Codes and standards
IGMA Summer Conference – Report from the Certification Committee
By Patrick Flannery
The Certification Committee of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance met Aug. 1 at the IGMA Summer Conference in Vancouver. Committee members and attendees heard about some major changes – both recent and upcoming – to how we evaluate and certify insulating glass units.
Roland Rossman of Garibaldi chairs the the Committee. John Kent of AMS gave an update from the Safety Glazing Certification Coouncil. He reported that ANSI and CGSB standards are now harmonized, bringing over 2,800 tempered and laminated products into registration. Efforts are ongoing to drive consistency among testing labs and to establish production audits. A ball-drop test will be added for laminated glass. The Z97 test for “jumbo” glass still only calls for 34-by-72-inch samples – doubtful if this is large enough for the huge panels specified today. Labeling details are to remain the same.
Kent reported that the IGCC is working on several changes, with 810 insulating glass products now certified and numbers rising slowly. Consistency in test methods is being pursued by developing a standard training exam for all lab staff. Efforts to establish certification for individual internal components, enabling fabricators to construct a certified unit rather than test each configuration, are making progress. One potential solution to grouping configurations is to allow fabricators to test their most popular configuration and their lowest-performing configuration to capture the bulk of what they produce. Voluntary sealant “fingerprinting” is already accepted by IGCC, but certifying dessicant and spacers is proving more challenging. The IGCC has also introduced an “inactive product” category that allows fabricators to let the certification for rarely produced products to lapse without being removed from the record and to be reactivated in the event the manufacturer gets an order for that product.
Margaret Webb, IGMA executive director, reported on efforts to have IGMAC certification accredited by ANSI. The application was well-received and Webb anticipates the accreditation will go forward with few changes to the existing program. Use of AMS software has been a “dream” compared to the old method of creating component spreadsheets. IGMAC is looking at grouping spacer certifications into three categories: one material, one function; one function, two materials; and multiple materials, multiple functions (i.e. sealer with dessicant included).
John Kent reported on the surprisingly thorny issue of how to certify dessicant. With dessicant now entering the market from all over the world, the option of trusting one of a few established suppliers seems to be out the window. Yet no reliable North American test exists and dessicant suppliers seem unwilling to cooperate to help make one. The task group is looking at a European test that may work.