Serendipitously, all our titles this month have alluded to the sea. So why stop on week four and forfeit the whole movement? We wouldn’t think of it. In an effort to find meaning and connection in this crazy world, we are going to do our best to continue our pursuit of window manufacturing knowledge in the most nautical way possible. This week we are going to look at the terms gas fill and glass. These two words are pretty important to the window world, so be sure to take notes. A gas fill is basically a process by which vinyl windows and aluminum windows are made more energy efficient and more resistant to temperature changes. By filling the panes of a window with a gas other than air (usually krypton or argon) convection and conduction can be greatly reduced and the energy efficiency of the home or office improved. Unlike liquid (which is the key ingredient in the sea - I know you’ve been waiting for that nautical tie in!) gas is much less dense, its particles swimming in an ocean of relatively empty space. The properties of some gasses, like argon or krypton, slow the flow of energy and are therefore great choices for insulating windows.
Our second word of the day is glass, and this, out of every other word in our glossary of window terminology, is probably the most important and crucial to the world of fenestration. Without glass, windows would just be walls, and what good is a wall for a window? The properties of glass make it perfect for helping control indoor climate while enabling a view of the outside world. For a technical definition of glass, it is an inorganic, transparent composite material made of sand, soda and lime, with trace amounts of other oxides. Most importantly to our ocean going theme this month, glass, although you would probably never guess it by looking at it, is actually considered a liquid due to its molecular structure. We really sailed through that term; so we’ll be sure to touch on it next time, until then, smooth sailing.