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Understanding the Quirks of Vacuum Glazing

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Quirks of vacuum glazing - condensation on the outside of a vacuum glazing unit showing the areas around the pillars

Understanding the Quirks of Vacuum Glazing

Reading Time: 5 Minutes
Published on: November 23rd, 2023

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Unveiling the Charms: Exploring the Distinctive Features of Vacuum Glazing Technology

Brief Overview of Vacuum Glazing Technology

Vacuum Glazing technology represents a cutting-edge approach to window design and insulation. Unlike traditional glazing methods, which rely on air or inert gases between glass panes, Vacuum Glazing introduces a novel technique by creating a vacuum between the glass sheets. This revolutionary approach not only enhances thermal performance but also brings a host of unique features to the architectural landscape.

Emphasising the Uniqueness of the Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of Vacuum Glazing stands apart from conventional single and double glazing units prevalent in the market. Traditional methods often involve trapping insulating gases between glass layers, but Vacuum Glazing takes a departure by eliminating the gas entirely, leaving a vacuum in its place. This distinctive manufacturing process leads to a range of visual effects and performance characteristics that set Vacuum Glazing apart as an innovative solution for superior insulation and energy efficiency. In this post, we delve into one such aspect – the quirks associated with Vacuum Glazing that users may encounter and should understand for a comprehensive appreciation of its benefits.

Distortion in the Sheet Glass

Explanation of Common Visual Effects

In the realm of Vacuum Glazing, it’s essential to familiarise ourselves with the occasional visual quirks that may appear. These include Anisotropy, Roller Wave, Newton’s Rings, and Brewster’s Fringes. Each of these effects arises from the unique manufacturing process and the characteristics of toughened glass that define Vacuum Glazing.

Role of Internal Spacers in Optical Distortion

The internal spacers within Vacuum Glazing play a crucial role in the optical distortion observed. As the vacuum draws the glass sheets together, atmospheric pressure is applied to the spacers, contributing to visual effects. While these distortions may be noticeable, it’s important to understand that they are generally minor. Moreover, they can occasionally replicate the irregularities found in historic glass, adding a touch of authenticity that some users find appealing.

Highlighting Minor Effects as Positive Features

Interestingly, customers have commented that the subtle unevenness resulting from these effects can mimic the characteristics of historic glass, turning what might be considered a quirk into a positive feature. This minor distortion, when present, often blends seamlessly with architectural aesthetics, creating a visual allure reminiscent of classic designs. Recognising and appreciating these nuances can lead to a deeper understanding of Vacuum Glazing’s distinct charm and the intentional fusion of modern technology with a nod to the past.

Exterior Condensation on Vacuum Insulated Glass (VIG)

Explanation of the Normal Occurrence

One distinctive aspect of Vacuum Insulated Glass (VIG) is the occasional presence of exterior condensation, especially in conditions of high thermal efficiency. This occurrence is a natural consequence of the glass’s exceptional insulating properties. Unlike traditional glazing, where heat from the interior can penetrate to warm the outer pane, VIG remains cool, allowing moist air from the outside to settle on the glass and form condensation.

Sign of Excellent Insulating Performance

Contrary to initial expectations, exterior condensation on VIG is not a flaw but a testament to its remarkable insulating performance. The fact that heat loss through the glass is minimal demonstrates the efficiency of the vacuum between the glass sheets. While this may be an unconventional observation for those accustomed to traditional single glazing, it highlights the advanced thermal capabilities of Vacuum Insulated Glass.

Addressing the Surprise Factor

For customers transitioning from single glazing or even double glazing with internal condensation, the appearance of exterior condensation on VIG might come as a surprise. It’s crucial to understand that this effect is a positive indicator of the glass’s thermal efficiency, and the initial surprise often transforms into appreciation for the technology’s superior performance.

Noticeability in Specific Conditions

The exterior condensation phenomenon is more pronounced during specific atmospheric conditions, particularly during early mornings and late evenings in the early Autumn and late Spring. These periods, characterised by cool climates and higher humidity levels, create the ideal circumstances for condensation to form on the outer surface of the glass.

Quick Clearing with Sunlight

It’s important to reassure those encountering exterior condensation is that, in most cases, it clears rapidly as the sun rises. The efficiency of VIG ensures that the condensation dissipates swiftly, allowing for a transparent and unobstructed view. This dynamic clearing process adds a fascinating dimension to the interplay between VIG and environmental conditions, showcasing not only its insulation capabilities but also its responsiveness to changing weather patterns.

Exterior Condensation Pattern on Vacuum Glazing Units

Differing Condensation Clearing in Vacuum Glazing

Understanding the clearing of condensation on Vacuum Glazing unveils a unique pattern not commonly seen in double or triple glazing units. In contrast to the top-to-bottom clearing sequence observed in traditional glazing, Vacuum Glazing follows a distinct process owing to its evenly effective vacuum cavity.

Clearing Pattern Initiates from the Perimeter and Micropillars

The notable feature of condensation clearing in Vacuum Glazing is its initiation from the perimeter and around micropillars. Unlike double or triple glazing, where the clearing typically begins at the top due to the sinking of gases, Vacuum Glazing maintains consistent insulation across the entire unit. As a result, condensation tends to clear first from the edges and micropillars, representing the least insulating parts of the glass unit.

Result of Consistent Insulation by Vacuum Glazing

This distinct clearing pattern is a direct outcome of the uniform insulation provided by Vacuum Glazing. The vacuum between the glass sheets ensures that the entire cavity is equally effective, eliminating the need for a gradient in clearing. This not only showcases the advanced engineering behind Vacuum Glazing but also reinforces the idea that every part of the glass unit contributes consistently to its exceptional thermal performance.

Understanding this condensation clearing pattern adds another layer to the appreciation of Vacuum Glazing’s design, illustrating how its innovative construction fundamentally alters the dynamics of exterior condensation. The consistent insulation offered by Vacuum Glazing not only enhances energy efficiency but also presents a visual display of its unparalleled functionality.

Before and after installing vacuum glazing showing the elimination of internal condesnsation
Vacuum glazing eliminates internal condensation


Recap of Key Points about the Quirks of Vacuum Glazing

In concluding our exploration of the quirks associated with Vacuum Glazing, it’s essential to recap the key points that distinguish this innovative technology. From the occasional visual distortions like Anisotropy and Newton’s Rings to the normal occurrence of exterior condensation and its unique clearing pattern, Vacuum Glazing introduces distinctive features that set it apart from traditional glazing methods.

Reassurance of Normalcy and Positive Features

It’s crucial to reassure our readers that the effects discussed are not anomalies but rather inherent characteristics of Vacuum Glazing. The minor visual distortions, occasional exterior condensation, and the unconventional clearing pattern are not only normal but are often considered positive features. Customers have found charm in the replication of historic glass unevenness and appreciate the condensation as a visible testament to the glass’s exceptional thermal efficiency.

Encouragement for Deeper Understanding

As we conclude, we encourage readers to delve deeper into the quirks of Vacuum Glazing to fully appreciate its benefits. Understanding the science behind these effects provides a richer perspective on the technology’s advanced engineering and its role in transforming the way we think about insulation and energy efficiency. Embracing these quirks is not just an acknowledgment of the uniqueness of Vacuum Glazing but an invitation to explore the marriage of modern innovation with the aesthetics of the past. By comprehending these subtleties, users can unlock the full potential of Vacuum Glazing and experience the advantages it brings to both form and function in architectural design.