Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of the Vacuum Pressure in a Vacuum glazing after extreme thermal cycling

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Abstract

Details of theoretical and experimental studies of the change in vacuum pressure within a vacuum glazing after extreme thermal cycling are presented. The vacuum glazing was fabricated at low temperature using an indium edge seal. It comprised two 4 mm thick 0.4 m by 0.4 m low-emittance glass panes separated by an array of stainless steel pillars with a diameter of 0.32 mm and a height of 0.2 mm. After thermal cycling in the temperature range-30°C to +50°C on one side of the sample, while maintaining 22°C on the other side, it was found that the glass to glass heat conductance of the sample had increased by 8.2%. The vacuum pressure within the evacuated gap was determined to have increased from 0.01 Pa to 0.15 Pa using the model of Corrucini. This is at the upper limit of the range where the effect of gas pressure on the thermal performance of vacuum glazing can be ignored. The degradation of vacuum level determined was corroborated by the change in glass surface temperatures.