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Warm Edge Technology

11:44:08 AM on 01/13/2011

Heat gain and loss are critical to the performance of a building and the comfort of its occupants. And, proper insulation is fundamental to any building application. Insulating glass is the most common type of glass used today for building applications. Because windows with insulating glass can have excellent thermal and acoustic properties, they have almost completely replaced basic single pane windows.


The most common type of insulating glass unit is composed of two pieces of glass separated by a hollow aluminum spacer located between the two glass panes at the perimeter edge of the unit. Conventional aluminum spacers have many advantages: they are lightweight, durable and relatively low cost. However, the drawback to a conventional aluminum spacer is its conductive properties, which sometimes could cause the edges of the glass to lose more heat than the center of the glass. In order to overcome the thermal inefficiency of conventional aluminum spacers, a new type of spacer product called “warm-edge technology” has evolved in the industry.


What is Warm-Edge Technology?


Warm-edge refers to the type of spacer material used to separate the panes of glass in an insulating window unit. If the material conducts less heat or cold than a conventional aluminum spacer at the edge of the glass, it is considered to be warm-edge.


Why Warm-Edge Technology?


One of the benefits of warm-edge spacer technology is improved thermal performance. Typically, warm-edge spacers are many times less conductive than aluminum spacers. Since most of the heat loss through a window occurs at the edge of the unit, standard aluminum spacers act against the thermal performance allowing heat to escape. Another benefit is reduced condensation. The material used for many warm-edge spacers is often a very good insulator and provides a more even temperature distribution across the surface of the glass. This increase in temperature raises the dew point, reducing the possibility for condensation.  The reduced condensation minimizes the opportunity for any type of moisture damage or mold. Other benefits of warm-edge spacers include: reduced sound transmission, ability to be applied to virtually any shape, enhanced longevity, and durability.


Kawneer and Warm-Edge Technology


Traco, a division of Kawneer, uses warm-edge technology in their NEXGEN™ Energy Spacer™.  There are different levels and grades of warm-edge spacers available.  As far as thermal performance is concerned, the NEXGEN™ Energy Spacer™ ranks among the top warm-edge spacers as far as thermal and overall performance is concerned. For more information visit traco.com.


The conventional aluminum spacer is still the most common in the market today. But with the benefits of warm-edge spacer technology, why not consider it, or the NEXGEN™ Energy Spacer™, when specifying your project. Have you used warm-edge technology before? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 






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