Optimizing Energy & Process Efficiency of RF Glass Lamination

ACEEE 2011

July 28, 2011

Abstract

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Summer Study on Energy-Efficiency in Industry

Niagara Falls, NY July 2011

Author: Shawn Allan

Co-authors: Inessa Baranova, Gibran Esquenazi, Morgana Fall, Dr. Holly Shulman

Radio Frequency (RF) Lamination is a new technology that shows promise for significantly reducing the need for energy intensive autoclaving of laminated glass. RF lamination, which has been named FastFuse™, uses radio-frequency dielectric heating to directly heat the polymer interlayers that are used to laminate glass for automotive windshields, hurricane glass, safety glass, solar panels, and transparent armor. The direct heating virtually eliminates the reliance on thermal conductivity for heat transfer, which is inherent in traditional autoclave methods. RF technology has been used to laminate single-pane glass laminates in less than one minute, and multilayer transparent armor panels (up to 3 inches thick) in just five minutes. This compares to process times of 1 to 6 hours using autoclaves, and provides an energy savings of over 90%. Quality testing of RF laminated windows has confirmed that properties and performance meet or exceed the quality of autoclaved windows. Demonstrations to date have shown equivalent performance for all of the major interlayers, including thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), polyvinyl butyral (PVB), and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). A cost and energy analysis was performed, comparing RF lamination to the state-of-the-art autoclave process. RF lamination can lower the cost of high value laminates such as photovoltaic panels and transparent armor, by improving product throughput, energy efficiency, and enable rapid just-in-time manufacturing for glass laminates.


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Optimizing Energy and Process Efficiency of Radio Frequency Glass Lamination.pdf