For years, the windows and doors profiles in India have been dominated by aluminum and wood. World over, uPVC profile is a preferred option which not only provides greater durability, but also offer stunning looks and ultimate energy efficiency by entirely keeping out noise, dust, heat or cold. uPVC windows also are more cost effective than aluminum and wood. In the last few years, more and more projects in India have upgraded to uPVC windows and doors profiles and have become the fastest growing segment in the industry.
uPVC or unplasticized polyvinyl chloride is a rigid, chemically resistance form of PVC; the material is gaining popularity in India at a slow but steady pace, however, the penetration of new materials in a new market always comes with certain misconceptions. Surfaces Reporter does a rain check on some of these myths on uPVC windows and doors.
“If some of the myth were actually true, uPVC fenestration would not have achieved world-wide acceptance and recognition. Besides, uPVC would not have entered the extremely challenging Indian fenestration market. But I dare to suggest that uPVC was actually invented for India. Coping with hot dry climate and hot humid climate; compensating for temperatures ranging from minus 10°C to plus 50°C; providing a non-corrosive framing alternative for India’s 7500 km long coast line; being termite resistant; being dust and soundproof; have a negligible water absorption; being colourfast and durable, being energy efficient, environmental friendly etc. is quite a tall order!,” shares Robert Höllrigl, Executive Director of R&D at Encraft India Private Limited
MYTH-1: uPVC WINDOWS REQUIRE MORE MAINTENANCE.
A common query about uPVC window frames is ‘ Would entire frames need to be replaced in case of small repairs?’
Fact - uPVC frames are low maintenance.
The key is to buy from a reputed extruder which will guarantee that the main profiles can be obtained virtually for a life time. Opening sashes, glazing beads, glass, gaskets and hardware can be easily replaced without removing the outer frame from the aperture; likewise broken corners can be restrained with mechanical means prolonging the service life of the damaged frame without removal. Cosmetic damage or surface scratches can be easily removed by sanding and polishing on site. uPVC frames use standardised and interchangeable hardware which makes future replacement less troublesome.
MYTH-2: uPVC DEGRADES WITH ULTRA VIOLET LIGHT OVER TIME AND EMITS TOXIC GASES.
Fact - PVC is modern man made material which can be adapted to suit any application. Most systems supplier has their uPVC compound enriched and especially formulated to cope successfully with India’s higher global horizontal irradiation. uPVC fenestration will ‘NOT’ emit any toxic gases during its long service life.
MYTH-3: UPVC IS NOT READILY RECYCLED HENCE NOT AN ECO-FRIENDLY MATERIAL.
Fact - uPVC profiles from windows and doorsets conforming to EN 12608 can be recycled at the end of their life cycle. Depending on the formulation, uPVC profiles can be recycled up to 10 times without enriching the compound i.e. adding fresh stabilizer, lubrication and/or colour pigmentation.
MYTH-4: uPVC IS A PREFERABLE WINDOW OPTION ONLY FOR HIGH END FLATS OR STAND-ALONE BUNGALOWS.
Fact - uPVC is suitable for all market segments including builder projects, apartments, social Housing. The bitter experience of the earlier uPVC performance in builder projects were as a result of extremely low pricing which led to lowering of the profile/frame specification and the use of lower grade ancillary items like gaskets, hardware and external sealants in order to meet the builders’ price aspiration. Things have changed for the better today.
Now-a-days, uPVC frames can match any wood or Aluminium finish including the looks of sliver anodised frames. When budget, performance and environmental facts are considered, then uPVC can be a serious alternative.
MYTH-5: UPVC FRAMES ARE NOT AS WEATHER PROOF LIKE WOODEN OR ALUMINIUM FRAMES.
Fact - uPVC fenestration was primarily designed with high performance in mind. Whilst, Aluminium framing is still quite happy to use single point “Cock-spur” handles or single point “Touch” locks, uPVC has leapfrogged the other frame materials and after considering today’s requirements is now designed catering for increased security, operator ergonomics, lower air permeability etc. as standard thus making a direct cost comparison virtually impossible. Besides, the staggering number of independent and in-house weather test certificates and/or reports carried-out on all types of uPVC fenestration confirms the excellent weathering performance.