Glass Glossary

Desiccants


Last Updated: November 23, 2023

Desiccants are vital components within insulating glass (IG) units, specifically designed to maintain a moisture-free environment between the glass panes. Cardinal Glass utilizes pure 3A molecular sieve beaded desiccant inside the spacer.

Cardinal’s decision to use 3A molecular sieve desiccant is driven by its selective absorption properties. With pore sizes of 3 angstroms (3A), this desiccant exclusively absorbs moisture while leaving the gas fill intact. Desiccants with larger pore sizes can absorb nitrogen and other gases, causing the glass panes to become nonparallel and placing stress on the seals. This can potentially reduce the longevity of the IG unit.

Moreover, Cardinal fills all four legs of its spacer with desiccant, providing up to twice the capacity of most metal spacers and up to four times as much as typical flexible spacer systems. This abundant desiccant capacity enhances the longevity of the IG, as it effectively prevents moisture-related issues such as condensation and fogging.

The desiccant used by Cardinal creates a low frost point below -85°F, further enhancing the thermal performance and moisture resistance of the IG unit. Cardinal’s 3A desiccant ensures optimal moisture adsorption while minimizing the effects of temperature-related pressure changes.