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Proceedings Paper

Unique thermal problem found in certain double-glazed windows
Author(s): Robert W. Spring; John R. Snell Jr.
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Paper Abstract

Thermography has been used with great success for number of years to inspect building fenestration, both during design and production, as well as after installation.1 Typically double-glazed windows exhibit a well-understood pattern of increased heat loss around the perimeter, due mainly to thermal bridging or edge-effect losses. In this paper we present the findings of an investigation about a very different, and unusual, thermal pattern discovered on windows in the home of one of the authors. The pattern was first illuminated by condensation in the central portion of the window. This thermal pattern was verified with a radiometric thermal imaging camera as well as thermal contact probes. After additional investigation we found the cause of this anomalous pattern is related to the loss of some of the insulating argon gas installed in the window during manufacturing. We also discovered the problem was a not uncommon for certain types of windows. As these windows age, the problems usually become more pronounced and, in some cases, a total failure of the window by implosion results. We hope that publication of this information will rove useful to others who may have been mystified after seeing similar patterns.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 March 2002
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 4710, Thermosense XXIV, (15 March 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.459575
Show Author Affiliations
Robert W. Spring, Snell Infrared (United States)
John R. Snell Jr., Snell Infrared (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4710:
Thermosense XXIV
Xavier P. Maldague; Andres E. Rozlosnik, Editor(s)

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