- What are they – PVC window profiles
- Window profiles and their series
- How to choose a PVC window profile
In this article: Types and Purpose of Plastic Profiles what is a series of profiles; characteristics of balcony, lightweight, standard, Dutch, 70 series and elite series; how to choose the right PVC profile; what is the difference between German and Russian-German profile brands; why window and door blocks from the profile of some German-Russian brands are of a higher quality.
There are especially many companies engaged in the production and installation of plastic windows and therefore the competition in this area of production and services is very high. Various methods are used to attract a potential buyer – a system of discounts, colorful epithets like “elite windows” or “the best profile of the 70th series”, various “free” options like a mosquito net or delivery with installation. Beautiful words and free options are certainly good, however, plastic windows should be chosen not on their basis, but on the quality characteristics of the profile and the real professionalism of the performers.
What are they – PVC window profiles
The plastic profile looks massive, but inside it there is a cavity, divided by partitions into several chambers containing air. Usually there are three such chambers: the main one – the largest of all, is designed to enter a reinforcing profile made of galvanized metal, the drainage chamber – serves to drain condensate, the last chamber is intended for the installation of window fittings. Detailed information about the history and technology of the production of plastic profiles can be found here.
Window profiles are classified into:
- frame profile(has an L-shaped). Designed to ensure the rigidity of the block and for its installation in the opening, as well as for hanging the sashes. There are two similar types of frame profiles – window and door, the difference in size (door – wider). By and large, the width of the frame profile depends on the number of air chambers inside it – the more such chambers there are, the wider it is;
- sash profile(window Z-shaped, door Z-shaped and T-shaped). It is used for building window and door sashes. Window and door sash profiles differ, the latter are larger in size;
- impost profile(T-shaped). Serves to align two adjacent window sashes so that each sash opens and closes independently. Also, the impost allows you to connect two glass units together;
- shtulp profile(L-shaped). It is used to combine two leaves, to be attached to one leaf. Its difference from the impost is that one sash depends on the other and it will not be possible to open it in the tilt-and-turn position – just open it. The dependent sash is usually not equipped with its own handle, however, the handle can be installed, only it can be opened only after opening the main sash. The advantage of the shtulp connection is the ability to completely free the window opening, which is impossible with the impost connection of the sashes;
- additional profile(has a rectangular shape). They are necessary for installing windows in non-standard openings, for example, when the frame profile is closed by the protrusions of the window opening or if there is interference in the operation of the hinge connections of the sash with the frame. The additional profile does not carry any bearing functions;
- connecting profile. It is used when joining two window or door and window blocks into one, as well as for corner joints of window blocks with each other and with a bearing metal profile. The shape of the profile is selected depending on the angle of the connection;
- stand profile(rectangular shape). It is necessary for fixing the ebb and sill to the bottom of the window frame;
- glazing bead profile(rectangular shape). With its help, a glass unit is attached to the window frame, it comes complete with a soft seal made of EPDM, PVC or TEP.
In addition to the main types of profiles described above, so-called additional profiles are produced – strip, restoration, facing, etc., mainly used to cover the gaps between the frame and the opening filled with mounting foam..
Window profiles and their series
Potential customers of PVC windows are attacked by managers of “window” companies with perplexing phrases “cheap window”, “standard window” and “elite window”, often explaining their meaning only by price and quality. This is partly true, in reality, these phrases hide the strength and thermophysical characteristics of profiles of different series. A series of plastic profiles are presented on the Russian market, divided by characteristics into groups – balcony, lightweight, standard, Dutch, 70 series and elite.
TO balconythe series includes one and two-chamber plastic profiles with maximum relief – no more than 50 mm wide and 2.5 mm thick (class “C”). It allows the installation of only single glass in it – the maximum permissible thickness of the glass unit is only 20 mm. Cheap, but if you need glazing of balconies with insulation, then this profile series is not suitable, because suitable only for non-insulated rooms. A typical representative of this series is the Proplex-balcony profile.
Lightweightor economythe series includes plastic profiles, the thickness of the outer walls of which is from 2.5 to 2.7 mm (class “B”), the number of chambers is 3, the width is 60 mm, the greatest thickness of the glass unit is 32 mm (for example, the Plafen L- line). Usually this series is accompanied by the epithets “lightness” and “modern design”, but in reality its thermophysical characteristics barely correspond to the standards adopted in the Russian Federation. The only advantage is the relative cheapness..
Profile width standardseries (example – profiles of the Thyssen AD series) is practically equal to the width of “lightweight” profiles – from 58 to 62 mm, inside the profile there are usually 3, less often 4 air chambers, the maximum thickness of the glass unit is 39 mm. The difference between these series is that the thickness of the outer walls of standard profiles is 3 mm (class “A”), i.e. their thermophysical characteristics are higher than those of the representatives of the lightweight series. Standard frame and sash profiles have average technical characteristics.
Dutchthe series is represented by five-chamber profiles of a particularly large width – 120 mm, with a 3 mm outer wall (class “A”), designed for a 44 mm wide glass unit (example – MONTBLANC city-120). The series is specially designed for glazing openings in multi-storey panel buildings, common in Russia – the significant width of the profile ensures high reliability of installation of the frame structure in a wide opening.
MONTBLANC city-120 profile
Profiles 70th serieswider than in the series described above – about 70-75 mm, contain from 3 to 5 internal air chambers, the thickness of the outer wall is 3 mm (class “A”), the permissible thickness of the glass unit is 47 mm (for example, Thyssen Favorit). They have good performance characteristics, are quite suitable for Russian climatic conditions and, which is good enough, their width allows you to install double-glazed windows.
70 Series Rehau Profile
Elitea series of profiles on the Russian market is represented by 6 and 8 chamber sash and frame profiles, 82 mm wide, with 3 mm outer wall (class “A”) and 48 mm thickest glass unit (for example, Schuco Corona SI 82+). A double-chamber double-glazed window and a large number of air chambers inside the profile provide high thermophysical characteristics – windows from the profile of the elite series will perfectly serve the owners even in especially cold climatic zones.
Schuco Corona SI 82 profile+
It should be noted that series with technical characteristics below the standard are oriented by manufacturers exclusively to the Russian market – they will not be in demand in Europe, because do not meet the requirements of European standards.
How to choose a PVC window profile
In my opinion, plastic profiles with less than 3 air chambers, an outer wall class lower than “A” and insulating glass units less than 39 mm thick should not even be considered – their technical characteristics are suitable only for especially southern climatic regions, and the service life will be small, because in two or three years the frame structure will be skewed.
Separately, you should pay attention to the reinforcing U-shaped profile – its thickness should in no way be less than 2 mm. Why is this so important? By itself, the plastic profile has low rigidity, and when heated by the sun’s rays in the warm season, it will be especially mobile. Its constant rigidity is ensured precisely by a galvanized metal profile built into the largest air chamber – the reinforcing profile is installed in all types of PVC profiles that perform more or less load-bearing functions. Be sure to ask the window company to specify the thickness of the reinforcing profile in the specification for the contract and make sure that its value is at least 2 mm!
Now about the brands of the plastic profile. The best PVC profile is produced in Germany, but there is only one German profile brand on the Russian market – Salamander. But what about other German brands of plastic profile – Rehau, Veka, Thyssen, Dimex and KBE – you ask – after all, these brands also belong to German corporations? True – they do, but in the Russian Federation, the products of these concerns are manufactured at Russian enterprises, under license, i.e. their quality characteristics are designed for less stringent technical conditions GOST 30673-99. You may be confused by the certification according to ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 declared by Russian manufacturers, but these certificates do not have a direct relation to the production of PVC profiles – the first refers to environmental management, and the second to the organization of management at the enterprise as a whole, i.e. not only to work in the shops, but also to accounting, material and technical department, etc..
So, a full-fledged plastic profile of the European standard in Russia is only Salamander and only because it is produced outside the Russian Federation and only according to EU standards, but it is very expensive. Among the German-Russian PVC profiles, the products of the companies KBE, Rehau and Veka have the best characteristics. The quality of the products of these brands is achieved through seminars and training courses on working with the profile, as well as regular control by representatives of the companies of the quality of assembly of window and door blocks at the enterprises purchasing the profile from them. Veka and Rehau companies, based on the results of such an audit, issue a corresponding certificate..
Finally – treat any glazing, even if it is a loggia glazing, with maximum attention and remember that each brand contains PVC profiles with different characteristics in its product line, so always ask for the full designation of the profile brand.