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Thermal Break for Aluminum Windows, Doors, Curtain Walls and Storefronts

Indalex Ltd. has completed installation of new technology to manufacture a thermal break system that uses warm edge polyamide insulating glass spacers and thermal insulating struts to provide a structural thermal break for aluminum windows, doors, curtain wall and storefronts.

An alternative to the fill and debridge process in which resin is injected into extruded aluminum parts machined to form a thermal break, the strut and spacer system is more thermally efficient. Separating aluminum frame profiles with polyamide spacers reduces heat transfer by 40 to 70 percent.

The composition of the struts creates an effective thermal barrier that helps them insulate 500 times better than aluminum. The struts separate the aluminum in fenestration products, lowering conductivity and reducing thermal transfer and U-factors while increasing condensation resistance.

The energy savings and condensation reduction allow a reduction in HVAC system size and emissions.

The system also offers improved structural performance and durability. The bond between the strut and the extruded aluminum is a mechanical connection, allowing it to carry loads necessary to meet building code requirements.

The system also resists heat distortion and stands up to most of the chemicals used in the construction industry. Fenestration products using the system have passed numerous independent air, water, structural, blast resistance and thermal performance tests, allowing the system to be certified to AAMA and ASTM standards.

Two-toned finishing designs can be achieved using the system because interior and exterior components can be finished before assembly, providing window and door manufacturers with flexibility to meet cost and performance requirements.

The warm edge insulating glass struts and spacers are manufactured by Technoform North America, the global leader in structural thermal break systems. Indalex purchased the thermal break assembly equipment from Hermann Muller AG of Switzerland. Installation and testing of the technology at the Indalex plant in Montreal, Quebec was completed recently.

Manufacturing of fenestration products such as windows, doors, curtain wall and aluminum storefronts involves a three-step process:

  • The aluminum cavities on the mating extruded profiles are knurled.
  • Technoform I-Strut profiles are inserted into the knurled cavities of the extruded aluminum.
  • The cavities are then crimped to create a mechanical bond between the extruded aluminum profile and the I-Strut.

“With heightened sensitivity to the environment and tougher building codes, this high performance system offers new benefits for our residential and commercial fenestration customers. Our customers now have the opportunity to utilize our fill and debridge or structural strut system technologies depending on end use requirements,” said Eric Becker, Fabrication and Design Engineer, Precision Products Group, Indalex Ltd.

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