Thermally Broken Steel | Steel | Custom Steel Design | 2Fold

Hope’s Windows leads the insulated window and door category of hot-rolled steel sales.  That’s why I look at their website. They have always had the best photography dating back to the 1980’s and that hasn’t changed.

They were late to the party that started around 2010 when thermally broken or thermally improved hot-rolled steel windows were invented.  I was there at Montanstahl soon after Hope’s and Crittall were offered groundbreaking technology developed by Wolfgang Stumm of Montanstahl. 

Hope’s Turned Down Thermal Break Technology

They both turned them down saying that “steel windows don’t need thermal breaks . . . they’re good enough as they are.”  MHB windows of the Netherlands had already adapted the technology to their specialty steel door and window system, and I was the first manufacturer of traditional hot-ro

lled steel and glass doors and windows to join in the development of the Montanstahl technology.

The History of Thermal Breaks

Thermal breaks in metal windows dates to the aluminum window and door designs that needed to compete with steel windows on thermal efficiency.  Straight aluminum profiles would create massive amounts of condensation during winter months in northern climates when steel profiles did not. 

Enter the poured and de-bridged thermal break of the 1970’s followed by fiberglass isobars years later.  In both cases, plastic, with good thermal properties were inserted into the middle of aluminum extrusions to separate them and “break” the thermal bridge.  This solved the problem but made the new products much more expensive.

Thermal Breaks Compromise Strength

Hope’s was right to recognize that the common thermal breaks of the day compromise strength.  This is why when they finally entered the thermally enhanced steel window and door business they developed “Thermal Evolution™”.   

Thermal Evolution™ uses their standard hot-rolled bars and adds a thick plastic parallel extrusion to their frame members.  Then they make the glazing beads that hold the glass in place also out of plastic (fiberglass). 

This creates thermal improvement without compromising the natural strength advantage of steel windows as they are quick to point out on the right side of the page linked above.”

thermal steel natural thermal break by 2Fold Doors

However, this thermal advance comes by using a lot more plastic material and now the plastic is seen on the outside, not just hidden within steel.  Of course, they paint it, but it is still a bunch of environmentally unfriendly plastic all over the place.

One good thing that their product and their advertising does is make a great argument for the 2Fold® “patent pending” technology being the best solution to thermal improvement over all the others.  Thank you, Hope’s, for your unintentional support.

2Fold® Creates the Unbroken Thermal Technology That Doesn’t Use Plastic

After developing several systems in partnership with Montanstahl that are still in use today, I left the thermal break for steel windows behind to pursue a radically different approach, 2Fold®.

Just like Hope’s, 2Fold® leaves the 2-1/4” deep web of the steel fully intact with NO separation.  This yields unparalleled strength compared to all other methods of thermal improvement.

The second part of the twofold, 2Fold® proposition is that the inter glazing bead is Accoya®, a pickled, natural wood product with extraordinary thermal efficiency and elegance.  There is NO break in the metal – NO Compromise using environmentally unsustainable plastic.

The look of 2Fold® doors and windows is what you would expect from other narrow profile steel doors and windows, but with better thermal values and using only environmentally responsible materials.

Check out this thermal comparison of common products listed on the NFRC database by clicking HERE.

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