A Novel Glass Spacer for Vacuum Insulated Glazing

The Vacuum Insulated Glazing (VIG) is a unique highly thermally insulating window technology, which is constructed from two panes of glass separated by a sub-millimetre evacuated gap. An array of spacers is placed between the glass panes to maintain the separation under atmospheric pressure. Even though a clear priority of the material used to produce the spacer is strength, it is also important that the thermal conductivity of the material is low, and there is a fast method of placing the spacers on the glass surface. The aim of this work was to investigate the potential of a laser induced surface feature as a spacer. Direct measurements on glass samples were performed to determine the strength (with respect to lateral and transverse loads) and thermal resistance, of the features. Results clearly show that the laser induced feature is high strength and has a thermal resistance that is greater than the typical metal spacers. More importantly, there may be no need for a placement step in the VIG manufacturing process, simplifies the process significantly.