Improving Sustainability Around the World
Warm-Edge Insulating Glass Spacer and Flashing Tape
Our insulating glass subsidiary introduced the first flexible “warm-edge” insulating glass spacer in 1978. Incorporation of warm-edge spacer into a window greatly reduces the transfer of heat energy as compared to traditional spacers. This both reduces heating and cooling costs and decreases the carbon-based energy needed to control building temperatures.
Our warm-edge spacer is used in LEED®-certified buildings around the world, and we continue to assist our customers as they work to achieve LEED certification status. Quanex’s Flashing Tape plays a similar role in increasing energy efficiency, as it creates barriers around windows and doors to seal other penetration points within a building. Flashing tape helps to reduce air intrusion, lessens the building’s heating and cooling energy requirements, and thereby helps to reduce the building’s overall carbon footprint.
Beginning in 1969, our vinyl extrusion subsidiary was one of the earliest U.S.-based designers and producers of window components made from vinyl, which has several advantages over other materials. Vinyl window frames are extremely low maintenance, do not require painting and sealing and are generally more durable than other options, often outlasting the structures in which they are installed. In addition, vinyl windows are more energy-efficient than other options and, because they last longer, will result in the consumption of less energy and fewer manufacturing materials over the long term. In 2021 we also began manufacturing vinyl fence posts. This new product provides an outlet for almost all of our vinyl by-product material and thus reduces the amount of waste we send to landfills.
Solar Edge Tape
For almost two decades, Quanex has sold solar-edge tape to some of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers. SolarGain® Edge Sealant is a desiccated butyl/desiccated polyisobutylene (PIB) edge sealant for thin film and crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic (PV) modules. The insulating properties of PIB enable the aperture efficiency of the modules to be increased. The addition of desiccant creates a step change, delaying moisture migration, helping to protect cells, connections and conductive coatings from degradation. SolarGain Edge Sealant can help maximize performance and longevity
The United States Department of Energy (“DOE”) has targeted a 50% reduction in energy loss through the building envelope by 2025. The DOE’s ultimate vision is a nation of homes and buildings where better-insulated windows are energy-neutral overall, with solar heat gain in colder climates completely offsetting heat losses through the frame and glass in warmer climates. Through its research and development efforts, Quanex plans to be an integral part of this initiative and is working every day to develop components to further the goal. To this end, our Akron-based Research and Development group works with a number of universities and third-party researchers to continuously improve our existing products and develop new ones. In addition, Quanex is supporting and working with the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). The NFRC is committed to advancing continuous improvement in energy efficiency for windows, doors and skylights. Quanex continues to work with NFRC to bring our industry together to learn and talk about sustainability.