Frequently Asked Questions

AMERICA'S MOST DIVERSIFIED STEEL WINDOW & DOOR MANUFACTURER

These questions and answers are meant to be general in nature. Please contact Optimum Window Mfg. Corp. for specific information about steel windows and doors.

1. What are the differences between hot rolled and cold rolled steel?

2. How large can steel windows and doors be?

3. How does the life cycle of steel windows (or doors) compare to aluminum, wood, fiberglass or vinyl windows (or doors)?

4. Do you use recycled materials to make steel windows?

5. Do steel windows need a thermal break to prevent condensation?

6. What is the condensation factor for steel windows and doors?

7. Do you have thermally efficient windows and doors?

8. What are the U-values for steel windows and doors?

9. What types of pretreatment and finish paint are available for steel?

10. How long should a paint finish last?

11. Is it true that aluminum glazing beads react poorly to steel?

12. What is involved in glazing steel windows and doors?

13. What types of glass can be used in a steel window?

14. How easy is it to replace broken glass in a steel window?

15. Why are windows/doors shipped without glass?

16. What are egress windows?

17. Can egress windows be made out of steel?

18. Can steel windows meet window fall prevention requirements?

19. What types of screens are available for steel Optimum windows?

20. What types of windows are available for fire rated applications?

21. What styles of windows are available in steel?

22. What styles of doors are available in steel?

23. How are steel windows installed?

24. Can older steel windows be restored?

25. How do steel windows compare in price to wood and aluminum?

26. Why is it extremely vital to select a steel window that has been tested for air penetration, water penetration and structural integrity?

27. Do steel windows and doors require maintenance?

 


1. What are the differences between hot rolled and cold rolled steel?

Hot rolled steel windows and doors are made from solid steel sections which are produced from new billet steel into shapes specifically designed for window and door frames and ventilators. Cold rolled steel windows and doors are made from hollow steel sections, which have been mechanically formed from flat coil stock into specially designed profiles.

2. How large can steel windows and doors be?

Steel windows and doors are custom manufactured on a project-specific basis and are often chosen for their ability to fill very large openings while maintaining narrow sightlines. Due to the inherent strength of steel, steel windows and doors can be made as large as or larger than any other conventional window and door system available.

3. How does the life cycle of steel windows (or doors) compare to aluminum, wood, fiberglass or vinyl windows (or doors)?

The inherent strength and durability associated with steel windows and doors results in a product that outperforms any other window material – aluminum, wood fiberglass or vinyl.

4. Do you use recycled materials to make steel windows?

Hot rolled steel windows are manufactured from 100% recycled steel.

5. Do steel windows need a thermal break to prevent condensation?

No, with the advances in insulated glass and the ability of steel windows to accept insulated glass, a thermal break is not required. In addition, the end user may control the relative humidity reducing the potential for condensation using existing climate controls.

6. What is the condensation factor for steel windows and doors?

The condensation resistance factor (CRF) of steel windows and doors will vary depending on the size and configuration of the unit, as well as the type of glass. Consult OWM sales staff for specific information.

7. Do you have thermally efficient windows and doors?

Yes, steel windows and doors are thermally efficient. As an example, the thermal resistance of steel is 5 times greater than that of aluminum. The strength of steel affords narrow sightlines, thus reducing the ratio of glass to framing. The more glass there is in a window or door, the better the U-value.

8. What are the U-values for steel windows and doors?

U-values vary depending on the type and thickness of glass used. The U-value for steel windows is calculated for the entire window, including frame material and the glass, and incorporates the style of window, fixed or operable. The U-value can be either physically tested or simulated with a computer program. The combination of the minimal framing profiles of steel, the low coefficient of heat transfer, and larger glass areas will produce U-values as low as 0.26 for fixed windows, while operable windows can be as low as 0.42.

9. What types of pretreatment and finish paint are available for steel?

Pre-treatment options include marine galvanization, zinc-enriched primer & E-coat upon request. Finish paints include enamels, polyurethane, & powder coat paints. Consult OWM’s sales staff for more specific information.

10. How long should a paint finish last?

A paint finish with minimal amount of care can last 10-15 years. Minimal care consists of washing the frames twice a year. (See OWM’s Maintenance Manual)

11. Is it true that aluminum glazing beads react poorly to steel?

No. Paint finishes prevent any corrosive interaction between dissimilar metals.

12. What is involved in glazing steel windows and doors?

Steel windows and doors are typically glazed using glazing tape, glazing wedge, setting blocks, custom pre-fitted glazing beads and a cap bead of sealant on the exterior.

13. What types of glass can be used in a steel window?

Steel windows can accommodate glass thicknesses ranging from 1/8″ to 1-1/2″, including single pane, laminated or leaded glass, and most any of the high performance insulated glass products currently available.

14. How easy is it to replace broken glass in a steel window?

Steel windows are generally provided with continuous snap-in glazing beads which can be easily removed to replace the broken glass and reinstalled with new glazing materials.

15. Why are windows/doors shipped without glass?

Due to large custom sizes of steel windows and doors, ease of handling and installation makes field glazing more practical.

16. What are egress windows?

In the event of a fire, egress windows provide an opening large enough to allow occupants to escape, or to allow a fully-equipped firefighter to enter from the outside. The International Building Codes (IBC) specify the minimum clear opening width for an egress window at 24 in.; the minimum clear opening height is 20 in., and the net clear opening requirement is 5.7 sq. ft. To comply with the Codes, an egress window must be set with a maximum sill height of 44 in.

17. Can egress windows be made out of steel?

Absolutely! Please contact Optimum for available designs.

18. Can steel windows meet window fall prevention requirements?

Yes. The windows can easily be limited to the required clear opening restriction, yet can be released for cleaning.

19. What types of screens are available for steel Optimum windows?

Insect or security screens are available.

20. What types of windows are available for fire rated applications?

Fire rated windows are used in window openings where it is necessary to restrict the spread of fire within buildings, whether from interior fire or exterior fire. Steel fire rated windows are available in fixed, casement, projected, vertical sliding, and horizontal sliding configurations. Steel doors are also available for fire rated applications.

21. What styles of windows are available in steel?

Fixed, Project-In, Project-Out, Side Hung-Out, Side Hung-In, Vertical Slider, Horizontal Slider, and Pivoted.

22. What styles of doors are available in steel?

Swing-Out, Swing-In, Bi-Fold, Sliding, and Pivoted.

23. How are steel windows installed?

To ensure the best performance of steel windows, proper installation is critical. Please be sure an experienced steel window installer & glazier are utilized. OWM will provide our ‘Installation Manual’ upon request.

24. Can older steel windows be restored?

Yes, however, with the advancement of today’s technology it would be impossible to compete with the performance, paint, hardware, energy codes & warranties of current steel window applications.

25. How do steel windows compare in price to wood and aluminum?

There is a wide range of window and door products available in the marketplace. Therefore, to obtain true comparatives between steel and other window materials, contact an OWM representative.

26. Why is it extremely vital to select a steel window that has been tested for air penetration, water penetration and structural integrity?

It is important for buyers and specifiers of steel windows to know that these products can meet and exceed the required performance standards and codes. Steel windows are tested to ASTM E283 (Air), ASTM E331 (Water), and ASTM E330 (Structural/Uniform load). Other specialty performance testing could include impact, hurricane, fire rating, thermal, blast, ballistic, acoustic, etc.

27. Do steel windows and doors require maintenance?

Optimum offers various pretreatment paint and hardware, depending on the application. Consult Optimum for specific recommendations relative to care and maintenance.
*Maintenance manual available upon request.