There is disclosed a sealant strip which can be used between substrate
surfaces such as a pair of glass sheets or panes, the strip includes
a shape retaining base member having an insulating body associated
therewith. The body further incorporates an insulating material
having a desiccant material impregnated therein.
1. A sealant strip for application between a pair of opposed substrates
an elongated base member having a plurality of surfaces including
at least one surface for receiving a retaining means;
an insulating body associated with a surface of said base member
other than said at least one surface, said body having spaced apart
substrate engaging surfaces adapted for placement in juxtaposition
with a substrate surface; and
sealant retaining means associated with said at least one surface
of said base member for retaining sealant whereby said sealant anchors
said strip between said opposed substrates.
2. The sealant strip of claim 1 wherein said insulating body includes
an impregnated desiccant material therein.
3. The sealant strip of claim 1 wherein said insulating body comprises
a shape retaining material.
4. The sealant strip of claim 1 wherein said sealant material
comprises a polymeric material.
5. The sealant strip of claim 1 wherein said sealant retaining
means projects from said at least one surface.
6. The sealant strip of claim 5 wherein said sealant retaining
means projects normally of said at least one surface.
7. The sealant strip of claim 6 wherein said sealant retaining
means is axially mounted on said base member.
8. The sealant strip of claim 7 wherein said sealant retaining
means is continuous.
9. The sealant strip of claim 6 wherein said sealant retaining
means includes recesses therein.
10. A method of forming a sealant strip comprising:
providing a base member having an insulating body associated therewith;
mounting said base member and said insulating body between a pair
of opposed substrate surfaces; and
fixing said insulating body and said base member with a sealant
between said substrate surfaces to thereby seal the same.
11. The method of claim 10 wherein said sealant material comprises
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to sealant strips.
More particularly, this invention relates to sealant strips which
are useful, for example, as sealant strips between opposed pairs
of substrate surfaces such as a pair of glass sheets or panes to
form an insulated glass assembly. In another aspect of this invention,
the invention relates to the method of forming a sealant strip and
to a method of forming an insulated glass body using the sealant
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Inasmuch as the present invention has particular application to
the field of insulating glass, particular reference will be made
Insulating glass is normally formed of two or more sheets of glass
joined together about their periphery by means of a sealant strip
between these sheets. Conventional sealant strips are typically
formed of a body of e.g. solid butyl rubber which may or may not
include a metal reinforcement within the body. In other cases, sealant
strips may also be formed of an extruded foam material of a synthetic
nature and which typically must include a moisture and air impermeable
thin backing of e.g. Mylar.TM. applied by adhesive to two or three
sides of the strip.
In the teachings of the prior art, several steps are required to
form an insulated glass assembly. Generally, prior art arrangements
involve placing a removable spacer between opposed substrates, injecting
a sealant therebetween, allowing the sealant to cure and finally
removing the spacer means. In application where permanent spacers
are used, an adhesive must be applied thereto to secure the same
between the sheets, the spacer is then placed therebetween and a
sealant injected into the periphery formed between the edges of
the glass and the spacer. In addition, desiccants are often included
in the sealant material, which has been found to have limitations
in effective moisture absorbing between the sheets.
It is apparent that the prior art practices are labour intensive,
messy and provide many opportunities for ineffective construction
of insulated glass assemblies.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides an effective sealant strip for use
in fabricating insulated glass assemblies which traverses the limitations
of the prior art practices by providing an energy saving and easily
fabricated insulated glass assembly.
One object of this invention is to provide a sealant strip for
application between a pair of opposed substrates comprising an elongated
base member having a plurality of surfaces including at least one
surface adapted to receive a retaining means, an insulating body
associated with a surface of the base member other than at least
one surface, the body having spaced apart substrate engaging surfaces
adapted for placement in juxtaposition with a substrate surface,
and retaining means associated with at least one surface of the
base member for retaining back-fill whereby the back-fill anchors
the strip between the opposed substrates.
Another object of this invention is to provide an insulated glass
assembly comprising a pair of opposed glass surfaces, the surfaces
having a sealant strip at least partially extending inwardly from
the exterior thereof between the glass surfaces, the sealant strip
and elongated base member having a plurality of surfaces including
at least one surface adapted to receive a retaining means, the sealant
strip further including an insulating body associated with the surface
of the base member other than at least one surface, the body having
spaced apart substrate engaging surfaces adapted for placement in
juxtaposition with a substrate surface and retaining means associated
with at least one surface of the base member for retaining back-fill
whereby the back-fill anchors the strip between the surfaces.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a method
of forming a sealant strip comprising providing a base member having
an insulating body associated therewith, mounting the base member
and the insulating body between a pair of opposed substrate surfaces,
and anchoring the insulating body and the base member with a back-fill
between the substrate surfaces to thereby seal the same.
The base member and insulated body may be coextruded or be fastened
together by suitable means e.g. chemical or thermal bonding.
In an alternate form, the base member may include a plurality of
projecting elements to retain the back-fill material.
Further, the cooperating elements of the base member and back-fill
material may be reversed, i.e. the projecting element may be a channel
which engages a projecting element of the back-fill material. Suitable
back-fill material may comprise the known butyl polymers for this
purpose or other suitable materials.
In greater detail in the present invention, the insulating body
may be formed of any suitable solid or foamed cellular structure
which may in turn, be of any suitable thermoplastic or thermal setting
polymeric material. Typical of such materials are, as representative
examples, polyurethanes, polyolefins such as polyethylene, polypropylene,
copolymers thereof and the like; polysilicones, polyvinylchlorides,
etc. These materials may be used in a solid or foamed form; in the
case of solid materials, materials such as various butyl polymers,
ethylene polymers, polyamides and the like may be employed. In the
case where it is desired to have high insulating properties for
the insulating body, polysilicones or polyurethanes are particularly
desirable. Generally, these latter products will be employed in
the form of a foam structure, the density of which may vary considerably.
The insulating body will also be chosen, depending on the particular
use of the product of the present invention and the type of assembly
to be formed, to have certain other characteristics such as gas
impermeability, moisture impermeability and the like. To this end,
the particular polymeric material may be selected by those skilled
in the art to have such properties where desired.
Generally speaking, for the insulating glass industry, the insulating
strip or body will have appropriate dimensions which in turn, will
also vary depending on the size and type of glass lites; typically,
this strip will be from e.g. 1/4" by 1/4" to 1" by
1" or more depending on its application.
In another form of the invention, at least one of the insulating
body or the back-fill retaining member will have rigidity characteristics
such that it is non-compressible or compressible only to a predetermined
extent sufficient to retain the opposed substrates in a spaced apart
relationship. Thus, in the case of solid insulating bodies, the
degree of compressibility, where the insulating body is chosen to
be the component to maintain the opposed substrates in a spaced
apart relationship, of a nature such that the body will only slightly
compress or be substantially non-compressible as desired. In the
case of foamed insulating bodies, the compressibility may be controlled
by providing a solid, rigid foam which may normally be compressible
to a limited extent or at least when compressed, still maintains
sufficient spacing between the opposed substrate surfaces.
In accordance with the present invention, the insulating body is
provided with a desiccating material. The material is impregnated
within the insulating body for absorption of moisture from the space
or chamber defined between a pair of juxtaposed substrates secured
together by the sealant strip of the present invention.
In a particularly preferred form of the present invention, the
insulating body may be a foamed body having the desiccant therein.
Suitable desiccants include zeolites, potassium chloride, calcium
chloride, silicon gels or any other hygroscopic material. The foam
body will vary in density depending on application as will the amount
and type of desiccating material used.
Typically, the desiccant material may comprise 1% to 50% or more
of the insulating body depending on application.
The back-fill retaining member of the present invention comprises
a body having a first member adapted to be operatively associated
with or engage the insulating body, and a second body member spaced
from the first body member adapted to provide an anchoring or engaging
member for back-fill material inserted between the opposed substrates
for finishing purposes. To this end, the anchoring or engaging member
of the body has a configuration which may be of a suitable geometrical
configuration such as a "T" or arrowhead shaped profile
which provides surfaces with which the back-fill material can engage
with when the back-fill material is added or placed in juxtaposition
with the retaining member. It will be appreciated that other configurations
may also be employed for this purpose, so long as they provide a
surface with which the back-fill material can engage.
The base member is adapted to fixedly secure or otherwise engage
the back-fill member to the insulating body; to this end, the first
member preferably has a surface or profile coextensive with a mating
and engaging surface of the insulating body. Generally speaking,
the insulating body may have a substantially flat planar and correspondingly,
the first member will be of a substantially flat planar configuration.
In one form, the base member comprises an elongated planar length
of material having opposed top and bottom surfaces.
The base member may be fabricated from materials having shape retention
while being generally non-compressible. Such materials suitable
to this end include polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, composite
The base member includes an axially projecting continuous element
projecting upwardly from one surface thereof. It is preferred that
the projecting element includes recesses to engage with the back-fill
The back-fill retaining means may either be a generally flexible
or rigid member, bearing in mind that preferably at least one of
the back-fill member or the insulating body will have sufficient
rigidity to function as a spacer. Preferably, this characteristic
is provided with the back-fill retaining member for manufacturing
ease and to this end, the back-fill retaining member may be any
suitable plastic (resinous) or metal material.
Suitably, any thermoplastic material such as the polyolefins, polyamides,
polyvinylchlorides, or the like may be employed while in the case
of metals, materials such as aluminum, steel alloys, etc. may be
used. Such back-fill members may be extruded in an appropriate profile
by simple extrusion operations.
As noted above, the back-fill member may also be of a metallic
material; this is possible since with the assembly of the present
invention, as used in insulating glass, the metallic material will
not necessarily or desirably form or have any insulating function
but rather, it may be used strictly for structural integrity purposes.
In other cases, however, this invention also permits the use of
totally flexible, very thin, back-fill retaining members which need
not have any structural strength characteristics where the spacing
function of the sealant strip is provided by the insulating body.
Thus, even thin flexible strips of e.g. "Mylar" can be
The present invention provides for several possible arrangements
of the back-fill retaining member; in one case, these may project
from the insulating body whereby the first member of the back-fill
retaining member is within or forms part of the actual insulating
body with only the second member projecting from the insulating
body; in other embodiment, the back-fill member may be provided
as a separate member which is secured by e.g. suitable adhesives
to a surface of the insulating body whereby the back-fill retaining
member is a separate entity placed in juxtaposition with the insulating
Having thus generally described the invention, reference will now
be made to the accompanying drawings, illustrating preferred embodiments.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one form of a sealant strip according
to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the strip as positioned between
opposed substrate surfaces;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the back-fill material; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the strip and back-fill material
as positioned between opposed substrate surfaces.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 shown is a perspective view and a side
view of the sealant strip of the present invention generally indicated
by numeral 10. The strip comprises an elongated generally rectangular
planar length 12 of material which is preferably non-compressible
or compressible only to a certain predetermined extent sufficient
to retain opposed substrates, e.g. glass, plastic, etc. in a spaced
apart relationship. Suitable materials to provide the necessary
rigidity include, for example, polyolefins, polyamides, polyvinylchlorides
or, in the case of metals, aluminum, steel, suitable alloys or composite
The elongated length, having a top face 14 and bottom face 16
preferably includes a continuous element 18 projecting normally
of the top surface 14. The projecting element is spaced inwardly
from the opposed spaced apart sides 20 and 22 of the strip 10 and
is unitary with the elongated strip 12. The projecting element 18
according to this embodiment, has a T-shaped in profile having recesses
18A and 18B. Although this is illustrated, the projecting element
18 may comprise numerous profiles which are sufficient to retain
back-fill material typically used in insulating glass assemblies.
Other useful engaging surface profiles may be, for example, arrowhead
shapes, or any other profile which defines inwardly extending recesses
18A and 18B between the top face 14 of the strip 12 and the profile
of the projecting element 18. The strip 12 in greater detail, may
be as is conventional in the art, extruded to produce the same with
the projecting element in an extrusion process. Further, it is preferred
that an insulating body, generally referenced in the drawings by
numeral 24 be associated with the bottom face 16 of the strip 12.
The insulating body 24 may be bonded to the face 16 by suitable
means e.g. chemical bonding by adhesives, oxidants etc. or by thermal
bonding, e.g. ultrasonic methods.
Referring to the insulating body 24 in greater detail, the body
preferably is elongated and projects normally of surface 16 of strip
12 and includes spaced apart sides 26 28 bottom face 30 and spaced
apart top face 32 which is bonded to bottom surface 16 as herein
previously described. The sealant strip will vary in size depending
on application and the size of glass panes employed, but typically
the strip will be from 0.25" by 0.25" to about 1"
by 1" or more.
The insulating body 24 is preferably formed of suitable solid or
foamed cellular structures which may, in turn, be any suitable thermoplastic
or thermo-setting polymeric materials. In a preferred embodiment,
the material is foamed polyurethane and contains an impregnated
desiccant therein. It will be understood that other suitable polymers
may be used in a solid or foamed structure such as polyethylene,
polypropylene, copolymers thereof, polysilicones, polyvinylchlorides
etc. Suitable desiccants impregnated in the polyurethane foam include
calcium chloride, silica gel, zeolites, potassium chloride or any
other suitable hygroscopic material. The hygroscopic material may
be added to the polyurethane material during a foaming step to ensure
adequate impregnation as is the convention in the art. In addition,
the rigid materials of the strip 12 are preferably malleable facilitating
ease of use and, more importantly, shape retention. This will be
discussed in greater detail hereinafter.
The insulating body, i.e. the foam body 24 may be coextruded with
the strip 12 or affixed thereto in a separate step. The foam body
24 may be from about 0.125" to 2" or more wide and will
vary according to the application. Generally, the width of the insulating
body 24 will preferably be wide enough to provide supporting generally
non-compressible surfaces in order to support panes of glass on
both sides thereof.
Referring to FIG. 3 shown is a perspective view of the sealant
strip 10 in position between two opposed sheets of glass 34. As
illustrated, the strip 10 is one continuous elongated length, which
is preferably discontinuous at only one point, namely, the point
where the ends of the strip meet. In this arrangement, the insulating
capability of the strip is not appreciably affected. It is preferred
that the sealant strip 10 be spaced inwardly from the outside edges
36 of the glass substrates 34 to facilitate the placement of back-fill
sealant material 38 therein. This is illustrated in FIG. 4. Suitable
back-fill material includes thermoplastics e.g. butyl polymers,
styrene-butadiene polymers, thermosetting materials e.g. acrylic
polymers or thermoplastic-thermosetting compounds, such as those
known in the art. This material may be extruded co-terminously or
simultaneously with the elongated length of strip 12 and insulating
body 24. Preferably back-fill material 38 comprises an elongated
length of material having opposed top 39 and bottom 41 and a face
40 in which there is centrally located an axial channel 42 recessed
inwardly of the face 40. It is particularly preferred that the channel
42 include spaced apart lateral recesses 44 and 46 which are adapted
to receive and cooperate with the projecting element 18 and, more
specifically, cooperate with recesses 18A and 18B. The top 39 and
bottom 41 may include suitable adhesives known in the art to bond
substrate surfaces thereto. Thus, in insulated glass assembly as
illustrated in FIG. 5 by mounting the sealant strip 10 between a
pair of opposed surfaces and anchoring the same with back-fill material
adapted to cooperate with the strip 10.
In an alternate form, the material 38 may be injected using known
techniques for contact with the top face 14 of the strip 12 thus
filling in the recesses of the projecting element 18 which thus
results in the sealant being retained by the element 18 when the
sealant has set. This material, once set, seals the panes 34 and
sealant strip 10 into a unitary insulated glass assembly.
As those skilled in the art will realize, these preferred illustrated
details can be subjected to substantial variation, without affecting
the function of the illustrated embodiments. Although embodiments
of the invention have been described above, it is not limited thereto
and it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous
modification form part of the present invention insofar as they
do not depart from the spirit, nature and scope of the claimed and