How are uPVC Windows Constructed? 10 Steps from Design to Installation.
uPVC windows have been gaining popularity in the Australian design and construction industry due to their durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance requirements.
This partnership allows us to provide competitive pricing and a unique level of customisation for the Australian climate and market. It also assists in significantly reducing our carbon footprint and keeping embodied emissions low.
How is uPVC different from standard PVC?
uPVC, short for ‘Unplasticised’ polyvinyl chloride, takes its name from the absence of chemical plasticisers in its composition. Instead, uPVC is made from robust impact modifiers and reinforcing fillers.
During the manufacturing process, elongated polymers resembling strands of spaghetti intertwine, reinforcing the material. Then the introduction of impact modifiers binds these polymer strands together for strength.
This makes it a uniquely durable material for window and door frames. uPVC frames have remarkable resilience against damage and extreme weather. They also require little ongoing maintenance.
uPVC also has the highly unusual quality of becoming stronger the more it is recycled. Upon its initial recycling cycle, uPVC can attain up to a 6% increase in strength. The next four or five times it’s recycled, it will get stronger, albeit by a smaller amount each time.
This gives uPVC a surface hardness on par with aluminium, without needing to be thermally broken like the latter for energy efficiency.
uPVC has outstanding properties when it comes to insulation and doesn’t conduct heat, making it perfect for window frames. It’s also much more affordable than thermally broken aluminium.
The design and construction of uPVC windows is a meticulous process that harnesses engineering precision to create windows that are not only aesthetically pleasing but functional and long-lasting.
Let’s look more closely at the ten key steps involved in the design, construction, and installation of Thermotek’s uPVC window and door systems.
1. Frame Fabrication
The construction of uPVC windows begins with the fabrication of the window frame. As discussed, using a rigid and durable material like uPVC gives the frame resistance to weathering, corrosion, and impact.
The process starts with extruding uPVC profiles, which are long, hollow sections that will form the main framework of the window. These profiles are created through a process called extrusion, where uPVC material is melted and forced through a specially designed die to form the desired shape. This allows for intricate designs and profiles to be produced.
Thermotek has a strategic partnership with aluplast, whose German-engineered profiles from are made from up to 70% recycled uPVC. We exclusively use aluplast as our extrusion supplier due to their exceptional engineering, innovation, and commitment to the environment.
2. Profile Design and Cutting
The extruded uPVC profiles are then cut to the required lengths based on the window specifications. These profiles come in various shapes and designs, catering to different architectural styles and functional requirements.
The window frame holds the window sash that allows the opening and closing of the window and also fastens the window to the building structure.
The cutting process is carried out in our Melbourne facility using precision cutting machinery to ensure accurate dimensions.
3. Corner Welding
To create a seamless and strong frame, the cut uPVC profiles are assembled using a corner welding technique. This involves joining the profiles at the corners through a process known as heat welding or fusion welding.
The uPVC material is heated at the corners, causing it to melt and fuse together, forming a solid and durable joint. This welding process enhances the strength and rigidity of the window frame.
4. Steel Reinforcement Insertion
To further reinforce the uPVC window frame, galvanized steel inserts are placed within the hollow cavities of the profiles. The inserts are strategically positioned within the frame to provide optimal support.
These inserts add structural integrity and enhance the window’s ability to withstand wind pressure and other external forces, plus ensure maximum load-bearing capacity.
5. Glazing Preparation
Glazing, the process of installing glass panes into the window frame, is a critical step in the construction of Thermotek windows.
Our window frames are designed to accommodate various glazing options, including double or triple glazing for enhanced thermal insulation and soundproofing.
Glazing beads, which hold the glass panes in place, are carefully positioned and secured within the frame.
6. Sealing, Weatherproofing, and Soundproofing
Sealing and weatherproofing are essential aspects of uPVC window construction to ensure the window is airtight and watertight.
Specialised gaskets and seals are inserted between the glass and the frame, preventing the infiltration of air, water, and dust. Co-extruded gaskets in aluplast uPVC frames also ensure improved heat and sound insulation.
This not only enhances the energy efficiency of the window but also contributes to maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.
7. Hardware Installation
Various hardware components are integrated into uPVC windows to enable functionality. These include handles, hinges, locking mechanisms, and other accessories.
Thermotek’s modern uPVC windows feature advanced locking systems that provide a high level of security. The hardware is installed with extreme precision to ensure smooth operation.
For example, the 85mm Lift & Slide window door systems from Thermotek are energy efficient and safe while also smoothly opening to the outside.
Even at its maximum size of 6.50m x 2.80m, the Lift & Slide door system can be opened and closed easily, ensuring a seamless transition to the outside thanks to very wide opening angles.
It’s the perfect door for patios, balconies, and gardens, with a sash that slides parallel to the fixed pane of glass. It’s a beautiful addition to spacious, flowing indoor/outdoor room designs.
8. Quality Control and Testing
Before Thermotek uPVC windows are ready for installation, they undergo rigorous quality control checks and testing.
These tests include assessments of air and water infiltration, structural integrity, and operational functionality. Only window and door systems that meet our strict quality standards are approved for distribution and installation.
9. Final & Aesthetic Touches
Once the uPVC window and door systems have passed our quality checks, they undergo any necessary finishing touches, such as cleaning, polishing, and the application of protective coatings. These last steps ensure that the windows are beautifully finished and ready for installation in various architectural settings.
Crafted from aluplast’s innovative 5-chamber uPVC profile, the Thermotek Boutique Series is visually elegant, with unparalleled adaptability for different styles of building projects.
Tailored and rigorously tested to stand the test of time in the challenging Australian climate, the Boutique Series windows and doors gracefully accommodate a wide spectrum of Green smart residential projects, spanning both ground-breaking new constructions and thoughtfully executed renovations.
The Boutique Series is available in a stylish range of Architectural and Woodgrain colour options that marry aesthetics with functionality.
More economically viable than thermally broken aluminium, the Boutique Series is also able to achieve the most favourable u-values for energy ratings.
Of course, the final step in the uPVC window construction process is the installation itself.
The dedicated team at Thermotek works with skilled design and construction professionals to ensure they carefully fit the windows into the designated openings, ensuring proper alignment, sealing, and secure fastening. Proper installation is crucial to optimise the window’s performance and longevity.
As you can see, the construction of Thermotek’s uPVC windows involves a careful, multi-step process that combines engineering precision, high-quality materials, and cutting-edge techniques.
From the fabrication of the uPVC frame to the installation of hardware and glazing, each step is integral to creating sustainable windows that offer durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal.
As the demand for sustainable and low-maintenance building solutions grows, uPVC windows stand out as an outstanding choice for both Australian residential and commercial projects.
Interested in uPVC windows for your design or building project? Start the journey with Thermotek and begin harnessing the best engineering in the window business.
Contact us today to discuss your needs and find out more about the unique level of customisation we offer, all within an affordable budget.