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IGMA: Research initiatives bearing fruit

We look for opportunities to proactively support quality manufacturing though our research and development activities.

January 29, 2019  By Margaret Webb

One of IGMA’s main strategic activities is supporting leading-edge research supporting the insulating glass industry. Past R&D activities include the 25-year field correlation study, a validation of the spark-emission spectrography device which is now the basis of measuring gas content for certification programs, and the gas permeability project.

In the past two years, IGMA funded the ASTM thermal stress modeling project. Developing the models has been completed and a new standard to model and predict thermal stress in insulating glass units is under development. In addition to the ASTM standard, a software program is being developed to conduct the modeling. Use of this software will be complimentary to the IGMA membership.

IGMA’s R&D fund is funded entirely by the IGMA membership through a modest annual fee as part of the membership fee. It is accounted for separately and as of January 2019 the fund is approximately $100,000 U.S.

The main research project under development in 2018 was the ASTM field correlation study pilot program which will allow the organization to determine if test methods will in fact deliver data that will accurately represent field conditions and provide correlation to the ASTM E 2190 standard including gas content. The request for proposal was issued in September 2018 and we received four bids. The rapid response team is reviewing the bids to ensure that all parameters were addressed in each bid and provide for an “apples to apples” comparison. The full task group and the Emerging Technology and Innovation Committee will be reviewing the bids to determine the successful bidder and forward a recommendation to the IGMA board of directors.  It is anticipated that the study could start by the end of the first quarter of 2019.


Other R&D activities undertaken in 2018 were support for the development of a Rapid Assessment Chamber (RAC) and a new test fixture for measuring the edge pressure of insulating glass units. Both of those activities will continue through 2019 and we hope to have a prototype of the edge-pressure device at the 2019 Winter Conference.The RAC, a joint IGMA-IGCC project, has evolved from activities undertaken by the Advanced Fenestration Testing Group where three new test methodologies were researched to determine the best approach to providing a more rapid test than the CAN/CGSB or ASTM test methods. A prototype has been manufactured and is housed at the AMS offices in New York state. This is a long-term project but promises to provide accurate, quick results and it could provide interim testing so that the formal certification test period could be extended.

The joint IGMA-AAMA edge pressure task group has researched a number of methods to determine how to measure the edge pressure of an insulating glass unit in the frame. Anecdotal reports had suggested that too much edge pressure is being applied to the IG units causing premature failure. An initial design was reviewed and sent out for bid. However, the task group is now looking at a device developed by one of our member companies many years ago to determine if this perhaps will provide the solution to how to measure the edge pressure. A demonstration of this device is planned for either the 2019 Winter or Summer Conference depending on access to an existing device.

A new task group has been established to validate the Sparklike laser device. It is anticipated that a similar validation methodology as was conducted for the Sparklike Gasglass device will be followed. The task group has met once but many online meetings will be scheduled in 2019.

As part of IGMA’s commitment to our members and the industry at large, we look for opportunities to proactively support quality manufacturing though our research and development activities. It is a strong component of IGMA’s return on investment for our members.

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