Volume 6, Issue 3, May - June 2002

The Latest Industry News                                                                    


                        ICC Votes to Eliminate Wired Glass

                                WIRED GLASS A                  WIRED GLASS
AIMCAL currently is studying the effects of film on wired glass, in light of the ICC’s recent decision to eliminate wired glass in the construction of new educational facilities.

The International Code Council’s (ICC’s) structural committee voted recently to eliminate the use of wired glass in certain educational and sports locations during new construction—a decision that could have some implications for the window-film industry, as it is considered for use in retrofitting wired glass in hazardous locations. Greg Abel, the father of a boy who was injured in an accident involving wired glass in hazardous locations has founded the organization Advocates for Safety Against Wired Glass, with the goal of eliminating the use of wired glass in hazardous locations. Abel recently worked to get the building department of the city of Eugene, Ore., to apply window film to the impact side of all wired glass at the University of Oregon, where his son was injured. Clearwater, Fla.-based Bekaert Specialty Films LLC also worked with Abel on this issue, and the two recently tested the use of security film on wired glass and found that it meets both Category I and II impact tests (from CPSC 16 CFR 1201). 

Because the recent ICC vote only affects new construction, Abel is working with Oregon Rep. Vicki Walker to enact legislation that would bring all existing wired glass up to the CPSC minimum code requirements for Category I in hazardous locations. One of the options for achieving this would be to apply security film on existing wired glass applications in hazardous locations. If the proposal passes in Oregon, Abel hopes to see this legislation introduced on a national level.

Darrell Smith, a member of the AIMCAL window film committee and executive director of the International Window Film Association, and Vicki Lovell, the codes consultant for the Association of Industrial Metallizers and Coaters (AIMCAL), are working together to study the possibility of using window film in these cases. “We’re not saying to go film all the wired glass you can find—we are saying we’re looking at whether it’s a good possibility for making the glass impact-resistant without disabling its fire resistance,” Smith said.

Lovell and Smith spoke about this matter publicly during a seminar at the 2002 International Window Film Conference and Expo™ in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on April 19 (see "Wide World of Film").

However, Kate Steel, consultant, and a member of the ad hoc committee formed by the ICC to study the wired-glass issue, warned that even if AIMCAL’s testing does prove successful, only window film products tested to the appropriate fire-test standard should be considered by local code officials for use in fire-rated applications.

At press time, Lovell and Smith expected to finish their testing within the next few months and will report back to AIMCAL on their findings.

CPFilms Meeting Draws 300

Martinsville, Va.-based CPFilms Inc. drew more than three hundred dealers when it held its ninth annual Vista sales meeting at the Adams Mark Hotel in San Antonio. The three-day conference included new-product demonstrations, an unveiling of the company’s marketing plans and strategies for 2002 and a number of dealer-roundtable discussions. In addition, Don Hutson, chairperson and chief executive officer for U.S. Learning, gave the keynote address on “High-Performance Selling.”

FTI’s SAFE-GARD Meets SFBC Requirements
St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Film Technologies International (FTI) recently announced that windows equipped with its SAFE-GARD film and double-strength glass has passed the stringent 2-by-4-missile-impact and cycling requirements (PA 201 and PA 203) of the Dade and Broward County editions of the Southern Florida Building Code. 

According to FTI, this design concept is allows window manufacturers to offer windows that meet the aforementioned codes without the use of PVB laminated glass, which is more expensive. FTI says SAFE-GARD can be incorporated into most residential or commercial window applications and insulating glass units without affecting the integrity or durability of the seal and without adding extra weight to sashes.

Akron Relates to Cuyahoga Falls

Akron Glass Tinting has moved its headquarters from Akron, Ohio, to a larger facility in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. According to owner and president Al Mothersbaugh, the move to a larger facility will allow its seven employees to better serve their customers in applying film to residential and commercial properties. The facility will allow applicators to pre-cut their materials before traveling to a job site. In addition, the new location contains a vehicle bay for the crew’s van, warehouse space and an office area.

Southwall and Globamatrix Sign Ten-Year Agreement

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Southwall Technologies Inc. and Globamatrix Holdings Pte. Ltd. (previously known as GMX) have signed a ten-year supply and distribution contract that includes commitments by Globamatrix to purchase, and by Southwall to supply, minimum amounts of Southwall solar control film. The minimum amount covered by this commitment is approximately 75 million during the first five years of the agreement.

The new agreement will supersede existing supply agreements between the two companies, according to Southwall. Under the agreement, Globamatrix will be the exclusive, worldwide distributor of Southwall’s solar control products for retrofit applications to the automotive , residential and commercial architectural glass markets. Globamatrix will continue to sell the products under its V-Kool® trademark.

“This new contract represents a significant increase in anticipated revenues from Globamatrix over the next ten years compared to our previous business with Globamatrix,” said Thomas G. Hood, president and chief executive officer of Southwall. 

“Now that our new production machines, PM 6 in Tempe and PM 8 and 9 at our Dresden plant, have reached commercial production levels, we believe we are in a position to supply increasing amounts of the products that our business partners at Globamatrix require.” 

States Endure Changes

Several states have passed laws recently that could affect window film applicators. In April, the state of Utah passed House Bill 74, an amendment to the state’s earlier law that deletes the requirement for 28-percent visible light transmittance on rear sidelites and backlites. The bill, which takes effect July 1, means there is now a requirement of 43-percent visible-light transmittance for the front sidelites and no restrictions for rear sidelites or backlites.

In addition, the state of New York’s General Assembly is debating an amendment to its window film law, which specifies that on station wagons, sedans, hard tops, hatchbacks and convertibles the rear sidelites must have a light transmittance of at least 70 percent.
If passed, the amended law (A.B. 359) would read as follows: “No person shall operate any motor vehicle upon any public highway, road or street the rear side windows of which are composed of, covered by, or treated with any material which has a light transmittance of less than 70 percent.” In addition, the amendment would allocate $50,000 to purchase meters to enforce the law.

Currently, the bill is being debated in New York.


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