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How Does Thermoplastic Spacer (TPS) Improve Sealing System?

by KE JIAYI 08 Jun 2023 0 Comments

In the realm of modern engineering, the quest for improved energy efficiency, sustainability, and overall performance has led to remarkable advancements in building technology. One such breakthrough is the integration of thermoplastic spacer (TPS) systems within sealing systems, revolutionizing the way we approach insulation and environmental control in elements such as windows and doors. This article delves into the fascinating world of TPS and explores how this cutting-edge solution has transformed sealing systems. By understanding the underlying principles, benefits, and applications of TPS, we can gain valuable insights into how it contributes to the overall energy efficiency and sustainability of buildings.

What is TPS? 

Sealing systems play a pivotal role in maintaining the thermal integrity of buildings, preventing energy loss, and ensuring occupant comfort. Traditionally, sealing systems have relied on conventional materials, such as aluminum or stainless-steel spacers, to separate and insulate multiple glass panes within windows or glazing units. However, the emergence of TPS technology has presented an innovative alternative that surpasses the limitations of conventional spacers.

Thermoplastic Spacer (TPS) is an advanced sealing component used in insulated glass units (IGUs) or double-glazed windows. It serves as a crucial element in separating and sealing the multiple glass panes.

TPS is characterized by its composition of thermoplastic materials, which possess unique properties that make them ideal for sealing systems. These materials are typically a blend of polymers, such as polypropylene (PP) or thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), engineered to provide excellent thermal insulation, durability, and flexibility.

The materials used in TPS exhibit exceptional thermal properties, including low thermal conductivity, which helps minimize heat transfer through the spacer. This feature significantly improves the overall energy efficiency of the window system by reducing thermal bridging and heat loss.

How The Environment Impacts on Insulating Glass

The environment in which IGUs are installed can have a significant impact on their performance and longevity in the following ways:

  1. Temperature Extremes: Extreme temperatures can strain IGUs. In hot climates, prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause the seals to deteriorate and compromise the unit’s insulating properties. Similarly, in cold climates, rapidtemperature changes can lead to thermal stress, potentially resulting in cracked or fogged glass. Proper installation and selection IGUs suitable for specific climate conditions are crucial to ensure optimal performance.
  2. Humidity and Moisture: High humidity levels can increase the risk of condensation forming on the surface of IGUs. If condensation occurs between the glass panes, it indicates a seal failure and compromises the insulating capability. Moisture can also lead to mold growth, which not only affects the aesthetics but also poses health risks. Proper ventilation and maintaining appropriate humidity levels indoors can help mitigate these issues.
  • UV Exposure: Prolonged exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause the seals and materials used in IGUs to degrade over time. This can lead to reduced energy efficiency and potential discoloration or deterioration of the glass. Choosing IGUs with low-E (low-emissivity) coatings and UV-blocking properties can help minimize the impact of UV exposure.
  1. Severe Weather Conditions: Harsh weather events, such as strong winds, hailstorms, or heavy rain, can potentially damage IGUs. Impact-resistant glass and proper installation techniques can help mitigate the risk of damage. Regular inspection and maintenance of IGUs after severe weather events are essential to identify and address any potential issues promptly.

It is important to note that proper installation, routine maintenance, and choosing IGUs suited to specific environmental conditions are essential for maximizing the lifespan and performance of insulating glass. Consulting with professionals in the field can provide valuable guidance on selecting the appropriate IGUs and implementing necessary measures to ensure their longevity and optimal functionality in the given environment.

What Factors Affect the Life of the Insulating Glass?

Over time, the seals in IGUs may degrade or fail, leading to the formation of condensation between the glass panes. This can affect the insulating properties and visibility of the units. Generally, IGUs have an average lifespan of 15 to 25 years, although this can vary depending on several factors. The factors that affect the lifespan and performance of insulating glass units (IGUs) include:

  1. Quality of materials: High-quality glass, sealants, and spacers can contribute to a longer lifespan. Inferior materials may deteriorate more quickly and compromise the integrity of the unit.
  2. Manufacturing process: Proper sealing, adequate desiccant placement, and precise alignment of glass panes are essential to ensure long-term performance.
  • Installation quality: Improper installation can lead to stress on the glass, inadequate sealing, or moisture infiltration, which can reduce the lifespan of the unit. It is important to follow manufacturer guidelines and employ experienced professionals for installation.
  1. Environmental conditions: Extreme temperatures, humidity, UV exposure, and exposure to chemicals or pollutants can all contribute to the degradation of the materials over time. Harsh weather conditions or high levels of air pollution can accelerate the aging process.
  2. Maintenance and care: Regular maintenance and proper care can help extend the life of the IGU. Cleaning the glass surfaces, inspecting, and repairing any damaged seals, and ensuring proper drainage of moisture are all important maintenance practices. Neglecting maintenance can lead to faster deterioration and reduced lifespan.
  3. Mechanical stress: Accidental impacts, structural movement, or improper handling during transportation or installation can result in cracks or fractures in the glass or compromise the seal.
  • Thermal stress: Rapid temperature fluctuations or thermal stress can impact the IGU. Thermal expansion and contraction of different components may lead to seal failure or glass breakage over time. The choice of appropriate glass thickness and the use of thermal breaks can help mitigate thermal stress.
  • Design considerations: The design of the IGU, including the choice of spacer type, gas fill, and glass coatings, can influence its performance and lifespan. Proper design considerations, such as selecting low-emissivity coatings, inert gas fills, and durable spacer materials, can enhance the durability and longevity of the unit.

It's important to note that the lifespan of an IGU can vary depending on these factors and other site-specific conditions. Regular inspections and addressing any issues promptly can help maximize the lifespan and performance of insulating glass units.

Thermoplastic Spacer Test

Thermoplastic spacers have revolutionized sealing systems, but how do they fare in rigorous tests? The Thermoplastic Spacer Test is a critical evaluation that sheds light on the performance and reliability of these advanced sealing components. Conducted under controlled conditions, the test measures parameters such as thermal conductivity, condensation resistance, and durability. Results consistently demonstrate the superiority of thermoplastic spacers over traditional materials. Their low thermal conductivity reduces heat transfer, enhancing energy efficiency. Superior condensation resistance ensures longevity and visual clarity. Durability tests confirm their ability to withstand environmental stresses. With each Thermoplastic Spacer Test, these innovative components prove their worth, reinforcing their position as a game-changer in sealing system technology.


In conclusion, the utilization of thermoplastic spacers (TPS) in sealing systems offers significant improvements and benefits. TPS effectively enhances the sealing performance by providing an insulating barrier between glazing units, preventing heat transfer and condensation. Its unique composition and design contribute to increased energy efficiency, reducing heat loss and improving thermal insulation. TPS also exhibits excellent durability, withstanding extreme weather conditions and maintaining its sealing properties over time. Furthermore, its compatibility with various window types and easy installation make it a versatile choice for both residential and commercial applications. The implementation of TPS in sealing systems undoubtedly brings about enhanced energy savings, improved comfort, and long-lasting performance.

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