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Innovations in steel window fabrication


Steel windows and doors are a beautiful and coveted aspect of many architectural design projects, creating an industrial and sometimes art deco design to buildings in all sectors of design. IQ Metal UK explore


iron. As their craft skills increased so did the size of steel windows they were able to create, however they were unable to produce large panes of glass at that time. So came the idea of joining glass panes together with slim metal sections – this is what we now refer to as ‘leaded lights’. The manufacturing of steel windows eventually moved to


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factories that were able to create fixed and opening steel windows with slim metal framing. This reduced the costs significantly of these previously exclusive window designs. In 1856 the process of hot rolling was perfected revolution-


ising the use of the steel casement window worldwide. This effective manufacturing technique for steel windows created a boom in demand with their slim metal frames being used on the most prolific architecture of the time from houses to; government buildings, factories, Bauhaus inspired architecture and Henrietta Barnet inspired country cottages. Crittal Windows were one of the largest manufacturers of


hot rolled steel windows and their name has become the generic term used for most steel windows, with many designers looking for a ‘Crittal style aesthetic’ to their windows and doors.


teel windows and doors’ use in architectural design can be dated all the way back to medieval period with local blacksmiths creating bespoke windows from wrought


Demand for these slim framed steel windows dropped off in


the 1970’s and aluminium took over as the most popular window framing material. However, thanks to the modern innovations in steel fabrication techniques, steel windows are experiencing a new surge in popularity and a new lease of life. The popularity of aluminium can mostly be explained by


their low maintenance finish as well as their improved thermal performance due to thermal break technology, something that was not possible for steel window frames. The advance of cold rolled steel profiles has allowed for the


creation of fully thermally broken steel windows, enabling these once coveted and luxury windows to adhere to, and exceed, modern Building Regulations whilst maintaining their slim and elegant finish. A two part thermal break system is the base of this improved


thermal performance. A structural reinforced core to the thermal break is made from extruded polyamide which helps to maintain the inherent strength of a steel frame allowing them to maintain slim profiles. The thermal break is then filled with high density polyurethane to increase the insulation values. The strong yet insulating steel window profiles can then hold a double, or even triple glazed, unit to create a fully insulating steel window. Resulting in steel windows achieving a Uw value


Continued overleaf... www.architectsdatafile.co.uk


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