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Argon, it leaks out
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Argon Escaped

This is a condo complex in Carlsbad, La Costa area.  Notice the concave windows.  Such deformation is most visible on a narrow window of about 24 inches, and best seen curing a colorful  sunset or sunrise.  This is a common issue, only with larger windows the deflection is less noticeable, and rarely is the light just for it to clearly show up in a photograph.  The upper fixed sash is also concave, but it was not photographically obviously.   

 

Argon is an option used to replace air in dual glazed windows.  Being heavier than air, entails more energy for to heat or cool the gas.  This difference gives about a 1 to 2 degree improvement in the surface of the inner pane of glass when compared to a similar windows without argon gas. 

 

However, it will slowly leak out.  Holding the glass in place along its edges is a metal spacer bar covered with an adhesive.  A typical rating (the figures are for the Dual seal spacer bar and adhesive system) is 0.09 grams of water/meter2 per 24 hours.  The problem occurs when argon travels faster through a sealant than does nitrogen and oxygen.  In areas where there is large changes in temperatures, the deflection is sufficient so that there are instances of the glass imploding.  In USGlass Magazine April 1999, wrote an article entitled Kaboom:  There Goes Another Argon-Filled IG Unit.   Door and Window Manufacturers Magazine also writes of the problem in their

 

The window industry is aware of this problem and has ignored; except for in Europe where legislation requires testing and a better sealant system.   

 

Milgard has addressed this issue by upgrading their spacer bar-adhesive found in their energy package, 3 D Max.  

 

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