Since the pioneering designed by the University of Sydney and the first mass production by NSG, Vacuum Insulated Glazing (VIG) has been on the market for more than two decades. However, such high-performance glazing has never been widely adopted in buildings and remains difficult to implement on a large scale. The main challenges lie in the material aspect and the manufacturing technology, as the slow production can hardly meet the timely demands of the construction industry, and the product is considerably expensive. Conventional production use the glass frits as edges for encapsulation and the sintering temperature is above 500°C. Recent efforts have focused on developing new materials and bonding methods to reduce the temperature, but in the production technology, these mostly followed a procedural mindset: 1) insulating the glazing under atmospheric conditions, followed by 2) evacuating the insulation layer through a hole, and finally 3) blocking the hole. As a result, the presence of evacuated holes leads to a mechanically weak and unsightly product. The VIG production is also time-consuming and energy-intensive. This calls for innovation in VIG manufacturing technologies.
Here, we demonstrate the world’s first mass-production technology for manufacturing VIG directly in the vacuum, leading to a fully tempered VIG without the need for evacuated holes. This technology greatly reduces processes and involves three main parts: pre-encapsulation, encapsulation, and post-encapsulation. Additionally, the technology is high throughput, capable of producing over 200 square metres of VIG daily from a single vacuum encapsulation facility. It is also flexible in handling orders with multiple glazing formats and low volumes. Ultimately, we will demonstrate the performance and durability of the product through laboratory certification and field testing.