Most people consider large windows when they are thinking about updating their space because it gives off a beautiful shine and lets in plenty of natural light for an added plus. Sadly, because these big panes of glass need to be made one at a time by hand, it's expensive and not practical for most homeowners or do-it-yourselfers.
The other alternative that many people go with is the use of double-glazed units. This design has been around for a long time, but due to the large units, it is expensive and labor-intensive.
You might wonder why you would go with double-glazing anyway if it is so expensive and time-consuming. The main reason is that most modern homes have lots of windows and without an airtight seal the home may not keep heat in or out. That's where glazing comes in; it works by forming an airtight bond between two surfaces that are molded together.
The process for glazing falls into two main types: roll-formed and extrusion.
The first type is roll-formed, which refers to the manufacturing technique where a cylinder is formed from steel or another hard material along with a piston. The cylinder's outer surface is then covered with glass or some other effective protective material. The cylinder is then rolled across a surface that it has been pressed against to create the bond between the glass and the steel. Rolled form glazing works well for outdoor applications, especially for windows that are placed in very exposed positions where the seal can't be greatly affected by any wind or water action.
These roll-formed units are usually made from a material like a polycarbonate. These materials are highly durable and can be molded into virtually any shape. They are good for applications where the unit will be exposed to a lot of weather, such as on an exterior wall or window. It is suggested that these kinds of glazing should also be able to withstand temperatures ranging from -40° F to 240° F.
Extrusion is made by heating a plastic tube in a forming machine. The molten material then flows along the tube and forms it into the shape of whatever was being formed, before cooling the extrusion into its permanent shape. This process is used to make double-glazed units as well as other types of units as well.
The extrusion technique allows for the use of different materials for the interior and exterior panes, which is why it's able to be so versatile. The thickness of the glazing that can be formed with this technique ranges from 0.020 inches all the way up to 0.125 inches, which is thinner than glass alone and has a higher level of energy efficiency when used on smaller windows or ones that are oriented away from the sun's path. It can also be used for applications that require a double layer of glazing without having to stick with one material.
Extrusion is most often used in the production of double-glazed units that are stacked together on the inside of a wall but can also be made into other types of products as well, such as screens. The extrusion process can make these products since they are made from the same material that is being produced.
The Pros And Cons
So which technique should you go with? The choice really depends on what kind of application you have in mind for your new window or door, as well as your needs for durability and maintenance.
Roll-formed glazing is great for exterior applications where wind, rain, and other disturbances are not factors. This kind of glazing can handle extreme weather conditions and remains very durable. The cost of this manufacturing process is also quite low for most homeowners looking to save money on their projects.
These units can be produced in a variety of sizes, shapes, and thicknesses that are determined by the needs of the end user. They are also available in a number of different materials, so you will have many options to choose from when deciding which type to use. This material selection will determine what kinds of weather conditions your new window or door can fend off with ease.
On the other hand, for interior tub and shower enclosures, extrusion glazing is a more cost-effective way to go. The material that's used in this type of glazing is lighter than glass, making it easier to install and easier to maintain during and after construction. Because it's manufactured from the same material that's being used in the rest of the structure, it won't rust or corrode away. The cost of production is also lower than when using roll-formed glass as well.
When you need to install an extruded double-glazed unit, the only thing that applies is that the glazing has to be installed parallel to the wall. The dimensions of the window or door can also be customized based on what's causing you a problem.
It's important to note, though, that extruded glazing is usually not as durable as glass when it comes to outdoor applications and can get rippled when exposed to harsh weather conditions. However, since it is only used for interior applications, this shouldn't cause much of a problem for most homeowners.
Glazing is an important part of home construction and can affect the building process in a number of different ways. You should make sure that you're buying the right windows for your needs, as well as make sure you purchase glazing that can last for years to come.
The choice between roll-formed and extrusion seems like a simple one, but it's important that you take the time to consider which method will be best for your purposes. Both are great options, so it really boils down to what kind of application and level of durability you need in a window or door.