Reinforcement Application in Vinyl Windows Receives JEC Innovation Award
Co-mingled Glass Fiber and Thermoplastic Resin Product Strengthens Window Lineal, Improves Energy Efficiency
PARIS, March 24, 2009 – A window lineal application that eliminates steel inserts and improves energy efficiency will receive one of the composites industry’s highest awards in Paris tonight during the Innovation Awards presentation at the JEC Composites Show, the world’s largest exhibition for composites materials.
The five companies accepting the award are Owens Corning (NYSE: OC), a world leader in glass fiber reinforcements and building materials systems, window companies Bouvet and Lorillard, design firm IDA and die maker Rossi Stamp.
The honor, awarded in the building and construction category, is for the products and technology used to make reinforced thermoplastic window lineals. The breakthrough technology, combining Twintex® co-mingled glass fiber and polymer reinforcements with polyvinylchloride (PVC), eliminates the need for steel inserts to strengthen the parts, which allows French manufacturing firms Bouvet and Lorillard to eliminate a separate insertion step from the process. Removing steel improved the energy efficiency and comfort of the finished windows because metal is no longer in the product to act as a thermal bridge or conduit for the movement of heat. Other benefits of the new thermoplastic technology include:
- The ability to localize additional reinforcement only where necessary
- Use of standard methods for cutting and assembly
- Potential for post-forming shaping, texturizing and weldability
- Greater profile design freedom
- Thinner profiles providing a larger window opening and the benefits of natural light
- Ability to mill and re-use waste in non-decorative profiles
"This award is the result of three years of true co-development, starting from scratch and involving four companies,” said Nicolas Bedouin, sales and marketing leader, Specialties Europe, Owens Corning.
“When first proposed, the application seemed like a good opportunity for Twintex reinforcements except that the product’s standard polypropylene matrix is not a good match for PVC. The solution – develop a new Twintex product with a PVC-compatible matrix,” he added.
“There was close interaction among the people working with the product (Twintex reinforcement), the process (reinforced extrusion) and the application (window lineals). After overcoming several technical challenges and running many tests at Owens Corning, Bouvet and Lorillard, a suitable thermoplastic reinforcement was developed,” said Bedouin, adding that this kind of tailored solution is key to Owens Corning’s focus on delivering differentiated value to customers.
The new Twintex product has a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) matrix that works well in the forming equipment at Bouvet and Lorillard.
“We are thrilled to have this technology recognized by JEC,” says Jean-Marc Sivry, production and R&D Leader, Lorillard. “Our Twinea®* technology required a lot of teamwork to achieve this breakthrough but the result is an improved product for the homeowner. We are now adapting the process for new products and technologies to reinforce thermoplastic lineals, especially for large dimensions and colored profiles.”
Sivry says the new production process is somewhere between pultrusion and extrusion. It simplifies assembly work without affecting the plant and equipment for production, and the windows are stiffer. The technology can be applied to all types of thermoplastic profiles.
Twinea profiles are marked to help identify them for a specialized thermoplastic recycling process after their useful life. Pre-development work was done by Owens Corning at the company’s Science and Technology Center in Chambéry, France. Twinea profiles were designed by the IDA agency and Rossi Stamp produced the tooling.
To learn more about Twinea technology, visit twinea.fr.