uPVC Profile Types
uPVC profile refers to uPVC window frame and sash which holds the glazing unit – in other words, it is the plastic part of the uPVC window. uPVC profiles are classified according to their width, internal structure, cladding, etc. Here we outline the types of uPVC profile used in uPVC windows, both inward opening and outward opening. uPVC window profiles can be put into three categories:
Narrow uPVC profiles. uPVC profiles can be narrow (Economy budget profile) or wide (Passive house profile). Generally it can be stated that the wider the uPVC profile, the better heat and sound insulation is achieved. Generally, narrow uPVC profiles are between 60 mm and 80 mm in depth; they are comparatively cheap and have fairly good heat and sound insulation properties. uPVC windows made of narrow profile are suitable for apartment buildings, private houses, office buildings.
Wide uPVC profiles are better at insulating heat and sound. All uPVC profiles that are wider than 80 mm are put under this label. Wide uPVC profiles are more durable because of a bigger reinforcement structure. If you choose a wide profile for your new uPVC windows, you have a chance to choose a wider glazing (double or triple glazing) for even better heat and sound insulation.
Casement window profiles are more popular in Northern Europe, especially in areas of strong winds and rain. Casement window profile is designed to open outwards; this proves very beneficial in severe climates, as the strong wind presses the sash firmly against the frame thus improving uPVC window weather tightness. Another advantage of casement window profile is saving space: uPVC windows open outwards, so you can use the space on window sills and put furniture close to the uPVC windows.
uPVC window profiles are made of high quality lead-free uPVC, which can be recycled once the uPVC windows are out of use. uPVC window profiles are hollow; the cavities have internal chambers filled with air which help to improve the heat insulation. There are many companies that produce uPVC profiles and each of them offers slightly different products. Currently the most popular uPVC window profiles in Mainland Europe are the ones made in Germany.
uPVC Profile Chambers
uPVC profiles always involve a multi-chambered structure. This means that a hollow uPVC profile is divided into 3 or more sections which help to reduce the heat loss. Generally, more sections mean a better heat and sound insulation. An additional advantage of sections is the increased uPVC profile stability. The number of chambers can be determined by looking at a model of the uPVC profile and counting the number of sections that divide the uPVC profile vertically.
uPVC Profile Reinforcement
uPVC profiles are light, easy to transport and install. However, if a larger glazing option is chosen, there may be some problems; uPVC profile may be unable to sustain the weight and eventually deform. In order to prevent this, uPVC profiles are reinforced by inserting a special long rigid structure into one of the chambers. Traditionally uPVC windows were reinforced using steel, but recently there are some other options available.
Steel reinforcement. Steel was traditionally used for uPVC profile reinforcement. It provides stability and resistance to impact as well as a possibility to make larger uPVC windows. But steel is a metal and therefore conducts heat very well, which is undesirable in modern energy efficient windows.
uPVC profile walls. Rigidity and stability of uPVC profile is much affected by the inner and outer profile walls. For the best stability, outer walls of uPVC profile should be at least 3 mm thick. The total number of partitions inside the uPVC profile is also important; the more there are chambers and sections, the stronger and more stable is the uPVC profile.
uPVC Window Seals
uPVC window seal or window gasket is a narrow rubber band that is fixed all around the uPVC window, primarily between frame and sash. uPVC window seal is compressed by closing the uPVC window. As there are no gaps around the perimeter (all possible gaps are insulated by the gaskets), no cold, rain or wind can enter the room. Usually there are two or three perimeters of window seal, depending on the uPVC window type:
Two perimeters of window seal is a standard option for residential buildings.
Three perimeters of window seal are used in special cases when the best heat and sound insulation is required, e.g. for the Passive House.
uPVC windows look better when window seals are invisible from the outside. Therefore many uPVC windows feature low level gasket lines which are almost unnoticeable when the uPVC window is closed. uPVC window gaskets need maintenance once a year; it is advisable to clean the gaskets and apply some silicone solution so that the rubber would retain its sealing properties. uPVC window gaskets come in different colours which can be fitted to the colour of your uPVC windows.
uPVC Profile Colours
uPVC window profiles have a standard white colour, but upon request they may be laminated with a colourful laminate. There is a choice between RAL colours, wood grain effect and brushed metal laminate. All uPVC profile colours are durable, resistant to fading, peeling or scratch.