Maximizing façade transparency with crystal clear silicone spacers

The need for higher transparency in façades has led to the development of jumbo sized glass. Until now, the almost jointless appearance of large-scale glazing could only be reached with laminated safety glass. However, due to the more stringent energy efficiency requirements imposed to buildings, efforts have been initiated by manufacturers to propose transparent insulating glass units. These new designs have a transparent spacer in the vertical visible glass edge whilst the horizontal edges are typically still using a conventional spacer, including the desiccant needed to guarantee a dry atmosphere within the cavity. The result is a nearly seamless overall view with maximum transparency and the same technical characteristics of the IGU. Glass, PC or PMMA are typical materials used today as spacer, but they have the main disadvantage of being hard and rigid which makes manufacturing complex and time consuming and limits the freedom of shape design This paper discusses design possibilities and material properties offered by a clear silicone pre-casted in a rectangular spacer shape. The silicone transparent spacer is flexible and can easily be adhered to glass and several other substrates to ensure dimensional stability to the IGU and offer full flexibility in terms of design