Volume 48, Issue 4 - April 2013

Experts Weigh in on Glass Breakage
in Russia as Prices Rise

The meteor strike that hit the Chelyabinsk region of Russia in late February was an occurrence that left the area with large amounts of glass breakage—as well as many questions about avoiding such consequences in the future. Some industry experts are now weighing in on whether the type of glass could have made a difference, while Russian officials are looking at the price of glass in the region.

“Impact glazing materials such as hurricane approved (laminated glass) would have helped greatly,” says Lyle Hill, president of Keytech North America. “The problem is, though, in most cases, the glass is only as good as the framing holding it in place. This is why hurricane-approved systems are inclusive of the framing and glazing procedures that are tested and approved.”

Even with proper building codes, such as those in the United States, such a large impact still would have left major damages, Hill notes.

“ … A meteor hit like that one probably would have caused similar damage (although hopefully not quite as bad) in the states in areas not covered by hurricane standards,” he adds.

Valerie Block, senior marketing specialist for Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions, also shared her views.

“I don’t have any experience with meteor impacts, but I will say that a lot of the injuries were caused by flying glass,” she says. “So, of course, laminated glass would have been helpful by retaining broken glass after breakage.”

There also has been some discussion about how helpful window film would have been in these circumstances.

“Basically what the film would do is hold the glass together,” says George Emerson, sales representative for Pro-Tection Seattle Inc.

While the film could not have prevented the external building destruction and glass breakage, it could have helped prevent some of the internal damage, as well as injuries, he adds.

“What would have happened is the blast would have just caused the glass to peel back like a banana, but the glass wouldn’t go flying around,” says Emerson.

“From what I understand, a lot of the injury came from glass breakage,” says Glenn Yocca, president of U.S. Film Crew. “Any time you have glass breakage, window film helps contain the glass fragments. Security film would have been a major benefit.”

Meanwhile, The Moscow Times has reported that Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has been monitoring prices for glass and pre-assembled window units in the Chelyabinsk region, along with the price of labor for repairing the damage from the blast.

According to the report, the meteorite shower affected the windows in buildings covering 200,000 square meters, “sending local demand for window glass and pre-manufactured window panes skyrocketing.”

Riou Glass Completes Acquisition of Stake in Eurofloat
Riou Glass has acquired a 50-percent stake in Eurofloat from Saint-Gobain Glass France. Eurofloat is based in Salaise-sur-Sanne, France. With this acquisition, Eurofloat, which specializes in the production of flat glass, will now be owned equally by both groups and “agree to purchase the glass [Eurofloat] makes equally,” according to information from Riou.

EC Investigates Dumping of Chinese Solar Glass Imports
The European Commission (EC) has begun an anti-dumping investigation into imports of Chinese solar glass. The investigation stems from a complaint filed by EU ProSun Glass, a Belgium-based group of European solar glass manufacturers, which claims solar glass from China is being dumped in the European Union (EU) at prices below market value and causing material injury to the EU solar glass industry.

In a statement issued shortly before the EC announcement, EU ProSun Glass alleged “nearly 90 percent of imported solar glass comes from China, with European jobs and factories being heavily affected by destructive dumping.”

As part of its decision to investigate, the EC has reviewed the complaint and agency officials there say they have found that the investigation shows:
(1) Possible price dumping by the exporting producers on the EU market;
(2) Injury suffered by the industry; and
(3) A possible causal link between the dumped imports and the injury suffered by the industry.

According to information from the EC, the investigation could take up to 15 months, although provisional anti-dumping duties could be imposed within nine months if deemed necessary. Within nine months of the start of the investigation, EC officials say they will issue their provisional findings. The final decision on the case will be made before May 28, 2014.

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