How to increase the sustainability, energy efficiency and stability and improve the life cycle assessment of building structures by using the right insulating profiles in aluminium windows. Effective measures for insulating aluminium windows, doors and façades for the four most important applications.
In developed countries, protecting energy resources is an important economic and socio-political issue. Maximising the energy efficiency of buildings and thereby minimising heat losses is also of great relevance in China. The purpose of the „Green Building Action Plan“ from 2013 is to promote the upgrading of existing buildings on a grand scale. In addition, by 2020 50 percent of all new buildings in Chinese towns should be built according to „green“ criteria. Currently, buildings in China still require two to three times as much energy as buildings in comparable climate zones in Europe or North America. Also, the thermal comfort is much lower. A major goal, therefore, is to better insulate the building envelope. To ensure that the energy used for heating or cooling the building no longer goes „out of the window“, single glazing must be replaced with multiple-pane systems – where possible with a Low-E coating. Furthermore, with aluminium windows it is important to ensure there is good thermal separation of the outer and inner shells of the frame.
Window insulation for maximisation of energy efficiency.
Modern windows, doors and façades made from aluminium contain high-quality insulating profiles for thermal separation. These keep out the cold or heat and contribute to a balanced indoor environment in the building. This insulation is important for the energy efficiency. There are different requirements on the windows of a building and hence on the profiles. Depending on where the building is constructed, for example in a dry desert climate, an environment of cold winters and coniferous forests or a tropical setting, there must be insulation against major heat or cold. This conserves energy and hence saves on heating or cooling costs. The insulating profiles for aluminium windows, doors and façades thus ensure greater sustainability, higher energy efficiency and an improved life cycle assessment for the whole building.
Aluminium windows and their insulating profiles also have to be able to cope with unusual shapes. An extremely high load-bearing capacity, safe fire protection and materials that are environmentally compatible and/or help conserve natural resources are the additional requirements fulfilled by high-quality insulating profiles.
Application 1: Insulating profiles for high mechanical stresses.
High Performance profiles come with impressive mechanical properties and are used wherever high loading capacities and rigidity are called for.
Example: One of the leading providers of insulating profiles is the German company Ensinger. With its product insulbar® it offers high-quality, durable and energy-efficient insulating profiles. Alongside the glass fibre reinforced universal profile insulbar® REG for all customary applications, insulbar also offers insulbar® LGF, which is based on particularly long glass fibres for enhanced strength and rigidity – ideal for façade pressure plates or glass holding profiles.
Application 2: Insulating profiles for highly efficient thermal separation.
When constructing low-energy and passive houses, insulating profiles are needed that have very high thermal separation of the aluminium windows and hence bring about optimum Uf values.
Example: Here, High Efficiency Profiles offer optimum performance. insulbar® LEF thermal insulating bars with applied Low-E film, for example, are an easy-to-process, highly efficient alternative to insulating foams and guarantee outstanding Uf values.
Application 3: Insulating profiles for a better fire stop profile.
With public buildings in particular, fire safety requirements are high. Special insulating profiles support the heat and fire resistance of the aluminium windows, doors and façades.
Example: insulbar® FS (Fire Stop) profiles offer the ideal solution when it comes to thermally separated, energy-saving fire protection systems such as those required to be used in public buildings. These fire stop profiles are reinforced with continuous fibres, and have flame-retardant and non-melting properties.
Application 4: Insulating profiles for a positive life cycle assessment.
Insulating profiles made from recycled material have a positive effect on the life cycle assessment of eco-certified buildings. It is important here that the recycled plastic matches the efficiency of the polyamide 6.6 customarily used for insulating bars, without in any way compromising processability.
Example: Here too there is an impressive solution from Ensinger, the German innovator and manufacturer of insulating profiles: insulbar® RE from 100% recycled polyamide. insulbar® RE – just like the classic insulbar® product line from Ensinger – provides excellent thermal insulation and helps to save energy and costs for room heating and cooling. During the manufacturing phase, it generates 85 % fewer greenhouse gases, as well as using 89 % fewer fossil-based resources. This claim has been backed by the Institute for Window Technology (ift) in Rosenheim, which has issued an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) additionally endorsed by an independent expert.
Additional applications: Insulating profiles for special requirements.
Example 1: Coating of the complete assembly constitutes a significant process and cost optimisation for window manufacturers. However, this type of coating is not yet widespread in China. Nevertheless, there are also special insulating profiles for this purpose. insulbar® ESP for example, with optimised electrostatic properties, ensures improved powder attraction when coating the complete assembly.
Example 2: Where possible, metal components and profiles in windows are increasingly replaced by plastics. A typical example of this is what are known as lock and bolt rods for operating opening/closing and locking functions on a window. In this function it must be ensured that not only strength but also lightweight, noise-reduced and reliable operation is guaranteed. These requirements are fulfilled for example by insulbar® LUB. Thanks to a material modification, with insulbar® LUB the friction in the aluminium groove is kept permanently low by virtue of the self-lubricating behaviour, even with a high number of load changes.
Insulating profiles are small components with a major impact. They insulate aluminium windows and make a crucial contribution to an optimum indoor environment. In addition, they support the creativity of the building owner, architect and planner when coming up with designs. Because the right insulating profiles, with optimum material properties in customised dimensions and shapes, also solve the most demanding tasks when it comes to windows. This makes it possible to significantly improve the quality, energy efficiency, safety and sustainability of aluminium windows, doors and façades, and hence of the whole building.