The objective was to find a nonintrusive technique for determining the gas content of an insulated glass window unit. During this study, first measurements of the electric breakdown field for air-argon mixtures were obtained. The breakdown field does not depend strongly on whether the electrodes are plain window glass or glass with low emissivity coatings, nor does it depend on the glass electrode spacing. Our reported strong variation of the breakdown field with admixtures of air to the argon gas suggests that this approach could provide an inexpensive nonintrusive gas analysis for insulated glass window units with an ultimate precision of 0.1% on the argon content.
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