Skip to main content

Meeting Rising Demand in Insulated Glass Production

The insulated glass production market is projected to increase by 2030, doubling in both size and value. The increasing demand for energy-efficient buildings is increasing demand in the market, but the biggest surge is coming from growth in residential construction. As the need for more multi-unit properties grows, residential construction will continue to drive demand for the insulating glass window market.

Insulating glass units were invented by American engineer Thomas D. Stetson in 1865, although the market has seen substantial adoption in the past 50 years. Now, customers love insulated glass as a more sustainable option and the resulting energy savings. The demand in both commercial and residential points to an opportunity for fabricators to increase their bottom line with insulated glass production.  

What Are the Benefits of Insulated Glass?  

Due to the nature of insulating glass units requiring two or more glass panes, they significantly reduce the heat transfer inside or out of a home or building. They keep buildings warmer in winter and cooler in the summer. Eco-conscious home and business owners choose Low-E (low emissivity) insulating glass units because they reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to electricity by minimizing the need for excessive heating and cooling. Combined with Low-E insulated glass coating, the gases used between the glass panes improve the window’s overall u-value, which is a measure of the heat transmission through a building. The lower the u-value, the better the insulated glass. Low-E insulated glass is the single most effective product for customers to save energy and cut their heating and cooling costs. Between argon gas filling and Low-E coating, it increases insulation performance by 44%. 

Best Practices and Continuous Improvement 

It wasn’t until the 1930s that Stetson’s invention was put into commercial use and mass insulated glass production was born. When Stetson first discovered the thermal benefits of insulated glass, he was using air between the two glass panes instead of gas. Now argon, krypton and xenon are used because these non-toxic gases are excellent insulators.

The sealant also plays a critical role in the lifespan of an insulated glass unit. The sealant’s function is to maintain a structural bond between two or more lites of glass and provide adhesion to the spacer. The spacer used between glass panes will depend on the weight. A steel spacer can support a little more than one pound whereas a foam spacer can only support less than half a pound. Steel spacers may be stronger than foam spacers, but foam spacers are known to be more energy-efficient. The process, material, and machine enhancements have only made insulating glass units more effective, soon they will be the only window choice.  

Outlook: Evolving Trends and Innovations

As more legislation is passed requiring more efficient forms of energy conservation, the demand for insulated glass will continue to rise. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, state lawmakers considered over 620 bills related to energy efficiency in 2022. If renewable energy remains a priority, glass manufacturers will need to continue to innovate. For example, when architects wanted to reduce the heat transfer in glass wall buildings, triple and quadruple-glazing options were made available. The commercial construction market is expected to drive more growth as companies look to cut energy costs and get ahead of potential legislation in their state. Overall, the projections for insulated glass production are positive. 

Adding Insulated Glass Production to Your Facility 

With the IGis machines offered by HHH, fabricators can seal, press and frame 120-160 insulating glass units per hour with IGis’ patented automation process. Our full line of insulated glass equipment includes:   

To learn more about selecting the right insulating glass equipment for your lineup,  contact the expert HHH team.