Vacuum Glazing -present and prospect
After 30 years development,especially since the 2009 when world climate summit COP15 held in Copenhagen,vacuum insulating glass is known by scientist and environmentalist.
This post will analysis the president development of vacuum insulating glass industry and the problems ,and the prospect of VIG industry.
VIG industry is heavy asset and high technology industry.
Since Mr Tang Jianzheng established Qingdao Synergy in the 1990s,more and more companies turned to VIG research and development,but after 20 years,there’s only few companies that can produce stable quality VIG products,and in most cases the VIG production technology is still based on the Mr Tang’s original technology,no more further development and big step forward,this is caused by the heavy asset and high technology industry feature.
VIG is high technology industry.
Different from mature processed glass products,VIG is totally new and developers need to solve series problems,from the sealing materials that has similar expansion coefficient ,to pillars materials that can withstand the high air press without affecting glass overall strength, from glass production procedure to the parameters required to ensure long lifetime, from tempered VIG development to production efficiency and finished product yield,to overall VIG costs decreasing and larger panel development.
VIG development and production is complex combination of chemical,physics,materials.
Mature VIG products need long time development ,Guardian gave up VIG research after 10 years development,AGC failed to develop tempered VIG products,and even many China companies,CSG,Jinjing ,Fuyao glass whom are interested in VIG ,but till now don’t the technology resources to develop VIG products.
VIG is heavy asset industry.
VIG development,not only include the technology,but need continuous investment.Researchers will have to build test lines even if VIG is proved to be successful in the lab.
The test lines will cover every production procedure ,from cutting,edging,tempering,pillar placement,sealing materials placement,to VIG sealing line,quality inspection.
There’s no mature equipment and factories have to develop their own production lines.
After test lines works,factories will face new problems, more money is required to build longer equipment to realize continuous production,decrease overall costs.
All these require huge money investment and we have seen some guys invested over USD15 million dollars but failed to produce mature VIG.
In 2022,China sold about 60,000 square meters vacuum insulating glass, these orders are shared by about 10 VIG manufacturers,compared with the huge investment,the payback is really little.
Problem is ,customers paid 3-5 times higher costs ,but failed to get reliable products and have to launch customer complaints ,overall market confidence is low,causing low budget on continuous improving the technology and equipment.
Financial problem is the biggest problem blocking the development of VIG.
Even though China government support the energy saving products,but too many fraud who aim to get money exist.we can also see many provinces signed contract with VIG companies,land and low interests bank loan was offered,but in most cases ,these factories aim is to get money from investors but not used in VIG development &production.
Luckily, there’s progress in VIG production.
Even though many factories are still keep the original technology of Mr Tang Jianzheng,there’s still many new improvement after years exploration.
In 2004,Hengda glass produced tempered vacuum insulating glass.
In 2017,Landvac produced vacuum insulating glass sealed with low temperature sealing materials.
In 2019,HaanGlas produced tempered vacuum insulating glass without evacuation holes and end caps.
In 2021,HaanGlas produced same flat VIG but sealed with metal sealing materials.
In 2022,HaanGlas got SGCC/IGCC certified and proved its product stability and safety.
In 2023,HaanGlas will produce VIG with the 5th generation continuous VIG lines and expected annual output can reach 300,000sqm.Which is 3-5 times compared with industry average industry efficiency.
Other factories are trying to increase equipment and keep improving quality to win market confidence again.
The future of vacuum glazing
Even though VIG industry is enduring the hard times before large scale production and application,but with the huge advantage ,VIG will have bright future.
Based on same windows U value, normal windows with VIG overall costs is lower than thick,heavy passive windows&triple glazing.
Thin and light VIG can be used massively in home and commercial building renovation project without changing original windows and the fast replacement won’t affect people’s work and life.
VIG can also been added to original windows glass through spacer and sealants to increase windows thermal insulation performance.
VIG can also be applied in refrigerators,greenhouses etc.
Beside glass, VIG production equipment will also be available for processors that can help promoting the worldwide production and application in the next decades.
HaanGlas strive to keep improving VIG products,develop VIG windows series and focus on VIG promotion.