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Annealed Glass

The basic product produced in the float process.

Argon Gas

A colorless and harmless inert gas that is injected in the airspace of an insulating unit, to improve energy efficiency.

Breather Tubes

A small metal tube that is placed into an insulated unit’s spacer to equalize pressure differences. Breather tubes are larger than capillary tubes and can allow moisture to enter into the insulating unit.

Capillary Tubes

A small metal tube that is placed into an insulated unit’s spacer to equalize pressure differences. Capillary tubes are used most frequently to equalize a unit that in shipping, will experience significant elevation changes. Unlike breather tubes, moisture cannot pass into the unit.

Coatings: Pyrolitic

Pyrolitic coating is a coating applied at high temperatures and fired into the glass surface during the float glass process.The advantage is that the coating is relatively durable, allowing it to be used for retrofit applications such as moveable glazing panels Can be heat treated or tempered after coating application Can be used in a single glazing application

Coatings: Sputter Coatings

Sputter coatings are applied in multiple layers using a vacuum chamber. This process provides the highest level of performance and a nearly invisible coatingHigh visible light transmission Ultralow emissivities giving optimum winter U-values Up to 70% less UV transmission compared with standard clear glazing Optical clarity

No color haze

Daylight Transmittance

The percentage of light that transmits through a window. The number ranges from 0 to 100%. Standard clear insulated glass (1/8″ over 1/8″) has a daylight transmission of 82%.

Edge Deletion

This process removes the Low-E coating from the edge of the glass (following the sputter coating process) so that the insulating sealant can adhere to the glass surface. This also reduces the chance of corrosion when the coating is exposed to moisture.


A measure of an object’s ability to emit long-wave infrared radiation or room temperature radiant heat energy. Emissivity varies from 0 (no emitted infrared) to 1 (100% emitted infrared). The lower the Emissivity, the lower the resultant U-value.

Float Glass

A fabrication process used to make flat glass by drawing molten glass across a tin bath.

Fogged Unit

Moisture found on the inside of an insulated unit caused by failure of the seal.

Heat Mirror film

A window insulation material that is transparent to light, but highly reflective to heat. It consists of a specially coated film which is mounted inside an insulating glass unit, midway between the panes of glass. The result is a finished product which looks clear, but has a dramatically improved insulation performance. Compared with ordinary types of glass, Heat Mirror dramatically reduces heat loss and heat gain caused by conduction and radiation. These are two of the primary methods by which heat transfer occurs in glass. The third is convection. Ordinary double pane and triple pane glass only reduce conductive heat flow, and have little effect on the radiated component of heat flow. Heat Mirror combines a low-E coating with two air spaces to block both radiated and conductive heat flow. This unique construction enables Heat Mirror insulating units to offer higher insulating performance than other high performance glazing options. The transparent Heat Mirror coating is actually 90% as reflective as aluminum foil. It is optically clear and reflects heat back to its source.

Heat Strengthened

The process of heat strengthening is similar to the tempering process. The glass is heated to near its softening point, then cooled faster than normal but not as rapidly as fully tempered glass.

Laminated Glass

Produced by permanently bonding two pieces of glass together with a tough plastic interlayer (polyvinyl butyral) under heat and pressure. Once bonded together, the sandwich behaves as a single piece. If broken, glass fragments adhere to the plastic interlayer rather than falling free and potentially causing injury. Laminated glass is considered a safety glass. The interlayer is invisible when viewed through the glass and with glass on either side, the finished lite is indistinguishable from plain glass when installed. Most often, laminated glass is produced from annealed glass, but heat strengthened or tempered can be used when special performance needs are present. Laminated annealed glass can be cut or drilled.

Low-E Coating

Low-E is the clear low-emissivity coating on one side of the glass that is microscopically

thin and has optically transparent layers of silver sandwiched between layers of metal oxide coatings. This specific process is known as “sputter coating” and is also referred to as softcoat. Low-E filters the suns energy in the summer and reduces heat loss in the winter. Low-E lets in visible sunlight while blocking infrared and reducing ultraviolet solar energy that fades carpet and furniture.

Low-E glass has been used for nearly two decades. Until now, Low-E has been a product usually recommended for cold climates. With our introduction of SunCoat Low-E we can use this product in the heat of Southern Nevada Desert or in the cold climate of Alaska. Low-E allows most natural light to enter freely but reflects a significant portion of short-wave heat energy.In the summer, long-wave heat energy radiating from objects is reflected back outside, lowering cooling cost.In winter, internal long-wave heat energy is reflected back inside, lowering heating cost. High visible light transmission: 72% Low shading coefficient: 47 Low relative heat gain: 98 Warmest center glass temperature for winter conditions of all Low-E products Coolest center of glass temperature for summer conditions of all Low-E products Reduces heating and cooling cost for both warm and cold climates Lowest ultraviolet light transmission of all Low-E products, which result in protection for your carpet, furniture and drapery from fading

Monolithic Glass

Glazing construction consisting of one lite of glass or one lite of laminated glass rather than the two lites used to make an insulated unit.

Obscure Glass

Some obscure or pattern glass gets its pattern by going through rollers after the float glass process that have the pattern on the rollers. Adds privacy where window covering are impractical or undesirable (bathrooms, sidelights).Various colors and texture patterns provide a translucent of semi-opaque effect.

Pyrolytic Coating

A coating applied to glass, with visually reflective or non-reflective properties. These coatings are sprayed on to the glass surface as it leaves the float process in a semi-plastic state. Also known as Hard Coat.


Measures the insulation effectiveness of the window. The R-value equals one divided by the U-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating performance.

Reflective Glass

The reflective coating is applied just like hardcoat Low-E through spraying (Pyrolitic process) during the float glass manufacturing process. Heat absorbing and heat reflective glass can only be used on the exterior lite of a unit in order to avoid a build-up of heat inside the airspace, which will cause thermal stress cracks or seal failure. Reflective type glass works with the play of light. Example: During daylight hours you can’t see inside a building with reflective glass, (only your refection). At night there is just the opposite effect. You can see in, but the people inside can not see out. Reflects light and heat with a metal oxide coating giving a mirror effect. Minimizes solar heat gain, and ultraviolet light damage to interior. Adds daytime privacy. May be tempered.

Reflective Tints: Solar Cool Gray and Solar Cool Bronze

Light and heat reflective. Has a low daylight transmittance, shading coefficient, and relative heat gain. Thicknesses available: 5/32″, 3/16″ and 1/4″.

Reflective Tints: Bronze Eclipse, Gray Eclipse and Blue-Green Eclipse

These are light and heat reflective. They have a low daylight transmittance, shading coefficient, and relative heat gain. Thickness available: 1/4″.

Relative Heat Gain

The total heat gain through the glass for a specific set of conditions. This value considers indoor/outdoor temperature differences and the effect of solar radiation. Expressed in Btu/hr/ft2. The lower the relative heat gain value, the lower the solar heat gain.

Seasons: Winter Time

The sun’s energy is “short wave radiation” that passes through the window and is absorbed by carpet, furniture, etc. The energy is then transformed into long wave radiation. The long wave radiation wants to flow from warm to cool. Naturally it will try to escape through the glass. At night the radiant heat produced from furnaces, wood stoves, etc. will also want to escape out. The Low-E coating prevents this when the radiant room side heat is reflected back in to the home. This results in a lower winter U-value. For winter comfort, the higher the indoor glass temperature, the better the product is for comfort.

Seasons: Summer Time

The Low-E coating manages the suns heat in the summer by reducing the amount of heat transferred through the window in the summer. The Low-E coating filters the suns short wave radiation which cuts down on the amount of solar heat gain into your home. For summer comfort, the lower the indoor glass temperature, the better the product is for comfort.Throughout the year, Low-E reduces Ultraviolet rays which can damage curtains, flooring, furniture, etc.

Shading Coefficient

The amount of solar energy or heat that is transmitted through a particular glazing system. It compares the effectiveness of specific glazing options to a single pane of 1/8″ double strength clear glass in its ability to reduce solar heat gain. The shading coefficient of clear double strength glass is 1.0. A standard insulated glass unit has a SC value of about .87. The lower the shading coefficient, the lower the solar heat gain.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

Indicates the percentage of normal incident solar heat energy that makes its way through the glazing under standard summer conditions. This includes both directly transmitted and indirectly transferred heat from energy initially absorbed by the glazing. Lower values indicate less heat entering the building. Sound Transmission Class (STC)

The average value associated with a material’s effectiveness to reduce sound. The higher the value, the greater the reduction of sound. Sputter Coating (Magnetic Sputtered Vacuum Deposition)

A thin metallic coating that is applied when molecular particles are vacuum deposited on the glass surface. This process occurs following glass production. Also known as Soft Coat.

Tempered Glass

Glass that is strengthened through the process of heating and then cooling the surfaces rapidly. This creates surface compression and tensile strength that causes glass to resist breakage, yet disintegrate into small pieces if a break occurs. Fully tempered glass must have a surface compression of at least 10,000 psi. This process produces glass four times more impact resistant than non tempered glass.

Tempering Process

The tempering process produces highly desirable conditions of induced stress which result in additional strength, resistance to thermal stress and impact resistance.Fully tempered glass must have a surface compression of 10,000 PSI (Annealed is below 3500 PSI) and heat strengthened must have a surface compression between 3,500 and 7,500 PSI. The basic principle employed in the heat treating process is to create an initial condition of surface and edge compression. The condition is achieved by first heating the glass, then cooling the surfaces rapidly. This leaves the center glass thickness relatively hot compared to the surfaces. As the center thickness then cools, it forces the surfaces and edges into compression.Wind pressure, foreign object impact and thermal stresses or other applied loads must first overcome this compression before there is a possibility of breakage. In the heat treatment process the key procedure is application of a rapid air quench immediately upon withdrawal of hot (1200 degrees F) glass from the tempering furnace. The immediate and sustained application of an air quench produces the temper. A quenched condition becomes stable when the glass is reduced to a temperature of approximately 400-600 degrees F. Tempered glass is about 4 times stronger than annealed.

Tinted Glass: Azurlite

This spectrally select glass has an ‘aquamarine’ appearance and is excellent for high daylight transmittance and has a low shading coefficient. Thicknesses available: 1/8″, 3/16″ and 1/4″.

Tinted Glass: Evergreen

A green tinted, spectrally select glass that provides a high daylight transmittance and UV transmittance. Thicknesses available: 1/8″, 3/16″, and 1/4″.

Tinted Glass: Graylite

Unique among all tinted glass, offering a dark-gray, almost black appearance which provides excellent glare control, shading coefficient and ultraviolet screening. Available in two thicknesses: Graylite #31 (31% light transmittance) is 1/8″ thick; Graylite #14 (14% light transmittance) is 1/4″ thick.

Tinted Glass: Solar Bronze

A brown “smoked” tint designed to reduce solar heat gain. Thicknesses available: 1/8″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 1/4″ and 3/8″.

Tinted Glass: Solar Gray

A gray “smoked” glass designed to reduce solar heat gain. Thicknesses available: 1/8″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″.

Tinted Glass: Solex

A green float glass that has excellent light transmittance and reduces solar heat gain. Thicknesses available: 1/8″, 3/16″ and 1/4″.


Measures the heat loss or gain due to differences between indoor and outdoor air temperatures and is expressed in terms of BTU’s/hr/ft2. The U-value equals one divided by the R-value. The lower the U-value the better the insulating performance.

Ultraviolet (UV)

Radiation having wave lengths just shorter than those of visible light. Ultraviolet rays represent 2/3 of the rays that cause fading.

Vinyl Compounds

The key “ingredients” that make up the vinyl frame for a window can vary greatly among manufacturers. Each additive to a company’s vinyl “recipe” helps determine the long-term characteristics (weatherability and resistance to impact, how it handles the summer heat and winter chill) of the final product. The sun’s ultraviolet light can be quite damaging to many materials – including vinyl. So in order to maintain a window’s finish and strength over time, an ultraviolet inhibitor must be added to the “mix.” It’s a sunscreen of sorts that protects the window from the sun’s harmful rays. Milgard uses a precise level of ultraviolet barriers to make sure your vinyl windows will continue to look – and perform – beautifully for a lifetime.

Vinyl Window Design

If you cut a vinyl window in half, you’ll notice that the frame is quite different than windows made from other materials. Unlike a wood window, for example, a vinyl window is honeycombed with hollow areas for strength and energy savings. And unlike aluminum, a vinyl frame is a bit bulkier – it has more material to keep it rigid. But a thicker frame alone doesn’t mean a better window. The design of a window is what determines the overall performance against sagging, rolling or twisting over time. Milgard’s balanced design and precise inner wall placement result in a window with more strength. So you can be confident they’ll operate flawlessly for a lifetime — despite the climate. Although many people think of vinyl as bending easily, its tensile strength is actually extremely good. Better than many materials, in fact. So as long as you’re pulling it from end to end, it’s not going anywhere. The trick is to use this tensile strength to make the window even stronger. Milgard’s inner wall structure does just that — balancing strength, energy efficiency and performance.

Warm Edge Spacer

State of the art, three sided spacer bar replacing the traditional four sided aluminum spacer. Nickel plated steel is formed into a U shape, eliminating the fourth side and increasing energy efficiency. One fully automated, continuous spacer is bent on three corners and riveted in the fourth, decreasing the possibility of unit failure due to old style plastic corner keys with aluminum spacers. At Milgard, this is known as Intercept.

Wire Glass

During the manufacturing process, a ribbon of molten glass is pulled out of the melting furnace over a series of rollers, cooling under controlled temperature as it passes through the rollers. A ribbon of glass half the thickness of the end product is overlaid with a 19 mm square, electrically welded, chemically treated steel wire mesh. The mesh is then overlaid with another ribbon of glass with the same thickness as the first. This “sandwiches” the wire between the two pieces of glass, which fuse together. The glass is cooled after forming under strictly controlled conditions so that the glass stresses and shape conform with strict specifications.

The next stage is the grinding and polishing. The grinding and polishing process utilizes 1,000 tons of sand per week. Each side of the glass is ground and polished separately before examination and cutting take place. A sand and water mix is fed between rotating cast iron heads, using a coarse grade of sand at first and them increasingly finer grades. Half a millimeter of glass is removed during one pass down the grinding section. The glass is then polished by rotating polyurethane pads, to give a uniform polish. Rouge is used as the polishing agent, and is fed onto the glass as it approaches the pads.