ON-SITE COMMISSIONING OF IG GAS ANALYSIS – INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
This article was written based on one of the commissioning cases that Mr. Tahvo Sutela from Lasifakta Oy received. He was asked to go on-site and control the level of implementation for, among other things, the insulating glass gas fill content. The chosen location was an international airport in Europe. The other location he controlled was a well-know building in Europe.
The quality control of IG gas fill levels was conducted by using Sparklike Laser Portable™ device that enables non-destructive insulating gas analysis for triple and double glazed IGU’s, even through coatings and laminated glasses. Sparklike Laser Portable™ has the whole system integrated into a robust case, allowing easy mobility in factories and on building sites. By using Sparklike’s patented and proprietary technology, device operators are able to deliver tested IG units to the end-user, test already installed units or perform long term testing to their production.
Sparklike Laser Portable™
In short, the on-site insulating gas concentration analysis acts as a prime example, where the contractor had the possibility to verify that the level of implementation had happened according to the original plan. In terms of this particular commissioning case, it meant that the measured triple and double glazed units fulfilled the prevailing energy efficiency requirements. Finally, Mr. Sutela believes that especially the on-site IG gas fill measurements can eventually lead to the enhancement of IG manufacturers’ production quality.
PRESENTING LASIFAKTA OY
Lasifakta was founded in 2012 by Mr. Tahvo Sutela. The company acts as an independent and self-sufficient consulting company for construction industry. Lasifakta offers highly competitive and practical solutions such as consulting, training, calculations and problem solving as well as developmental support to their vastly growing domestic and international clientele.
Tahvo Sutela – Lasifakta Oy
With experience and knowledge that has been gathered from decade’s worth of glass industry praxis, Lasifakta has been working with a countless number of architects, planners and contractors. Among others, Lasifakta has lended their expertise to The Turku Arts Academy and Conservatory of Music (Sigyn Chamber Music Hall), Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki Airport and Turku Art Museum.
"I have been pleased to find out that growing number of our collaborators are keen on contacting us in the very beginner stages of the construction planning process, " Mr. Sutela says.
PRESENTING SPARKLIKE’S CORE BUSINESS
Sparklike Oy from Finland is the developer and manufacturer of the world’s first and only non-destructive insulating glass gas fill analysers. Non-destructivity along with different device options mean that the device operators are able to deliver tested IG units to the end-user, test already installed units or perform long term automated testing to their production. Also, depending on the device, the insulating glass gas fill analysis can be done for triple or double glazed IGU’s, even through coatings and laminated glasses.
Sparklike has become the industry leader in insulating gas measurement, and since 2000, Sparklike has sold over 1800 devices worldwide. Their devices are used daily by world leading IG manufacturers, window and door manufacturers, testing laboratories, building quality inspectors and construction consultants. All Sparklike devices™ are based on their patented and proprietary technology.
Sparklike Laser™ product line
Sparklike Laser™ product line (formerly known as Gasglass Laser™) measures insulating gas concentration on triple and double glazed units. Measurement can be done also through coatings and laminated glasses. Sparklike Laser™ devices are based on laser technology (TDLAS), measuring oxygen, and from there, the results are converted to argon, krypton and other insulating gases.
Sparklike Laser™ product line consists of three different devices:
- Sparklike Online™ – turnkey system that allows IG-line integrated and non-destructive measurement.
- Sparklike Laser Portable™ – the whole system is integrated into a robust case with wheels and a battery for mobility in factories and building sites.
- Sparklike Laser Standard™ – an offline solution frequently used by test laboratories and as a desktop alternative for Sparklike’s portable or online devices.
The Sparklike Handheld™ device (formerly known as Gasglass Handheld™) is portable and battery operated, thus being practical and quick to use. The measurement time is only 2 seconds.
The technology behind Sparklike Handheld™ devices is based on Plasma Emission Spectroscopy. Where a high voltage spark is launched in the IG unit's cavity causing a light emission, which is observed and analysed further.
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COMMISSIONING CASE: INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN EUROPE
Much like in the other on-site quality control example, also for this one, Lasifakta and Tahvo Sutela received an on-site commissioning to go and check insulating glass gas concentration, and therefore building’s energy efficiency. In addition, also with this case, it was important to check that the level of implementation had happened according to the original plan.
Analysing units' IG gas fill levels with Sparklike Laser Portable™.
Tested IGU's had thick laminations and Low-E coatings
In this case, the contractor was an international construction company that operates in over 10 countries. This well-established company develops and builds apartments, business premises and entire areas. In addition, this contractor is also specialised in demanding infrastructure constructions and paving.
Furthermore, the measurement was done to randomly selected units, including both, double and triple glazed IGU’s. When analysing customised double glazed IGU’s, the gas fill levels did not always fulfil the industry requirements, since the average gas fill concentration varied between 1% and 82%. To that end, the contractor asked the glass and steel structure suppliers to observe the measurement and control of the units’ insulating gas concentration. The measurement results showed clear repeatability when considering the gas concentration levels for the customised units.
The on-site insulating gas concentration analysis act as a prime example, where the contractor has the possibility to verify that the level of implementation had happened according to the original plan. For this example it meant that the measured units should have fulfilled the prevailing energy efficiency requirements.
In this particular commissioning case, the triple glazed IGU’s were laminated with coatings on the 3rd and 5th glass surfaces. Therefore, the unit configurations differed slightly compared to the other case. However, also in this example all the units were measurable with high repeatability.
"This commissioning case is a clear indication of the need as well as the growing interest towards on-site IG gas fill percentage measurement. The contractor was happy to notice that it is now possible to analyse IGU’s gas concentration reliably, repeatable and most importantly – also on-site, " Mr. Sutela says. "All in all, I hope that with the help of these on-site measurements, we will soon be able to witness a significant improvement in production quality control, " Mr. Sutela concludes.
To sum up, Lasifakta firmly believes that customer expectations fulfilling, cost-effective and sensible glass planning as well as consulting can be achieved by identifying and considering the limitations and opportunities of different glass products and production technologies. This, on the other hand, allows significant cost saving, cost management and the possibility to confront any time management challenges head on.
Sparklike participated in Engineered Transparency, an international symposium held during last Glasstec trade fair, presenting the paper: Independent Testing of Sparklike Laser™ – Non-destructive Insulating Glass Gas Fill Analyser.
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