There are all-glass individual panel sliding systems that are frameless but not watertight and there are those that are framed and weatherproof, and never the twain shall meet. At least, that was until NanaWall developed ClimaClear, the first frameless weather-resistent sliding system.
The challenge lay in handling water infiltration. “If you can build a frame around the panels, you can have gaskets, you can seal it, but when you’re frameless, there are a lot of little divisions and the water is hard to control,” says Dirk Leding, a product specialist with NanaWall.
NanaWall solved the problem by creating a vertical gasket, which Leding calls “very special.” It’s H-shaped and runs the length of the panels, so that when the system is fully extended, interlocking seals fill the gaps between panels—seals that are rated for air and water infiltration. The seals are clear and are designed to virtually disappear from sight. “I can’t tell you what the material [the seals are made of] is called,” Leding says, because that’s proprietary information. “But it’s a material that’s both clear and UV resistant. It won’t yellow in sunlight.”
ClimaClear panels are available in heights of up to 10 feet 6 inches and up to 4 feet 1 inch in width. Single-action swing panels are available up to 3 feet 7 inches in width. In addition, a minimal 1-foot 8-inch swing panel is available for spaces that won’t fit a swing door.