Volume 35, Number 11, November 2000

Looking Beyond the Blast


Protective Glazing Council Holds Fall Meeting in Nation’s Capitol

by Penny Beverage

The Protective Glazing Council (PGC) discussed everything from legislation and product testing, to the introduction of new products, at its fall meeting on October 12. Scott Haddock, president of the PGC, welcomed more than 60 attendees, who had traveled to Washington, D.C., from across the country for the meeting, which was held at the Crystal City Hilton.

“We’re going beyond just the blast and blast effects and we’re reaching out into the whole glazing industry,” said Haddock, looking forward to the day’s seminars, lectures and educational opportunities.

Levels of Protection
Darrell Barker of San Antonio-based EQE International Inc. took center stage early in the day with a lecture titled “Glazing Hazard Classification Criteria: Sorting Through the Requirements.” Barker, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a former consultant with the Department of Energy, lamented the nation’s need for strong glass in its buildings.

Currently, Barker is working to complete the ISO/TC160/SC2/WG7 N27-56 standard for buildings. However, he does not expect the standard to go through until 2002.

“Any of you who have dealt with any kind of legislation know how lengthy this process can be,” he said.

Barker went on to describe the criteria the proposed standard would require for protective glazing for federal buildings and how it might affect suppliers of protective glazing materials in the future. Under the new ISO standard, five levels of protection would be set forth for all types of U.S. buildings. The five levels of protection would include Level A (low protection—low risk, unspecified threat), Level B (medium/low protection—medium risk, moderate consequences), Level C (medium protection—medium high risk, high consequences), Level D (higher protection—high risk, high consequences) and Level E (very high—high protection required). A team of researchers currently is working to determine which types of glazing materials would best suit each protection level, as well. However, Barker added that it is yet to be determined which levels of protection would be applied to each building.

Predicting Blast Effects
Paul Wilde of ACTA Inc., a Los Angeles consulting firm, followed Barker with a discussion of “Risk Analysis for Explosion-Induced Window Breakage and Associated Human Consequences.” Wilde, a mechanical engineer, specializes in window-breakage analysis on rockets and airplanes and works directly with the Department of Defense on numerous projects. He also has been involved in the development of GLASS Casualties and Fatalities (GLASS-CF) and Win-Guard. GLASS-CF is a program developed to compute window breakage consequences for blasts of a short duration. Similarly, Win-Guard is a design tool for designing windows to meet certain performance specifications.

Wilde described his interaction in the development of GLASS-CF and the benefits it can afford the protective glazing industry.
“Other models [of GLASS-CF] allow you to say, ‘what should I do about that?,’ but this one actually answers the question,” Wilde said, as he described the benefits of his program.

What Can the Government Do?
Continuing the theme of government involvement in protective glazing, Wade Belcher spoke about his own goals as manager of security design standards for the General Services Administration (GSA). “Hopefully, in the next four to five years, glazing requirements will be built into our program, not as a special section of another program, but as a part of our whole program,” Belcher said.
The Industry’s Side
Moving away from government involvement and into the arena of new products and updates in modes of protective glazing, St. Louis-based Solutia Inc.’s Marti McAlister discussed some of the products her company has recently released to increase the strength of windows in blasting effects.

“Terrorism is real and it has to be addressed,” McAlister said, before showing a video on tests Solutia has performed on its laminated glass. “We need to realize that terrorists are fully aware of the damage glass can do,” she continued.

According to McAlister, Solutia has retrofitted the windows of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, with its laminated glass. In addition, the company has done a number of tests on which lites of glass should be laminated in
insulating glass units. She added that Solutia is currently making recommendations to the government to use laminated glass in all federal

Utilizing Efficient Laminates
As the group moved into specifics on how to laminate glass efficiently, Larry Johnson of Urethane Inc., part of the Bayer Corp., gave a brief talk on the advantages of aliphatic thermoplastic polyurethanes (ATPUs) for use as the interlayer material of choice for glazing constructions, particularly for constructions of safety glass. According to Johnson, when used in the construction of protective glass, ATPUs offer optical clarity, durability, excellent adhesion to glass and plastic laminated materials, stability against ultraviolet rays and advantageous energy dispersion.

How Much Security Can Window Film Provide?
Michael Lowak of Wilfred Baker Engineering Inc. in San Antonio ended the day with a synopsis of the tests he has performed on daylight applied window films and how they react during explosions. Lowak described both his field-experiences with the films, along with his current goal to design blast-resistant glass structures and retrofits.

According to Lowak, his partner in the experiment, Edward Conrath of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, Neb., is composing a letter to send to the Army Corps of Engineers on the results of this experiment, in an effort to increase the use of window film for security.

A Successful Day for the PGC
Overall, the meeting appeared to be a success, with an array of speakers from engineers, to government employees, to industry experts like McAllister.

Gerry DiBattista, marketing development specialist for Pittsburgh’s Bayer Corp., said he found the meeting helpful.
“It was good to get some updated information on some of the new products and technology in protective glazing as well as the updates with testing results and federal facility upgrading,” he said. “Overall, I think the meeting was well-received.”

Kumar Chittipeddi, sales consultant for national accounts at Guardian Bastille LLC of Smithfield, R.I., said this is the first PGC meeting he has attended.

“I found the content of the presentations to be very useful to my efforts to learn about this business. All of the presentations on testing were especially useful, as was the presentation by the GSA,” Chittipeddi said. “My marketing strategies will reflect some of the knowledge that I acquired at the meeting.”