Volume 7, Issue 1, January - February 2003

Dear WFM
    Reader Feedback

Just a Rumor?
Dear Window Film,
I wanted to ask if you have any documentation about the rumor that all federal buildings will have to have security film applied. I have heard many different stories. One person had told me it will be mandatory by 2004 that all federal buildings will have to have security film. If that is the case, do you have any information that will back this bold statement? If so, where can I find it?

It would be great if you could help me out.

Matthew Gabel
Accounts Manager
The Tint Shop Emporium Inc.
Residential/Commercial Division
Rochester, N.Y.

Editorís Note: Following is a reply from Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association, in regard to Mr. Gabelís question.

Dear Window Film,
I believe I heard by 2004 all federal buildings will require minimal blast protection in all window systems, which would mean, at a minimum, for existing windows only, the use of some type of film on glass or other glass fragment retention technology (blast safety drapes, mesh netting, etc.).

I have not heard that ďfilmĒ itself will be the only technology specified; instead, I have only heard that a minimal level of protection will be required, which may involve some retrofit system (such as a film application) on existing windows or else replacement of the windows themselves (perhaps with laminated glass/polycarbonate/film-glass combo/etc. also added, or not).

Darrell Smith
Executive Director
International Window Film Association
Martinsville, Va.

Skylight Maker Gives Window Film A Rave Review
Dear Window Film,
I have been in the glass and glazing business long enough to remember all of the bad things we used to say about surface-applied films. We were trying to sell performance glass and looked at the film products as the competition. So, we spent a great deal of time bad-mouthing a product we did not know a whole lot about. 

I first dealt with film people when they had to learn glass product and technical information requirements. I always felt magnanimous, like I was helping the downtrodden and underprivileged. Then one day I got into trouble and had to get a film guy to bail me out, and I have been a believer ever since. It still feels like sacrilege to admit it. I had made a huge glass mistake and ordered some very expensive laminated product in the wrong color. 

In the middle of my crisis I remembered having seen a strange tinted sidelite on a friendís car some years ago in Hawaii. When I asked him about it, he told me he had the windows tinted to reduce heat gain in the car. The film looked so good I did not believe it was an aftermarket product. So I called my window-tinting friend for help and I sure was glad when he bailed me out. We tinted all of my clear glass with a white vinyl and it looked absolutely gorgeous. No one could tell the product or the performance from the product specified.

Truth be told, it didnít matter. It turns out that it was the same product that I was supposed to supply anyway. The only difference was that instead of being between two pieces of glass it was on the inside surface of the glass. It was a diffused white .015 vinyl applied with the same precision as if it were in the lami. 

My project was saved by film and all of a sudden I figured that I better learn a little more about this stuff. It offered a lot of other options and applications that might be useful sometime somewhere else. It turns out that the same manufacturers make vinyl for both surface-applied vinyl products as well as for laminate interlayers. The same performance numbers are available with films as are available in laminated glass. One is a fabricatorís or original manufacturerís product, while the other is an aftermarket or a retrofit version of the same thing.

Clearly, the elimination of an unjustified prejudice against films can offer us another product to enhance and improve the performance capacity of our glass product.

Dez Farnady
General Manager
Royalite Manufacturing Inc.
San Carlos, Calif.

Editorís Note: The letter above originally appeared as a column in Window Filmís sister publication, USGlass magazine. 


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