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Fig. 36: Example of vacuum-insulated glass from Asia.
© ZAE Bayern
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Vacuum glass on the market

Nippon Sheet Glass Co. (Japan) and Qingdao Hengda Industry Co. (China) already offer VIG for the Asian market in the form of double-glazing systems with heat transfer coefficients of around 1.1 W/(m²K). The relatively high heat transfer coefficients are caused by the rigid edge seal made of glass solder. If the insulating effect were better, the thermal stresses would cause the edge seal to fail.

Thanks to their double-glazed assembly, the Asian systems are very lightweight and slim, being just 10 mm thick. The support pillars are hardly visible. However, the production system chosen by the manufacturers requires the use of evacuation pieces within the field of view. With EUR 50 to 80/m² (ex factory), the costs are somewhat greater than for conventional insulating glass units with comparable Ug values. The Ug values achieved with the Asian VIG systems can also be attained by commercial insulating glass units in Europe with a considerably thicker but standard pane assembly. The narrower system thickness provides a positive selling point in the Asian market. There the vacuum-insulated glass can replace the widely used single pane glazing in the existing frames. German manufacturer Velux has also been offering for some time a 24- mm-thick energy saving vacuum pane with a Ug value of 0.7 W/(m²K), in which a VIG panel has been integrated within a double-glazing assembly.

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