This article covers everything you need to know about insulating glass spacers, including types and the most recent technologies.

Architects, developers, and homeowners worldwide are making a concerted effort to create and live in energy-efficient spaces. Because glass is the most popular modern construction material after concrete, it is the best place to start when creating greener spacers. Using insulating glass instead of regular glass to reduce heating and cooling needs, thereby lowering energy bills, is one of the most effective ways of ensuring energy efficiency in buildings.

Insulating glass is created by combining layers of glass and filling the gaps between the layers with gas. It is critical to maintaining uniform space between the glass layers in order for the insulating glass unit to be effective. Insulating glass spacers are spacer bars used to separate glass panes of double or triple-pane insulating glass, as the name implies. The spacers are used to provide a fixed gap between the layers of an insulating glass unit in order to determine the constant width of infill gases. These spacers are critical in the production of insulating glass because they directly affect the performance of the insulating glass (IG) unit.

Many mechanizations have been discovered as technology has advanced to create the most effective insulating glass spacers.

Types of Insulating Glass Spacers

Aluminium insulating glass spacers

Aluminium spacers were among the first to be produced. Because of its availability and malleability, it became the most prevalent IG unit spacer until it was discovered that aluminum insulated glass spacers only provide basic performance. Aluminium is a good thermal conductor, so heat can easily be transferred from the inside to the outside and vice versa. This also implies that the cold glass surrounding the aluminum creates a pressure difference between the middle of the glass and its edges, resulting in condensation in the glass.

Warm edge spacers

Flaws in aluminum insulating glass spacers compelled the development of better materials. Warm edges spacers are primarily constructed of plastics and steel. These are low conductivity materials that minimize heat transfer and maximize protection against gas leakage and moisture penetration by sealing off the air cavity between each pane.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel has similar properties to aluminum, except that it has less thermal conductivity. In fact, the thermal conductivity of stainless steel is one-tenth that of aluminum insulating glass spacers. They provide better glass insulation and reduce glass condensation.

Plastic-metal hybrid warm edge spacers

Plastic-metal hybrid insulating glass spacers are composed of polycarbonate and low metal shims. These have lower u-values, less heat loss, and better thermal control. Their performance may be 35% higher than that of traditional aluminum insulating glass spacers.

Flexible warm edge glass spacer

Flexible spacers have been created using pliable, flexible thermoplastic or silicone-based materials with embedded molecular sieves.

The hot melt butyl type spacers with no additives stand out the most. TPS is an excellent example of a flexible warm edge insulating glass spacer.

What’s TPS Insulating Glass

TPS, thermoplastic spacer, is a recent type of insulating glass warm-edge system that can perfectly replace traditional aluminum spacers. It is filled with thermoplastic desiccant spacers and uses special butyl rubber as an auxiliary material.To make a spacer, the desiccated polymeric material is extruded directly onto a lite of glass. An insulating glass unit is formed after a matched lite is mated to the assembly and pressed into place. This technology allows TPS glass to provide excellent thermal insulation with many other significant advantages.

The German Kommerling Group was the first to invent and commercialize TPS. The first TPS insulating glass was produced in 1974, and Dalian Huaying introduced China's first TPS insulating glass production line in 2010. This resulted in the globalization of China's insulating glass warm edge technology.

Features of TPS Insulating Glass

Below are the features of TPS insulating glass that make it more attractive to IG unit manufacturers across the globe.

Durability and longevity

The growing demand for energy efficiency has increased interest in IG units for both residential and commercial design projects. Customers continue to expect consistent and long-term performance from their IG. TPS's stress-diffusing composition ensures durability, with sets of units surviving ten EN1279 weathering cycles in a row with less than 10% argon loss and frost points below -80 degrees Fahrenheit. This results in long-term thermal performance, which reduces condensation and mold spores, reduces the cooling of the glass edge and improves interior comfort.

Production of large and customized IG units

Large glass partitions and doors, as well as commercial and modern design in general, have increased interest in creating large IG units that can also be curved or produced in custom shapes. TPS's manufacturing process lends itself to the production of large IG units with great ease and exceptional accuracy.

Improved accuracy

Increased demand for double, triple, and quad IG units has also created challenges in manufacturing. Manually laying spacers for these types of IG can result in inaccuracy and uneven spacer appearance when the unit is finished. TPS robotic application to multi-cavity units provides an excellent solution to this problem.


A TPS spacer's width can be adjusted between 6 and 18 millimeters, making it suitable for any profile system. The total thickness of an IG unit can be easily maintained with different glass thicknesses by changing the spacer width.

Furthermore, because it contains no metal, the structure of a TPS insulating glass unit is flexible. The flexible structure reduces the possibility of edge breakage. It also makes the use of special feature glass more versatile, for example, by allowing the user to freely position the patterned glass surface.

Reduced labor

Individualization of insulating glass units was previously only possible with considerable effort. With TPS, you can now manage that in continuous production without any issues. TPS-based IG unit production requires less labor and generates less waste than traditional rigid spacers. The automated process simplifies and improves spacer placement precision.

The TPS production line is the most modern and adaptable insulating glass manufacturing solution. It differs from conventional production systems in that the thermoplastic spacer is directly applied to the glass plate. Bending, sawing, connecting, filling, and bbutyl coatingspacers no longer require separate production processes. Logistics are reduced, and factory organization is simplified.

September 13, 2022 — Della Wang