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What are the Types of Window Frames and Its Materials

Windows should provide a water tight seal when closed. Window frames should have low thermal conductivity or be constructed to interrupt the flow of heat.

Material Used for Window Frames

A variety of materials are used for window frames.

  • Metal frames
  • Timber frames
  • Vinyl frames
  • Combination frames
  • Composite frames
  • Fiberglass frames, etc.

Each material has its own pros and cons and is suitable as per location, climate, aesthetics, function, and style.

Metal Frames

bronzecasements.com

Pros:

  • Light, strong material
  • Maintenance-free
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Does not warp or shrink as wood does
  • Does not require painting as it is powder-coated in the factory.

Cons:

  • Conduct heat rapidly -a poor insulating material.
  • Prone to rusting for a few types of metals.
  • To reduce heat flow, metal frames should have a thermal break – an insulating strip.

Timber Frames

everest.co.uk

PROS

  • Soundproof provides insulation, strength and security.
  • Durable and lasts for years.
  • Eco-friendly material

CONS

  • Care should be taken by sealing to prevent from absorption of moisture.
  • May sag over time as per differential atmospheric conditions.
  • Affected by termites unless care is taken.

Vinyl/PVC Frames

windowsandsiding.net

PVC window frames are made of polyvinyl chloride and mostly preferred as it is fire resistant.

PROS

  • Economical and durable
  • Light in weight and easy to install
  • Resists damage by termites
  • Weather and moisture resistant

CONS

  • Weak than aluminium/steel
  • High coefficient of thermal expansion
  • Not resistant to UV light
  • To make them thermal resistant, window frames are filled with insulation.

Combination Frames

A combination of different materials are used for the frame and sash for a single window. It increases optimal performance. For example, exterior frame can be vinyl, while the interior frame can by wood.

Composite Frames

Window frames
marvin-architectural.co.uk

Made of various materials blended during the manufacturing processes. For example – composite wood products, such as particleboard and laminated lumber mixed with polymer plastics.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Well insulated
  • Better moisture resistance than conventional wood.

Fiberglass Frames

milgard.com

PROS

  • Durable and resistant to extreme climate conditions.
  • Elegant and classy
  • Energy efficient
  • Have air cavities that can be left hollow or filled with foam insulation

CONS

  • Expensive than standard wood

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