Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Improving gel filled windows

Windows made from two panes of glass filled with a silica gel are used to insulate buildings. However, the gel makes it more difficult to illuminate buildings with natural light as it is often translucent rather than transparent. In this project, work to improve the seal protecting the gel from water damage was improved, as was the transparency of the glazing. Aspects of the production process were also made safer.

Variations of the gel were developed and these were well-characterized. The process to manufacture the glazing was made safer as it has been modified to use less toxic chemicals and there is a lower risk of explosion. An innovative air-tight rim for the glazing was developed to protect the gel from air and water. With a 25 year lifetime, it has better insulating properties than seals used previously. The resulting glazing has all the acoustic, mechanical and climatic shelter requirements of a traditional window but with a heat loss coefficient that is reduced by over 85 % for a 1 m{2} window. This translates to an energy savings of more than 25 % for home heating. Although there was an improvement in the transparency of the new glazing, more research will be required to reach the desired optical quality. The production process was successful only on a small scale. However, it is estimated that a further work will result in an in-situ production process that can be used industrially.

Reported by

Technical University of Denmark
Building 118
2800 Lyngby
Denmark
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