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blog details: uPVC Windows - What’s all the fuss about?
In the window profile industry, there seems to be a definite trend towards uPVC. uPVC frames dominate the window market in Europe and are also very common in China, the USA, and increasingly, even in India. The question is, why? What's so special about uPVC? Why are more and more home owners jumping on the uPVC bandwagon? And, perhaps most importantly - should we join them?
As we all know, general sentiment isn't always driven by logic or even actual benefit, but is this yet another case of like begets like, or is there something more to the uPVC story? To attempt to answer this let us look at the performance of uPVC windows over three broad parameters - Ecological, Economic and Material/Design/ Safety.
uPVC windows do not emit any gases and can be considered as absolutely harmless to human health. Due to this fact and thanks to the easy-to-clean and hygienic, non-porous surfaces of uPVC window frames, they are suitable even for installation in clinical environments.
uPVC windows are energy efficient. They have a very low heat transfer coefficient (U-Value), which means they have excellent insulating properties. In scientific terms, the heat transfer coefficient indicates how much thermal energy (heat) is transferred through a building element such as the windows and doors. The unit of measurement of U-Value is W/m²K (Watt per square metre by Kelvin). Today, modern profile systems can reach Uf (U-Value of frame) Values of 0.79 W/m²K resulting in U (U-Value of window) w2 Values as low as 0.63 W/m K which practically translates to excellent insulation and significantly lower energy costs.
Weather and age resistant
In addition to energy-related improvements, uPVC windows are highly resistant to weathering with easy-to-care and dimensionally stable surfaces, even under extreme temperature conditions. In this regard, they perform much better than windows made of other materials. There are even special “tropical” uPVC recipes for regions with increased U V impact, such as India, to make the windows more resistant to sunlight and heat. In order to make sure that uPVC windows remain stable and robust, stabilizers are added during profile fabrication. In the past, uPVC profile providers used to add environmentally damaging lead stabilizers. However, safety standards have seen a radical upward shift since then, and today, manufacturers use uPVC stabilizers on a Calcium-Zinc (CaZn) basis instead of lead. These are completely harmless to the environment, an attribute that brings us to the next advantage provided by uPVC profiles.
Environmentally and ecologically sound
For all intents and purposes, uPVC window profiles can be considered completely harmless to humans and the environment. The shift away from lead stabilizers has already been touched upon. Other agents used in the past have included Formaldehyde, Chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) or Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). All these are now replaced by harmless substances such as Calcium/Zinc, which do not lead to the profiles emitting harmful gases. Due to this and the easy-to-clean and hygienic, non-porous surfaces of uPVC window frames, they are suitable for installation in highly sanitized and even clinical environments.
uPVC windows are very economical to produce. For this reason and due to the strong competition in the sector with a wide range of systems and variations being offered, end consumers can find many economical and innovative solutions available. Moreover, sophisticated window systems present excellent performance characteristics that simply save money. They are very durable, require little maintenance and are highly insulating and therefore energy-saving. On the whole, initial costs for high-quality uPVC windows tend to be lower than costs for comparable wooden or aluminium windows.
One of the major strengths of sophisticated uPVC window systems is the widespread compatibility of different components such as main profiles and additional parts like glazing beads, extension profiles, gaskets etc.. The importance of compatibility is a crucial factor at the window fabricator level. Fewer types of different profiles need to be stored and tool settings remain the same, even when processing window profiles with different profile depths. This simplifies warehousing and handling of the profiles and again saves money for end consumers.
MATERIAL, DESIGN AND SAFETY RELATED ADVANTAGES
uPVC windows offer excellent sound insulation.
uPVC windows are fire-resistant, do not have a fire-accelerant effect and are self extinguishing outside the flame.
uPVC windows are resistant to termites, will never rust, rot or corrode.
uPVC windows can be cleaned easily with normal dish-washing liquid.
uPVC windows provide protection against burglary.
uPVC windows can be produced with coextruded gaskets, their sealing will fit excellently.
uPVC window profiles can be lacquered, laminated with décor foils or covered with aluminium shells.
uPVC window profiles can be bent. Arched and even round uPVC windows are possible.
uPVC windows can be installed both in new buildings and in renovation projects.
As can be seen, the many advantages and benefits of the uPVC window over its counterparts are what seem to be driving the swing towards it. Its overall versatility, cost effectiveness and durability all combine to make it the material of choice of window profile manufacturers and consumers alike. And from the look of things, this preference for uPVC windows seems only set to increase in the foreseeable future. Coming back to where we started, unsure whether to clamber onto the bandwagon or not, perhaps the best way to summarize where we find ourselves is this: Popular sentiment might not always hit the nail on the head but on this occasion at least, it seems to have got it just right. All aboard!
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keywords: upvc window profile, upvc doors profile, upvc doors, upvc windows
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