Applications and Most Common Uses of Polyurethane Foam SpacersSeptember 21, 2016
Malleability and semi-rigidity dictate the mechanical properties of polyurethane foam spacers, and it’s this innate capacity for establishing space between two objects that classifies the foam as an invaluable tool in the construction industry. In summarizing the applications of this spacing system, our first stop is the glazing industry.
Binding Windows to Frames with Polyurethane Foam Spacers
It wasn’t so long ago that construction workers were using mechanical fasteners and gaskets to seal windows into their frames, but glazing technology isn’t in its infancy anymore. Special silicone sealants now bind and support huge panels of glass to tall office complexes and taller apartment blocks. Meanwhile, it’s the job of the open-cell spacers to provide a temporary holding force, one that works with the silicone sealants. The material is supplied as a pliable foam, one that uses a pressure-sensitive tape to adhere two dissimilar surfaces. Windows bind to frames in this manner, with the curing sealant then taking over as it hardens.
Spacers Deliver Improved Face Clearing Features
Unwieldy panels of glass use spacers to keep windows and window frames properly aligned, but there are other building assets that use this smart separation attribute. Among them, joint clearance control rates highly. The space-preserving material is therefore commonly used to position building facades, insulated wall panels, and even stop wall-ensconced pipes from grating against wall joists. Still, the product truly excels when used as a two and four-sided glazing separator, above all else.
Evaluating the Properties of Glazing Materials
The exposed nature of a large window doesn’t allow for any mistakes, so the silicone sealants and space-stabilising products must be accurately situated if a professionally finished look is to be achieved. The spacing material, therefore, must compress evenly, and it must resist the effects of its installation site. A proficient material will exhibit UV resistant characteristics, and it will not lose traction when condensation forms. Additionally, the foam used should by easy to work with, so die cutting services may be required when the window does not match the basic rectangular shape used in most architectural projects.
Top-notch polyurethane foam spacers are not used as structural supports, but they do make for very competent dimensional aids. Manufactured as an open cell product, the foam compresses evenly, it adheres when activated by pressure, and it remains permeable. This special formulation allows air to penetrate the foam, at which point the underlying layer of silicone sealant cures. Glazing is where this design excels, but other building-centric applications also use the dimensional attributes of this dimensionally-tuned foam.
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