Review:Gütegemeinschaft Kunststoff-Fensterprofilsysteme invited to its 4th TechnologieForumZukunft
Since February 2021, RAL Gütegemeinschaft Kunststoff-Fensterprofilsysteme e.V. (GKFP) has been hosting several webinars under its brand "TechnologieForumZukunft" to present and discuss current topics relevant to PVC windows. The focus here is on the qual-ity assurance perspective aiming to impart knowledge in an instruc-tive way.
This year, the fourth round of this interactive learning platform handled the topic "Correct cleaning of PVC windows". The hybrid event took place on Thursday, October 26, 2023 from 10:00-12:00 at the premises of multi-media Systeme AG near Karlsruhe. A total of 66 participants listened to the technical content addressed to window manufacturers, end users, architects, planners, representatives of the housing industry and interested specialists.
Cleaning of foiled surfaces
The forum opened with two keynote speeches. Harald Neunzehn, Head of Film Service at RENOLIT SE, spoke about "Techniques and cleaning agents for the cleaning of film surfaces", seen from the perspective of the film manufacturer. In his presentation, he focused in particular on the cleaning of film surfaces in case of on-site soiling. He emphasized that the procedure is a decisive success factor regarding surface cleaning. He also explained that different plastic cleaners cover different cleaning areas. This depends, for example, on the type and embossing of the surface design. Depending on the embossing, it can be shinier or more matt, for example.
In particular, Mr. Neunzehn emphasized that the wrong cleaning method damages the surface more than the actual soiling. Using illustrative practical examples, he gave relevant tips and recommendations, such as "do not wipe off dust dry, but damp", "do not roughen surfaces" and "avoid solvent-based cleaners".
Finally, Mr. Neunzehn rounded off his presentation with a live cleaning demonstration in which he removed exterior plaster and tile adhesive from window profile samples using only water, soap and the correct cleaning technique.
The conclusion of his presentation was that neither the surfaces nor the soiling are problematic, but rather the wrong cleaning method. Heavy soiling can best be removed with the simplest means, such as water.
Cleaning white PVC plastic profiles
In the second presentation, Marco Themel, Laboratory Manager at FENOPLAST Fügetechnik GmbH, gave advise on the correct cleaning of white PVC profiles. He began by explaining the difference between solvent-based and water-based cleaning agents. He also went into the selection of the right cleaning agent and answered the questions of "who" cleans, "where" and "what" is cleaned. Finally, he gave an insight into a series of tests at the Institut für Oberflächentechnik GmbH (IFO), in which Fenoplast cleaning agents were tested on white U-PVC surfaces in the form of friction and immersion tests. In a practical section, he presented the cleaning of white PVC profiles soiled with felt-tip pens using cleaning agents with different formulations. The cleaners shown are: Aqueous cleaner for white PVC, aqueous cleaner for foil-laminated PVC , water and detergent, solvent-based cleaner non-solvent, solvent-based cleaner low-solvent and solvent-based cleaner high-solvent.
Mr. Themel recommended avoiding aggressive or solvent-based cleaning agents. In order to select the right cleaning agent, the requirements and conditions must be weighed up without damaging the surface. There is no "one" cleaning agent for all surfaces. If soiling cannot be removed in accordance with the information sheet provided by the GKFP, he advises contacting a specialist.
Exchange of ideas between our experts
In the following panel discussion, experts and practitioners answered questions from the moderator, Bernhard Elias (RAL Gütegemeinschaft Kunststoff-Fensterprofilsysteme e.V.), as well as questions from the audience, which were asked live and via chat message. The panel examined the topic from five perspectives and was made up of experts from system houses (Dominik Mathes; aluplast GmbH), film manufacturers (Andreas Grüb, Konrad Horn-schuch AG), science (Dr. Benjamin Fiedler, IFO Institut für Oberflächentechnik GmbH), professional cleaning (Philipp Ambruch, Rudolf Ambruch Fassadenpflege GmbH) and quality assurance (Gerald Feigenbutz, RAL Gütegemeinschaft Kunststoff-Fensterprofilsysteme e.V.). How consumers deal with the topic was presented in a road survey filmed in Bonn city. Housing associations also had their say; the moderator presented their statements. Finally, we had the opportunity to present helpful recommendations on the correct cleaning of PVC windows from the perspective of the quality association. These perspectives served as the basis for the panel discussion. There, the experts exchanged views on two central questions: Firstly, the question of intensive or older soiling and secondly, the question of correct maintenance cleaning.