FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Below are the questions we most often receive, followed by our detailed answer. We strive to provide answers which are both comprehend-able and informative. Prior to submitting your question, please browse the question topics for a possible answer. If your answer is not listed, please contact us so that we may update our page with your question followed by a detailed answer, as we are always searching for ways to enhance the customer experience on our website.

common tOPICS

Window Related Terminology

Awning: Unit hinged at the sill that swings outward from the bottom. Vents from the bottom.

Hopper: Unit hinged at the head that swings outward from the top. Vents from the top.

BayMultiple windows mulled together into a single system which angle out beyond the wall of a home. Typically these systems consist of 3 window units.

Casement: Unit hinged at the jamb that opens to the side. Vents from the bottom and top. Available in French (dual) and single leave configurations.

Single-hung: One vertically sliding frame that vents from the lower sash while the upper panel remains inoperable.

Double-hung: Two vertically sliding frames that vent from the upper and lower sash.

Egress: A window typically required by building codes for emergency escape and/or rescue.

Fixed:  Non-operable and non-venting window.

Sidelight: Narrow, non-operable window installed on the side of a window or door.

Transom: An additional window positioned on top of another window or door.

Venting unit: Any operable window.

Bulls Eye: Another name for a circular window. Bulls Eyes can be either operable, or fixed.

Door Related Terminology

Bifold (Folding): A door unit with the ability of being folded into multiple parts, as with leaves that are hinged together to create an large, unobstructed opening

French: Also called a “casement door”, this door type consists of two operable panels hinged at the jambs.

Pocket door: Typically used with sliding door configurations, this type of door has a panel that can be concealed by a wall.

Threshold: Material, mostly decorative, used as a transitional sill between interior and exterior flooring.

Glass Related Terminology

Single pane glass: Consists of one pane of glass.

Dual (Double) pane glass: Consists of two panes of uncoated (non-Low-E) glass with an air-filled space/cavity between them. Glazing stops or foam tape typically separate the panes. Specialty gas, such as argon gas, is not used for this application.

Triple pane glass: Consists of three panes of glass and have two separate air-spaces.

Insulating glass unit (IGU): Two or more glass panes sealed together to increase energy efficiency.

Argon gas: Colorless gas used in the air space of dual pane, Low-E glass to increase the insulating/thermal performance.

True Divided Lite/Glazing (TDL): True divided glazing, also called referred to as having true divided lites, utilizes numerous individual panes of glass in a single (independent) sash/panel.

Simulated Divided Lite/Glazing (SDL): Simulated divided glazing, also called referred to as having simulated divided lites utilizes a single pane of glass which is integrated with an interior and exterior grille, as well as an internal spacer bar, to “simulate” the look of a single (independent) sash/panel consisting of multiple glass planes. All and all, simulated divided glazing simulates true divided glazing.

Glazing: The act of installing glass in a window or door.

Glazing Pocket (Glazing Channel): The channel the glass is placed into. The width of this channel determines the glass thickness it can accept.

Safety glass: The two types of safety glass are Laminated and Tempered.

Laminated glass: Glass that is layered/bonded together by a plastic inner layer known as polyvinyl butyral so that it resists breakage and stays together when broken. The inner layer of plastic softens the impact. Glass that is not laminated is more prone to shattering into small pieces that can be extremely harmful. Laminated glass is most commonly used for windshields for prevent further injury during the event of a crash.

Tempered glass: During the manufacturing process, tempered glass is heated to over 1,100 degrees. It’s then shot with cold air, which forces the glass to cool very rapidly. That process causes the outer surface to become much harder than the inner material. As a result, tempered glass shatters into tiny fragments with rounded edges when it’s broken. This type of glass is stronger than annealed glass and therefore is commonly used in large architectural windows, where added strength is a requirement.

Annealed glass: Annealed glass tends to break into irregular, sharp pieces when broken. Glass which has not been annealed is liable to crack or shatter when subjected to a relatively small temperature change or mechanical shock. Annealing glass is critical to its durability but not comparable to tempering glass.

Impact-resistant glass: Specially engineered, laminated glass used for protection from wind-borne debris during a hurricane or severe storm. Designed to help maintain your home’s structural integrity.

Low-E glass: Glass with a low-emissivity coating that enhances the thermal efficiency of the glass, therefore reducing heat loss.

Monolithic glass: Glass that has no air space and is commonly used for coastal applications.

Obscure glass: Glass with that has a texture or pattern of various degrees of opacity that limits visibility.

Technical Definitions

Yield Strength: The amount of force required to cause the steel to yield, which means permanently deform (i.e. permanently stretch).

Tensile Strength: (a.k.a. “ultimate strength”) The amount of force required to cause the steel to actually break. This will be equal to or greater than the yield strength.

Coefficient of Expansion: Measures the amount of energy that can be conducted by the profile.

Adhesion Coefficient: The Adhesion Coefficient is the measure of how long the caulk will remain adhered to the sub-straight that it is applied.

Modules of Elasticity: The ratio of unit stress to the corresponding unit strain. It is the number that measures the windows resistance to being deformed elastically. Stress is the force that causes the deformation of the area to which the force is applied. The strain is the ratio of the change in some length parameter caused by the deformation to the original value of the lengths parameter.

U-Factor: Also called the “U-Value” orThermal Transmittance”, it is a frequently used measurement of heat transmission through a window or door. The lower the U-Factor, the better the insulating value. The nationally recognized rating method by NFRC is for the whole window, including glazing, frame and glass spacers. High-performance double-pane windows can have U-Factors of 0.30 or lower, while some triple-pane windows can achieve U-Factors as low as 0.15. U-values are typically given in units of BTU/hr/ft2/°F. The metric equivalent is W/m2/°K. To convert to metric, multiply by .17611, and from metric multiply by 5.5782. Important: The U-value worsens as the size decreases, larger windows feature better values. This is because U-values achieved in glazing are better than in the frame material and therefore a larger glass area is able to produce a better thermal insulation value.

R-Factor: Also called the “R-Value” it is used for insulation in most other parts of the building envelope (walls, floors, roofs, etc…). Since thermal resistance is the reciprocal of thermal conductance, to compare R-Factor and U-Factor, divide 1 by the U-Factor (e.g. [U-Factor]=1/[R-Factor]). For example, a 0.25 U-Factor equates to an R-Factor of 4. In contrast to a U-Factor, the higher the R-Factor, the best the instating qualities.

UV protection: Percentage of Ultra-Violet (UV) rays being blocked.

Visible light transmission: The fraction of the light allowed to pass through a window or door.

Sound Transmission Class (STC)A single-number rating of a material’s or an assembly’s ability to resist airborne sound transfer at the frequencies ranging between 125-4000 Hz. A higher STC rating blocks more noise from transmitting through a partition. In the case of a window or door, it measures the unit’s ability to resist sound from transferring through.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): A measurement of the sun’s heat energy that passes through the window and/or door. The SHGC is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower a window’s solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits. The nationally recognized rating method by NFRC is for the whole window, including the effects of the frame.

Hardware Terminology

Peg Stay: Also known as a Casement Stay, a Peg Stay is a metal bar that holds the window open in different positions.

Pivot Hinge: Allows action of the vent to move around in the frame.

Projecting Hinge: A hinge in which the centers are advanced from the ordinary position to allow space between the fixed frame and opening frames when open.

Butt Hinge: Classification for any window or door hinge where the width of the leaves is less than the length of the knuckle.

Cockspur Handle: A Cockspur Handle, due to its shape, is another word for casement handle.

Folding Opener: Lever that is used on top hung vents.

Roto Operator: A roto crank device that operates the vent on an out swing casement window.

Cam Handle: A small, rotational handle that rotates in front of its strike plate and creates a tight lock.

Miscellaneous

Cladding: Covering or material attached to the unit(s) exterior.

Flashing: Water resistant material that directs undesirable water to a drainage system or to the exterior surface of a building.

Condensation: Condensation is observed as water that collects as droplets or fog on the glass, sash, of panel of a window or door. Whether the condensation occurs on the interior or exterior is determined by numerous factors. Most often condensation is observed when an extremely cold surface is exposed to warm, humid air. A perfect example of this is when you get in the car in the morning, in the middle of December, and breathe heavily. The condensation that is formed on the driver side window and windshield is due to your warm, humid breath coming in contact with the cold glass surface.

Daylight opening: The visible glass area.

Rough opening (RO): Total area the window or door unit occupies currently or will occupy. Also referred to as the opening in a wall for the installation of a window or door. Such opening is typically larger (1/8” – 1/4”) than the actual unit to allow for shimming and insulating.

Drip cap: Steel or aluminum installed above windows/doors that directs water away from the top of the unit.

Electric operator: A motorized device that provides for remote (hand-free) operation of windows and doors. Most commonly used on awning windows and screen and blind systems.

Escutcheon plate: Decorative door handle plate that conceals the locking mechanism.

Fenestration: Fenestration refers to the design, construction, or presence of openings (such as windows and doors) in a building. Other types of fenestration include: louvers, vents, wall panels, skylights, storefronts, and curtain walls.

Glazing bead:  Steel or aluminum pieces attached to the frame (by clips or fasteners) around the perimeter of the glass. They covers the space between the glass edge and sash/panel and aid n holding the glass in the door/window frame.

Grilles/Muntins/Dividers/Grids: Components used to simulate individual pieces of glass within a sash/panel.

Header: Heavy structural beam, commonly steel or wood, extended across the top of the rough opening. This is a crucial structural member and is responsible for holding a majority of the weight from the roof or walls above. Without a strong header, the weight would be transferred to the window or door frame.

Inactive panel/sash: A window sash or door panel that will open only after active panel or sash is opened.

Insect screen: A tightly woven mesh attached to a frame which allows outside air ventilation while keeping undesired insects out.

Jamb: The left or right side members of a window or door frame.

Light/Lite: Individual glass panes within a window sash or door panel. Lock: Keyed mechanism used to secure windows and doors into a closed position to prevent operation.

Mulling: The act of using a “mullion” to join two or more window or door units together.

Mullion: The vertical or horizontal joint between individual window or door units that form a combination.

Multi-point lock: Lock that engages the sash or panel in multiple locations (“POINTS“). Just as a single lock, multi-point locks are also activated by a single keyed motion.

NFRC: Stands forNational Fenestration Rating Council” which is an non-profit organization that provides for accurate and credible energy performance ratings for windows, doors & skylights.

Operator: Handle, arm and/or gear used to operate hinged windows

Outdoor/Indoor Transmission Class (OITC): Measurement standard used to indicate the rate of sound transmission between indoors and outdoors.

OX / XO identification: “OX” or XO” are used to identify the opening direction of gliding windows/doors; “X” stands for operating while “O” stands for stationary.

Panel: Refers to the leaf, rail, stile and/or glass assembly included in a door system. Comparable to a window sash.

Sash: Refers to the leaf, rail, stile and/or glass assembly that makes up the venting capability of a window. Comparable to a door panel.

Performance Grade (PG): An industry rating for a unit that has been tested for air, water, structural and force entry performance. Used to determine compliance with code required design pressures and building regulations.

Shim: A wedge used to plumb and/or level a window or door in the rough opening. Also used to glaze units to prevent the glass from shifting in the frame and cause operable door panels and window sashes to sag.

Sill: Horizontal member that forms the bottom of a window or door frame

Weather-stripping: Compressible material designed to seal the sash or panel to the frame. Aids in further insulating and weather-proofing the unit.

Weep holes: Small holes placed on the exterior of a window or door to allows for water drainage.

Track: Allows a sliding door or window to smoothly side from side to side. It can either be mounted on the floor or hung on the wall or ceiling.

Hinge: Provides operability to a window sash or door panel.

Kick Panel/Plate: Area at the bottom of a door that has no glass. Instead there is a metal panel or plate so that if you “kick” the door open, your foot doesn’t go through the door.

OTHER QUESTIONS

How does the Thermal Break increase efficiency?

The “thermal break,” otherwise known as a “thermal barrier,” refers to the homogeneous blend of high-density polyurethane and fiberglass that runs down the center of our frames — thereby structurally bonding the two half’s together. Due to metal’s natural tendency to conduct (transfer) thermal energy, our polyurethane fiberglass resin (a non-metal) acts as a barrier to greatly reduce the transfer of such thermal energy. From an atomic perspective, metal is full of free moving electrons (electrons carry heat) and as they move about randomly, thermal energy is being transferred. For example, during the winter months, a metal (steel, aluminum, etc…) framed window or door tends to get very cold to the touch. This is due to heats natural tendency to transfer from a higher temperature to a lower temperature, as well as the First Law of Thermodynamics which states that “the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed.” Therefore, to keep your home warm, you pay for some form of added energy (electric, natural gas, oil, etc…). Our solution greatly reduces this need for added energy because it reduces the transfer of thermal energy to the outdoors. Since windows and doors account for roughly 80% of thermal losses, our frames will play a huge role in boosting the efficiency of your home. Click the link below for a downloadable version of our Thermal Transmittance data.

 Thermal Transmittance (U-value) Data – US Standard
 Thermal Transmittance (U-value) Data – Metric Standard

What is a U-Value and R-Value?

U-Factor: Also called the “U-Value” or “Thermal Transmittance”, it is a frequently used measurement of heat transmission through a window or door. The lower the U-Factor, the better the insulating value. The nationally recognized rating method by NFRC is for the whole window, including glazing, frame and glass spacers. High-performance double-pane windows can have U-Factors of 0.30 or lower, while some triple-pane windows can achieve U-Factors as low as 0.15. Additionally, U-values are typically given in units of BTU/hr/ft2/°F. The metric equivalent is W/m2/°K. To convert to metric, multiply by .17611, and from metric multiply by 5.5782. Important: The U-value worsens as the size decreases, larger windows feature better values. This is because U-values achieved in glazing are better than in the frame material and therefore a larger glass area is able to produce a better thermal insulation value.  R-Factor: Also called the “R-Value” it is used for insulation in most other parts of the building envelope (walls, floors, roofs, etc…). Since thermal resistance is the reciprocal of thermal conductance, to compare R-Factor and U-Factor, divide 1 by the U-Factor (e.g. [U-Factor]=1/[R-Factor]). For example, a 0.25 U-Factor equates to an R-Factor of 4. In contrast to a V-Factor, the higher the R-Factor, the best the instating qualities.

What is Condensation?

Condensation is observed as water that collects as droplets or fog on the glass, sash, of panel of a window or door. Whether the condensation occurs on the interior or exterior is determined by numerous factors. Most often condensation is observed when an extremely cold surface is exposed to warm, humid air. A perfect example of this is when you get in the car in the morning, in the middle of December, and breathe heavily. The condensation that is formed on the driver side window and windshield is due to your warm, humid breath coming in contact with the cold glass surface.

What are the cleaning and maintenance requirements for specific materials and finishes?

Understanding the cleaning and maintenance needs of any addition to your home or place of work is a very important aspect of choosing the correct product best fits you. This is why we have taken the liberty of including a “Cleaning and Maintenance” section at the bottom of all of the material pages (Painted Steel, Bronze, Cor-Ten, Stainless Steel). Please use these pages as a reference when caring for your windows and doors.

Simulated Divided Glazing vs. True Divided Glazing?

True Divided Lite/Glazing (TDL): True divided glazing, also called referred to as having true divided lites, utilizes numerous individual panes of glass in a single (independent) sash/panel.

Simulated Divided Lite/Glazing (SDL): Simulated divided glazing, also called referred to as having simulated divided lites utilizes a single pane of glass which is integrated with an interior and exterior grille, as well as an internal spacer bar, to “simulate” the look of a single (independent) sash/panel consisting of multiple glass planes. All and all, simulated divided glazing simulates true divided glazing.

What is the difference between Low-E, Tempered, Laminated and Annealed Glass?

Laminated glass: Glass that is layered/bonded together by a plastic inner layer known as polyvinyl butyral (PVB) so that it resists breakage and stays together when broken. The inner layer of plastic softens the impact. Glass that is not laminated is more prone to shattering into small pieces that can be extremely harmful. Laminated glass is most commonly used for windshields for prevent further injury during the event of a crash.

Tempered glass: During the manufacturing process, tempered glass is heated to over 1,100 degrees. It’s then shot with cold air, which forces the glass to cool very rapidly. That process causes the outer surface to become much harder than the inner material. As a result, tempered glass shatters into tiny fragments with rounded edges when it’s broken. This type of glass is stronger than annealed glass and therefore is commonly used in large architectural windows, where added strength is a requirement. Below is a shatter pattern comparison of tempered glass versus annealed glass. temperd-vs-annealed-thermally-broken-steel-usa Annealed glass: Annealed glass tends to break into irregular, sharp pieces when broken. Glass which has not been annealed is liable to crack or shatter when subjected to a relatively small temperature change or mechanical shock. Annealing glass is critical to its durability but not comparable to tempering glass.

Low-E glass: Glass with a low-emissivity coating that enhances the thermal efficiency of the glass, therefore reducing heat loss.

Cold Rolled & Cold Formed Steel vs. Hot Rolled & Hot Formed Steel?

What is the “Rolling” Process?

Rolling is the process in which metal ingots are processed through a pair of rollers to achieve a specific, uniform thickness. Therefore, the rolling process is used to produce flat objects such as plate steel. The rolling process has two classifications, based on the temperature at which the metal is rolled – cold and hot.

What is the “Forming” Process?

The forming process is a secondary process which gives the steel its final shape and “form.” This can be done by rolling or pressing the material. Forming is also referred to as “drawing” or “working.” In the case of our thermally broken frames, cold forming is utilized to produce the frame profile.

Hot Rolled steel is steel which undergoes the rolling process at approximately 1700°F. Such a high temperature is utilized in order to exceed the materials recrystallization point, and therefore, producing a the steel much easier to shape. As the steel cools, the molecules will rearrange themselves which causes the material to shrink. For this reason, hot rolled steel sold directly from the mill has a much looser tolerance than that of cold rolled steel.

Cold Rolled steel is formed at or close to room temperature, below the materials recrystallization point, and is most often a secondary process to steel which has already undergone hot rolling for initial shaping. This process increases the yield, hardness and tensile strengths of the steel by introducing defects within the crystal structure. It also improves the surface finish and holds tighter tolerances.  Through the cold rolling process, the molecules in the steel are forced into a more compact grain structure. As the covalent bond is heightened, the hardness and yield strength of the steel is increased by as much as 20%.

What is Powder Coating?

The process of creating a powder coat involves combining finely ground particles of pigment and resin. This mixture is then electrostatically sprayed onto the prepared steel surface. Next, the charged powder particles adhere to the electrically grounded steel surfaces until heat is added to the powder—fusing it into a smooth, tough, protective coating. The result is a uniform, durable, high-quality and aesthetically pleasing finish.

Our powder coat paint process creates a harder finish that is tougher than any conventional paint. In fact, it is 7 to 10 times stronger than traditional painting methods utilized in the market today. It provides the most economical, longest lasting and most color-durable quality finishes.  This is because powder coated surfaces resist scratching, chipping, UV damage and normal wear better than other finishes. The color quality of powder coated finishes will also not diminish – or fade – in their color vibrant or brightness over time like other paint finishes.


Can’t find an Answer to Your Question?

 

Help us help you.

Contact us here by submitting the form on our website and ask your question so we can post an answer on our FAQ page.


error: TBS USA: Copyrighted Material. File tracked once downloaded.