Polyamide strips: the process of thermal break assembly and the importance of choosing the right machinery

thermal break assembly

In the last article, we talked about the advantages of using polyamide strips in thermal break windows. To provide the best outcome, it is important to use the best thermal break assembly machines despite using polyamide strips. Before we jump into details regarding the importance of machines, let’s first understand the process of thermal break assembly.

Polyamide Strips in thermal break assembly.

For over a decade in North America, manufacturers used structural insulating polyamide strips for thermally breaking aluminum extrusion assemblies. Polyamide strips are available with many configurations to meet different performance specifications. Creating a thermal break utilizing a Polyamide Strip system entails a 3 step process.

1. Profile knurling

Manufacturers use a knurling wheel to produce “teeth” between 0.15 mm and 0.30 mm long. They will produce them in a pocket of the inner and outer extruded profiles joined by the Strip to comprise the frame. During the crimping process, these “teeth” will bite into the Strip and ensure adequate shear strength for the composite profile.

2. Strip insertion

Typically, using specialized equipment, manufacturers pull or push the polyamide strip into the extrusion profile. But, they can also use manual insertion. And there are assembly methods that pull or push the profile onto the Strip. The chosen method depends on the installer’s choice.

3. Crimping

Three sets of wheels rotate the extrusion onto the Strip and automatically lock the parts together. Manufacturers apply over 1300 pounds of pressure in stages for the resulting aluminum/strip assembly to act as a load-bearing composite. Also, manufacturers usually conduct shear testing periodically to check that the process has produced an assembly that will work structurally as required.

For manufactures to conduct these processes perfectly, it is important to have the best thermal break assembling machine. 

What is essential for your thermal break assembling machine and why?

Thermal break assembly systems are essential for an aluminum facade to perform well, but what you need to inspect in them?

Anyone investing in thermal break assembly equipment needs to consider how many functions these devices can carry out in the manufacturing process. Manufacturers know very well that polyamide isolation strips are crucial for any aluminum window system to provide a good thermal insulation level. However, many people who are not experts in the industry fail to understand how crucial the exact position of a polyamide thermal break is. 

Indeed, some architectural and consulting engineering companies will specify a particular manufacturer of aluminum-framed windows and doors. Sometimes, they do not consider just how much variation there can be in the selected products’ thermal performance. And that depends on the thermal break rolling machines manufacturers use. By not knowing what sort of machines for insulating aluminum profiles they have to use for a bespoke project, specifiers can’t tell how reliable the resulting thermal performances will be for their design. 

Why do thermal break assembly machines count? 

A thermal break door or window thermal efficiency – and therefore its ability to contribute to a passive house concept – is defined by how its polyamide insulating strips are matched. They won’t function properly if they are too close to one side of the extruded aluminum profile. In this case, the heat loss will become only too obvious. Scientific studies into their effectiveness have frequently confirmed that they must touch the frame’s inside as little as possible. Nonetheless, manufacturers must secure them in their correct position not to shift around.

Also, the overall U-values could be down if the thermal break assembly equipment is not calibrated to the proper degree or inferior quality with more room for mistake. This can lead to certain energy-saving specifications not being addressed and even disappointed clients with augmented heating bills. In conclusion, the thermal break assembly quality depends on the sort of machinery that the window manufacturer uses and the operator’s skill, of course. 

thermal break assembly
A thermal break assembly machine during its process

Overcoming issues with shear strength in insulated aluminum frames 

A physical bond must exist between an aluminum profile and its polyamide thermal break. That’s why patented mechanical processes are sometimes needed for crimping the polyamide material into a groove on the inside of the frame. Given that manufacturers produce the aluminum used to form this groove by extruding it, they also need a further process for the strip to secure it fully. Oppositely, the recess would be too smooth. 

The best method by which high-quality thermal break assembly equipment accomplishes this is by knurling the material before. Even though manufacturers can do knurling as a standalone process, professional machines particularly designed for this task are available for window producers to buy. These machines allow for outstanding rigidity levels and shear strength within the frame once manufacturers have matched the insulating insertions. Without such machines, manufacturers often sandwich the insulating material into place. That will damage the extruded aluminum’s integral strength.

As Bill Gates has said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.” That’s too accurate about thermal break assembly machines too. 

Modern thermal break assembly equipment 

Some thermal break assembly machinery used by window manufacturers uses a three-in-one tech that knurls the aluminum profile before inserting the strips and then crimping them in a single unit. These machines usually need two operatives to run efficiently and also have fast set-up times. Manufacturers have designed older machines only for knurling, crimping, or strip insertion functions. Even though the set-up process may be a little longer, they require fewer person-hours to operate. 

Many of these machines have guidance rollers and adjustable parts, allowing window manufacturers to process fast for different aluminum profiles. When a software system supports the assembly equipment, rapid configurations are remarkably noticeable. These systems enable manufacturers to transfer the window dimensions and designs into the machines’ settings in one click. You can find the best thermal break assembly equipment only at Starlight Corp