As hundreds of your readers will know all too well, we’re in the middle of the worst silicone shortage in years – and in fenestration, that’s a big problem.
We’re now faced with higher prices, longer lead times – often by weeks, not days – and the dilemma of whether to suck up the punishment and try and wait it out or think long-term and look for alternatives.
The causes for the shortage are complex. Global silicone demand is at an all-time high. All the world’s major silicone facilities have fallen behind demand and hiked prices as a result. And some key manufacturers have been hit with other problems, like strike action.
Broader political and economic trends are complicating the issue – most notably, the continuing ascendency and industrial dominance of China.
60% of the world’s silicone now comes from Chinese facilities. Once, if production fell in one part of the world, other regions would have been able to make up the difference. But as more and more of the world’s industrial activity gets concentrated in China, and sharply declines elsewhere, that’s no longer the case.
Now, in other words, we’re so dependent on Chinese production that if it runs into trouble, we’re all in trouble.
So how should window installers respond? They can swallow the price increases and longer lead times, and hope the current crisis is short-lived.
But with the current climate only looking set to continue, and with no sign of large-scale silicone production returning to other parts of the world any time soon, it’s likely that shortages could become a regular occurrence.
Thankfully, for window installers, at least, there is an alternative. TP650 Trio is illbruck’s best-in-class window installation tape. In essence, it’s a compressed foam insulating seal. Once you remove the backing paper, the tape steadily expands to effectively seal all gaps and spaces between the frame and wall.
Trio has been designed and engineered to excel in every respect. It’s a pre-compressed, multi-functional polyurethane tape that’s impregnated with flame-retardant resin.
It offers the most outstanding thermal efficiency, outstanding air-tightness, and driving rain resistance of at least 600 PA. It seals and protects corner joints from mould and fungi and it significantly improves acoustic insulation.
Another important factor is the consistently high-quality finish which Trio provides. You simply can’t beat this repeatability of finish with a sealant.
And, most importantly of all, it’s a breeze to fit. A lot of other non-silicone sealant solutions on the market are flawed. They’re incredibly difficult to align, or they crease around corners. Trio has none of these problems – and can be measured and applied in a matter of minutes.
What’s more, it’s fully compliant with BS8213-4:2016 CoP for the survey and installation of windows and external door sets, and the Glass and Glazing Federation’s Guide to Good Practice.