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Why German innovative power is ensuring greater energy efficiency in China

How Ensinger revolutionised the insulation of metal windows, doors and façades worldwide with the first roll-in profile made from modern thermoplastics

Aluminium windows are also very popular in China for new buildings and renovations thanks to their advantages in terms of design variety, ease of maintenance and durability. As the thermal conductivity of aluminium is very high, the frame must be thermally separated. The optimum thermal insulation of windows, doors and facades is a key factor in healthy, environmentally friendly and resource-saving construction. The insulating profiles are already incorporated into the window during production. In order to achieve optimum energy efficiency here, the type, material and processing of the profile are important. Decades of practical use worldwide of roll-in profiles made from glass-fibre reinforced polyamide have shown that these profiles achieve optimum Uf values. The inventor of insulating profiles made from thermoplastics for the thermal separation of metal windows is called Ensinger and comes from Germany.

As far back as 1952, a Swiss company developed roll-in profiles for incorporation into the metal frames of windows. Until then, aluminium frames had been foamed with polyurethane, fitted with long fabric strips hardened with epoxy resin or short pieces of polyamide or polyester. The roll-in profile made it easier for window manufacturers to integrate the processing of the profile into their manufacturing process. However, the profile was made of elastic plastic. The material did not withstand the forces acting during further processing. At the latest during the anodizing or stove enamelling stage, the elements deformed and no longer sat perfectly, which massively interfered with their insulating capabilities.

The idea for optimal insulation of aluminium windows

The solution to this problem came about 20 years later from Germany. For years, the German plastics specialist Ensinger had been conducting intensive research into an insulating profile with good mechanical capabilities and high strength that would retain its structural properties and shear strength when the profile was rolled into the frame, and thus provide reliable insulation. In a specially developed extrusion process, an insulating profile made from glass-fibre reinforced polyamide 66 with low thermal conductivity and high stability, shear strength and temperature resistance was created for the first time: insulbar® was born. With the invention of insulbar®, Ensinger – one of the world’s leading developers and producers of insulating profiles for window, door and façade construction – has significantly optimised the thermal separation of the inner and outer shells of metal frames. This is because the coefficient of thermal expansion of the thermoplastic corresponds to that of aluminium. This minimises stresses during temperature changes, and the aluminium-plastic composite can be coated without problems even under heat treatment up to 200° C.

Ensinger is exhibiting:

Fenestration Bau China
05.11. – 08.11.2019
Shanghai, China

Wilfried Ensinger, founder of the company Ensinger OHG in Germany in 1966

Back in 1966 Wilfried Ensinger, founder of the company Ensinger OHG in Germany in the same year, developed new extrusion processes that were the basis for the development of insulbar® insulating profiles eleven years later.

Stability and strength at a good cost-benefit ratio

In order to make products that closely match the customer’s requirements, Ensinger develops the thermal insulation profile to market maturity together with the aluminium system house WICONA, who also become the first customer for insulbar®. In 1977 insulbar® was the first roll-in profile made from modern thermoplastics and the first heat insulation profile worldwide to be manufactured in series. The quality and precision of insulbar® remains exemplary today. The premium product made in Germany has a good cost-benefit ratio and is impressive thanks to its inimitable surface quality and accuracy. The tolerances are up to +/-0.02 mm depending on the profile geometry. Thanks to a special process, insulbar® also has a multidirectional orientation of the glass fibres, which optimally counteracts the shear forces. The heat-resistant insulating profiles are manufactured in different sizes, geometries and material variants for different applications. The material has optimum properties ensuring consistent quality of the aluminium composites in the long term. During the unique manufacturing process the glass fibres are swirled in a special way, which guarantees a high strength of the insulating profiles. This also gives insulbar® its unmistakable appearance, which makes it almost impossible to copy.

The first insulating profile for thermal separation of metal windows made from thermoplastics from Ensinger in 1977.

This is what the first insulating profile for thermal separation of metal windows made of thermoplastics from Ensinger looked like at its market launch in 1977. The approval regulations and standards were developed in parallel and in close cooperation with BASF, Wicona, the Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing (BAM) and the Window Institute ift Rosenheim. In December 1977, Ensinger delivered the first series-produced insulating strips.

Patented quality and energy efficiency

This efficiency and quality is no coincidence. Since 1966 Ensinger has been developing new extrusion processes to produce modern engineering plastics. With the invention of insulbar®, the company – which currently has 2,500 employees at 33 production and sales locations worldwide – finally became the innovation leader in the industry. The innovative hollow chamber profiles for highly insulating elements and the Coex sealing wire which provides a reliable moisture barrier and perfect sealing are also innovations from Ensinger that ensure greater quality and energy efficiency. A large number of patents and utility models testify to the great innovative power of the German inventor. For example, Ensinger’s new shear-free insulating profile, which reduces the effects of the bi-temperature effect and has recently become available on the Chinese market, is currently patent pending.

insulbar® - the original premium thermoplastic insulating profile from Ensinger for reliable thermal separation of metal windows.

insulbar® is the original premium thermoplastic insulation profile from Ensinger for reliable thermal separation of metal windows.

Picture credits: Ensinger GmbH

Innovations made in Germany

The hugely expanded family business stands by its values. Know-how, knowledge and craftsmanship are used for the customer’s benefit to offer thermoplastics of the highest quality with exemplary service and thus jointly create energy- and cost-efficient, durable buildings. For over 40 years now, Ensinger has been a competent partner for building developers, window manufacturers and aluminium profile producers; it offers reliability in its work, professionalism in its business dealings and authenticity in its products and services.

More than 40 years of practical experience in the market and extensive up-to-date know-how make insulbar® the state-of-the-art thermal insulation profile worldwide, including China. The plastics and specially developed material mixtures used for insulbar® profiles meet the highest requirements in terms of stability, durability and insulating effect. They can be easily processed further and ensure reliable thermal separation. The original from Ensinger thus helps China’s construction industry to create energy-efficient, durable and sustainable buildings that more than meet the stringent governmental requirements.