’s a new class of flexible spacer providing superior warm-edge performance for insulating glass units (IGU). WorldSpacer features a flexible matrix of UV resistant thermoset polyurethane and 3A molecular sieve. Having fog-free performance by nature, it is silicone free, preventing any potential silicone contamination of vapor barrier, or of the internal IGU air-space.
A 2-mil corrugated stainless steel vapor barrier offers flexible warm-edge performance, while also offering guaranteed adhesion with all insulating glass sealants. Stainless steel is well recognized as an industry best vapor barrier, with optimum gas barrier performance against moisture ingress or argon escape. This worldwide patent pending spacer system is constructed as a web of spacer material, and cut to spacer size with razor accuracy. WorldSpacer features an industry best near-zero tolerance spacer sizing, from 5mm to 50mm spacer sizes.
WorldSpacer is designed to hold apart the heaviest glass for commercial IGU, while being cost saving for residential IGU at the same time. Hence WORLDSpacer! It is designed to meet and exceed global IGU standards such as ASTM E2190 and EN1279. It has been independently tested to two world standards, and is on the IGCC/IGMA Reviewed Spacer Listing under FS spacers. Acrylic PSA is the standard side adhesive offered, while options exist for PIB/butyl side adhesive, depending on secondary sealant used. WorldSpacer has been engineered for use on automated IGU production lines with robotic spacer application machines, as well as for manual spacer application methods.
WorldSpacer technology is a six-year development of Polymer Extrusion Technology Inc, dba Glasslam. Glasslam has been serving the glass industry globally with innovative resin technology for more than thirty years. Innovative products like Bevelpane (for decorative door lites), and Polylam (for ballistic and high impact glazing), have been licensed to glass fabricators around the world for over twenty years. Thirty years of manufacturing, inventing, and selling resin laminating systems and machinery globally, has been foundational in allowing Glasslam to reinvent flexible spacer from the ground up.”
Leading industry innovators Steve Howes and Gerhard Reichert came together under Glasslam eight years ago, to combine the best of two knowledge bases: laminated glass and insulating glass; or resin technology and flexible spacer technology respectively.
In 2008, after giving birth to flexible spacer systems in 1986, and building the market share to over 200 million feet per year worldwide, it was time for Reichert to join Howes at Glasslam. It was time to further expand the flexible spacer market share, and begin to develop a continuous process for manufacturing flexible spacer.
“A continuous method of producing flexible spacer was recognized as the only way to further improve the consistency and quality of flexible spacer technology, and to accelerate its’ growth globally. Attempting this with traditional silicone matrix material, was proven possible, but too expensive and too energy intensive. Building on Glasslam’s inhouse Polylam polyurethane resin technology, became the answer.
WorldSpacer is available on ready-made reels; or as WorldSpacer resin in a drum, ready to make JIT sizes, using an available WorldSpacer Production Line and License. Fabricators can now decide whether they wish to fabricate their own flexible spacer, or simply continue buying finished spacer product. Along with the advantage of reducing spacer inventory and shipping lead times, an inhouse WorldSpacer line offers substantial cost savings, and a fast ROI for large IGU fabricators.”
Glasslam has launched its’ WorldSpacer licensing program on a global basis. Three licensed partners and locations will kick off production and sales this summer. One in China, and two across the USA, covering both the north and the south.
The spacer bar market in the UK is uniquely positioned for WorldSpacer technology. It is heavily concentrated on large spacer sizes from 16mm to 20mm. Large spacers require a lot of secondary sealant material. WorldSpacer and its’ use of pure stainless steel as the vapor barrier, uniquely allows for secondary sealant to be gunned in to the corners at the glass and stainless steel interfaces only, for substantial sealant savings and cost savings to every IGU. Glasslam is excited to offer the UK IGU market the industry leading benefits of WorldSpacer!
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