- Characteristics of the aluminum window profile
- Two types of aluminum window profile structure
- Don’t cry window!
- Correct installation of an aluminum window
- How to choose an aluminum window profile, window structure and contractor
In this article: the pros and cons of an aluminum profile; “Cold” and “warm” window profile; why windows “cry” and how to deal with it; how the correct installation of an aluminum window is carried out; how to choose a design, profile brand and contractor.
Aluminum structures surround us everywhere – lightweight and durable, they are used today in all areas of human activity. And if a strong half of humanity gets acquainted with aluminum dishes and spoons during military service, then aluminum glazing in private housing somehow did not gain popularity – aluminum stained-glass windows, as rumor attributed to them, are applicable only for industrial facilities. Is it so? Or, on the contrary, aluminum windows have a number of positive characteristics that distinguish them favorably from other types of window coverings – we will deal with this issue right here and now …
Characteristics of the aluminum window profile
Aluminum profile windows are guaranteed to serve their owners for tens of years – the average service life will be more than 60 years and this is an indisputable fact. This is the only type of window profile that is capable of not changing its quality characteristics for decades – the aluminum profile is not subject to atmospheric corrosion, easily tolerates temperature extremes. Of course, during operation, you will have to change fittings and, possibly, double-glazed windows, but a high-quality aluminum frame, produced and installed by professionals, will not change at all.
Complete fire safety, unlike wooden and plastic frames. For this reason, aluminum structures are used to divide the internal area of buildings with fire barriers, and in the private residential sector, aluminum glazing of balconies, attics and loggias is popular..
The environmental characteristics of the aluminum profile also exceed the characteristics of its main competitors in the window covering – no harmful substances are released from this material either under the influence of temperatures or under the ultraviolet rays of the Sun. By the way, the sun’s rays will not cause fading of aluminum windows – they are covered with a reliable layer of paint applied by anodizing or powder-polymer method..
The strength of aluminum structures used to cover window openings is much higher than the same characteristics of wood and metal-plastic, which, however, is not surprising – after all, it is a metal alloy. It was the strength of the aluminum profile, as well as the lightness, the ability to easily change shape, which allowed installation in any, even the most difficult opening, that made it a name in industrial and public construction. Aluminum stained-glass windows are able to block window openings of almost any area, include in their design both “blind” areas and window sections with any opening method, such as tilt-rotary or tilt.
The strength properties of the aluminum profile give the window and stained-glass structures the effect of lightness and transparency – unusually narrow, in comparison with other construction materials for windows, aluminum frames significantly increase the light transmission of window coverings. For example, the popularity of aluminum profiles in greenhouses is connected with the small width of aluminum window frames..
One of the undoubted advantages of aluminum windows is the possibility of upgrading – installing an additional set of accessories, for example, a protective grill.
Aluminum windows and stained-glass windows during operation do not require any special maintenance procedures, it is enough just to periodically wash them. But – they cannot be scratched, tk. it will be almost impossible to restore the paint layer.
Negative characteristics of the aluminum profile: high thermal conductivity, tendency to electrolytic corrosion and a fairly high cost. The low heat retention of the aluminum alloy required the production of two types of profiles – cold and warm; a heat-insulating insert was introduced into the design of the latter.
Direct contact of an aluminum profile with silver, copper and other metals with the participation of moisture causes electrochemical corrosion, which will result in its partial or complete destruction (depending on the contact area). Such destruction can be avoided only by the complete exclusion of the contact of conductive metals with the surface of an aluminum alloy, not protected by a layer of paint.
The rather high cost of an aluminum profile is determined not only by the fact that aluminum is a non-ferrous metal, to a greater extent it is influenced by the long technological production time of the profile itself, which takes several weeks.
Two types of aluminum window profile structure
Conventionally called “cold” and “warm”, they differ in the number of internal chambers and the insert of a heat insulator – a synthetic polymer, in contrast to aluminum, which prevents heat transfer between the internal and external chambers inside the profile. The role of the chambers inside the aluminum profile is to lighten the structure while maintaining its rigidity and some resistance to direct heat loss due to the air contained within them.
From aluminum structures of “cold” profile, internal partitions are created in heated and unheated rooms, window covers are installed for unheated rooms. In such a profile, no more than two chambers, respectively, it does not possess sufficient heat-retaining properties – chambers containing air inside the “cold” profile can only prevent the free transmission of sound waves.
The “warm” aluminum profile is more complicated – it contains from 3 to 5 internal chambers, of which one intermediate is filled with heat-insulating polymer. The polymer layer in the “warm” profiles of different brands has a different thickness in the range from 18 to 100 mm, in temperate climates the optimal thickness will be from 20 mm, in the northern regions, which are characterized by significant low temperatures in the cold season, the thickness of the thermal insulation insert should be higher. The classic design of a three-chamber “warm” profile: a narrow chamber on the side facing the street; followed by a camera with a polymer insert; then a wide rectangular chamber, on the side facing the living area.
Polymers, a more accurate name will be polyamides used as thermal inserts, these are nylon, nylon, dederon, a mixture of propylene, ethylene and diene, and other polyamides. In the matrix, where the polyamide will be poured, a reinforcing filler is placed – ropes, fibers, threads, tapes, nets and canvases made of ceramics, glass, various carbon materials. The filler gives the polymer insert strength, the resulting heat-insulating insert acquires greater chemical and temperature resistance, enhanced mechanical properties, the characteristics of which largely depend on the orientation of the reinforcing fibers. The thermal conductivity of the polyamide insert is 150 times lower than the thermal conductivity of the aluminum profile, its strength is from 98 to 215 MPa (the higher the strength of the heat-insulating insert in a particular brand of aluminum profile, the better).
It should be noted that it is impossible to make a “warm” aluminum profile in artisanal conditions – if you have the opinion that a polymer heat insulator is somehow pumped into the profile with already formed chambers, then this is not at all the case. The polymer is injected into the chamber under pressure, and the filled chamber is connected to the external and internal (internal) crimp under the press.
Don’t cry window!
With the onset of cold weather, the windows are no longer open – why overcool the premises. And moisture begins to ooze along the glass, along the frames, generously moistening the window sill space … There is an opinion among the contractors and customers of window coverings that only wooden frames can completely exclude the “cry of the window” – they “breathe”. What is meant by this “breathing” and how to avoid lacrimation of aluminum and pvc double-glazed windows?
The initial data will be street cold, aluminum window and the number of households in the dwelling. Each person exhales not only the air mixture rich in carbon dioxide, but also water vapor – about 60 g per hour. This does not exhaust the total amount of water vapor – any water procedures, washing and drying, cooking, watering flowers, wet cleaning, etc. – all these common household operations increase the humidity in the premises. On average, the atmosphere of apartments and houses insulated with airtight double-glazed windows and tightly closed doors receives about 12 liters of water daily, which settles on all internal surfaces of the premises – walls, ceiling, floor and airtight windows.
In any residential building built during the Soviet era, ventilation of premises according to architectural projects should have been carried out … Do you think – through the “breathing” wooden windows? Not at all – through the primitive ventilation of the bathroom and kitchen, but through the cracks in the wooden frames! That’s right – through the cracks! Modern window systems made of aluminum or pvc profiles must be equipped with a special climatic valve designed for ventilation of residential premises. The petal valve inside this ventilation device allows air to pass freely when there is no wind and blocks its access when the wind increases, the air entering through the valve enters the room after circulating around the perimeter of the window frame, guided by rubber seals – it heats up to almost room temperature with this movement.
Among the advantages of climatic valves is the preservation of the sound insulation of the window structure, which is lost during ventilation by opening the window sash or vent.
The second reason for “window weeping” on the side of the glass unit facing the interior of the room is associated with insufficient heat transfer resistance of the window frame profile, caused by the low thickness of the heat-insulating polymer or its complete absence. For each type of window profile, the heat transfer resistance is calculated, within which the heat transfer is minimal, and it is this value that will be the most important when building a window structure. The calculation of the resistance to heat transfer is rather complicated and requires a number of data that are not freely available. However, there are its average indicators, which can be found in the tables of SNiP II-3-79 (slightly exaggerate the coefficient of heat transfer resistance given for your area – let there be some margin), and data on average annual temperatures in a given area – in SNiP 2.01.01- 82 .
If there is a solid-sized window sill between the window frame and the battery, ventilation slots must be made in it through which warm air from the battery will flow to the window frame and heat it.
It should be noted that high humidity (over 60%) with insufficient ventilation inside the premises will cause “window cry” even with high heat transfer resistance values for the window structure.
Fogging of a window glass unit between two glasses means its depressurization. What does this mean? First of all, there is and cannot be a vacuum between the glass units – this is a myth! When forming a glass unit, before its final sealing with resin, highly rarefied dry air or an inert gas, usually argon, is pumped inside. To minimize the humidity, a little hexafluoride sulfur is placed inside the glass unit, acting as an absorbent, and only after these operations is the seam completely sealed – there should be no communication of the internal atmosphere between the glasses with the external environment. Violation of sealing, not introducing an absorbent, ignoring by the manufacturer of the work the need to pump inert gas inside the glass unit – the problem of windows sweating from the inside is associated with one or more of these reasons, a complete replacement of the glass unit with a new one is required. It is necessary to order a new double-glazed unit of the same dimensions as the damaged one (let the performers remove the dimensions) by contacting any manufacturer of window coverings, the replacement procedure itself will take place quickly – 10 minutes is enough for it.
Correct installation of an aluminum window
The old, usually wooden, glass unit is removed from the window opening – the sashes with glass are removed, cuts are made on the frame, the mount is started and, with pressure, its fragments are removed. The aluminum window frames arrive at the installation site partially disassembled – the double-glazed windows are separate from the frames, however, the frames are already equipped with fittings.
The window frame is exposed in the overlapping opening; a quarter groove must be prepared for it on the sides of the window opening. The vertical and horizontal position of the frame is carefully adjusted with fixation with wooden or plastic wedges. There should be no attempts to bend the aluminum profile!
Permanent fastening, after the final alignment of the frame position, is carried out with dowel-nails through the anchor plates. Make sure that the width of the seam between the frame and the walls of the window opening is respected – according to GOST 30971-2002, it should be in the range of 15-55 mm, if the seam is larger, it will need to be reduced by brickwork (with a width of 90 mm), additional metal profile or expanded polystyrene.
The frame is fixed with dowels, the next step is foaming with polyurethane foam or, according to GOST P52749-2007, the formation of an assembly seam. Attention: it is required to apply at least two layers of polyurethane foam, two hours must pass between each foaming, and after the first treatment of the joints with foam, the temporary spacer wedges should be removed from the wood (plastic) and the cavities remaining in their place should be foamed! The procedure for applying polyurethane foam is as follows: with a layer of up to 40 mm, along the vertical seams, foam sealing is carried out from the bottom up.
After 4 hours from the beginning of the work with the mounting foam, the excess protruding beyond the boundaries of the aluminum frame along its outer and inner perimeters is cut off with a mounting knife. Along the outer perimeter of the foamed seam (outside the window), one side to the frame, the other to the slope, a water vapor permeable tape (PSUL) is glued, the smallest membranes on its surface allow air to enter, but block water seepage. After fixing the tape, the ebb is installed. From the inside, a self-adhesive butyl tape (optionally metallized foil) is attached to the foamed frame seam – this is necessary to increase the water vapor impermeability of the seam.
The work on the installation of an aluminum window is being completed by the sequential installation of a double-glazed window, platbands around the perimeter and a window sill, the final finishing of the window accessories.
How to choose an aluminum window profile, window structure and contractor
The contractor or seller must confirm the suitability of the aluminum profile to your needs, and documentary. Unfortunately, after assembling the frame itself, it will not be possible to establish the compliance of the profile with the conditions of the order – remember, but rather take a photo of the marking on the protective tape of the profile you initially selected, there will be something to compare the stickers on the finished frame with. Choose a well-known brand of aluminum window profile, make sure that the window frame will be built from it. Please note that not all elements of the finished window frame may be of the same manufacturer (there may not be such a profile at the time of assembly) and have a built-in heat insulator – coordinate this issue in detail with the contractor before starting assembly work.
The cost of “cold” and “warm” profiles is strikingly different – the price of the first one starts from 1,000 rubles. per m2, the second will be at least 5 times more expensive (it is more complex and production is more expensive).
Pay attention to the fittings – the work of the windows will depend on its quality. If nothing happens to the aluminum profile itself during operation, then the fittings will wear out with each opening of the sashes..
To get your bearings in choosing a method of opening window sashes, I propose to find out what options for opening them exist in general:
- blind flap. It does not open in any way, so its creation is cheaper – there is no need for an additional profile for swing doors, the glass unit is installed in the main frame profile;
- swing sash. It opens in the classical way “towards yourself” or “away from yourself” vertically;
- flap. Its plane moves horizontally, the lock handle is at the top, and the hinges are at the bottom;
- swing-out sash. Such a design can be opened both vertically and horizontally, it is equipped with appropriate fittings;
- suspended sash. It looks like a folding one, only in a mirror image – a lock at the bottom, hinges at the top;
- lifting sash. Rises vertically thanks to carousel fittings;
- sliding sash. Pulls back horizontally, moving along the guide rail fittings.
Looking closely and choosing a contractor, do not spare your time – after all, the windows will be installed for tens of years, so carefulness in choosing a manufacturing company is very appropriate. Requirements for the performer: professionalism, fluency in the question (i.e. answers to any of your questions), successful activity in this service sector, availability of reviews and a willingness to demonstrate several completed objects (go there and see the quality of execution!) meeting when drawing up a contract. The contract itself must contain all the points agreed with you, from the timing of the order to the brands of profiles and fittings, their manufacturers (no agreements in words!), Guarantees are mandatory, and separately for fittings and profiles.
Ignore the suggestions of the performers who claim “the deadline for a couple of days” (this is impossible), offering a “warm” profile for half the price (this is nonsense, the actual profile will be “cold”), claiming that they are overwhelmed with orders, but are ready to make frames for some short terms, and even in the summer season (the peak of orders). Do not pay attention to the phrase “typical window” as it does not explain anything – set your parameters and approximate requirements, let the approximate cost be announced.
When delivering frames and insulating glass units, check that the marking on the protective tapes matches the profile brand you have chosen. By the way, make sure that all the protective tapes are in place – none of them should be peeled off before the end of the installation work, because the paint layer on the profile may be scratched. Remember: before starting installation work, the head of the installation team must necessarily measure the window openings and frames as a control measurement – all dimensions must match those previously removed by the measuring agent, make sure that this is really so.
The cheapest way is to replace windows with modern ones in the cold season – the contractor will have to make concessions, since he simply does not have an abundance of customers and orders during this period.