Spacer Bars, Document L, Energy Efficiency and Triple Glazing
Thermoseal Group gives an insight into the spacer bar market and predicted future trends.
Mark Hickox, Group Sales Director shares his insight: “Going back ten years, the vast majority of the UK spacer market was for Aluminium spacer. Despite the high level of promotion of warm edge spacers as a market differential, there was only a small market for warm edge spacers until revisions to Document L dictated improved U-values and influenced the introduction of the Window Energy Rating (WER) Scheme.
“In 2008, we started developing two warm edge spacers– Thermobar warm edge spacer tube and Thermoflex flexible warm edge solution. Since then, our trend in sales has seen a continual decline in Aluminium and increase in the demand for our market-leading warm edge spacer bars.
“We supply to the majority of UK IG sealed unit manufacturers and current warm edge sales account for approximately 77% of our spacer bar sales. We foresee sales of Aluminium continuing to decrease as demand for warm edge grows.
“There is likely to be further increase in UK demand for warm edge spacers and other more energy efficient IG components which could be escalated by revisions to document L - the current consultation document suggests solutions which may require triple glazing in new properties. Should this go ahead, the requirement for triple will mean a significantly higher volume of spacer bar and fittings within each IG unit.
“When you consider the worldwide spacer bar market is in excess of a billion metres per year, there is enough demand that manufacturers will really need to raise their game to meet the volumes required. You may have seen our announcement that we have purchased a new production site in Wigan. This site is currently going through rapid extensive reconstruction to provide further expansion for our warm edge spacer production and development of our Technical Centre and EN1279 test facilities. This is just one of the steps we are taking to move towards our goal to become a world leader in the warm edge spacer market."
“Staying ahead of the market is vital in the current climate, so our prided Technical Centre and EN1279 Test Centre are continually working to develop and improve our warm edge product offering with a view to designing and developing products to help achieve better and better thermal efficiency in windows. Our Account Managers work very closely with our customers in the development of new products, also in helping to keep them informed about new market influences. Triple glazing for example, will have major impact on IG sealed unit manufacturers and therefore the implications in terms of logistics, equipment, time and potential costs should already be up for discussion.”