Volume 7, Issue 1, January - February 2003

Safe and Secure
PGC Hosts National Symposium in Nation’s Capitol

by Ellen Giard Chilcoat

It’s no secret that since the tragedies of September 11 we’ve seen a heightened interest in safety and security glazing. So perhaps that’s why more than 130 individuals, ranging from manufacturers of window film and glass laminates to government employees from agencies such as the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Defense (DOD), took part in the Protective Glazing Council’s national symposium. The event took place November 21-22 at the GSA Building in Washington, D.C. (For additional information, please see related article on page 21.)
The two-day program was divided into four sessions: criteria and standards; government perspective; public sector; and vendor/installer perspective.

In session one, representatives from various government agencies, including the GSA, DOD and Department of State, each presented the different criteria for protective glazing. 

Session two speakers provided information and details concerning protective glazing from a government perspective. And in the third session Gordon Smith of Gordon H. Smith Corp., Russ Huffer of Apogee Enterprises Inc. and Michael Duffy of Leo A. Daly provided views on protective glazing from the standpoints of a consultant, a glass industry representative and an architect, respectively.The 3M Company showcased its line of safety and security films during the trade show portion of the PGC symposium. 

Window Film Discussions
In session four, presentations provided information from the viewpoint of installers and vendors. Two discussions centered on window film. Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association, talked about the benefits of using window film and Bruce Gormley of Bekaert provided information on common concerns for film applicators (see sidebar on below).

Smith used his presentation as an opportunity to address several myths concerning window film, namely safety and security films.

“It is not bullet-resistant or blast-resistant, but it does help hold shards together,” he said. “It does not make glass stronger, it is not made from other finished films, it’s not made the same by all manufacturers and it’s not just thicker window film.”

He explained that what safety film does do is help control glass failure and reduce property 

Trade Show 
In between sessions meeting attendees had the opportunity to learn more about various safety glazing products, including window films, at a tabletop exhibition. Several manufacturers provided information and literature on their different products. 

Woburn, Mass.-based Madico Inc. had a number of products available designed for safety and security applications. Protekt®, for example, is a micro-thin film that bonds to the glass through a special adhesive, which causes the glass and film to virtually become one, according to the company. A barrier is created on the inside of the window that is said to help contain flying glass shards if shattered by impact, explosion or high-force winds. 

In addition, Madico also offered its FrameGard™ anchoring system, which, according to the company, is designed to help prevent glass from erupting from a frame under blast-load conditions.

Film Technologies International Inc. (FTI) of St. Petersburg, Fla., offered its line of Glass-Gard® films. According to the company, Glass-Gard films can protect against natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, by holding shattered glass in place. FTI says it is also useful in deterring intruders and smash-and-grab thieves. 

Another company, GlassLock of San Jose, Calif., provided information on its line of restraint systems. According to the company, the GlassLock system can reduce significantly glass hazards from natural disasters, vandalism, security encroachments and bombings. The system is also tested to Dade County, Fla.’s windstorm criteria. The system is designed to encapsulate a thin, surface-applied layer of polylaminate beneath a customized extruded aluminum plate and cap that is fastened to an existing window frame’s interior. According to the company, by matching the frame’s color the system provides a clean, architectural unity and is almost impossible to detect
CPFilms Inc. of Martinsville, Va., provided information on its new glass-enhancement films, which serve as an alternative to etched glass. The company also offers Llumar safety and security film that is designed to protect against vandalism, natural disasters and other types of impact.

St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M Company also offered information on its line of safety and security films.

The PGC’s next event will be a regional symposium in conjunction with the GSA, Region 9, in San Francisco in June 2003. 

Scott Haddock, president of the PGC, talks with an attendee.


Heightened Awareness: Addressing the Concerns of Window Film Applications

As part of the PGC’s symposium, Bruce Gormley, technical manager for Bekaert Specialty Films, provided attendees with a presentation that focused on common concerns for window film applicators.

Following are some of the points he covered.

• Film and the type of installation: the film’s thickness and whether or not it will be anchored affects the application significantly. Thick films are difficult to apply as they require long drying times and have to be pre-cut to the glass size. For films that will be anchored, determine whether the system will be wet-glazed or mechanical;

• The shape and size of the windows to be filmed is also a concern, as they vary depending on the building;

• Scaffolding and lifts can be a concern, as they will affect traffic in and around the building;

• Window film applicators are also often faced with difficult working hours, such as nights, staggered hours and no work on weekends; and

• Escorts are often required in government buildings. Sometimes the number of escorts needed or, at the time requested, are not available. This is something you have to work around.

Despite the many concerns that window film applicators must deal with, Gormley said most companies do so very effectively, evidenced by the many buildings that have had safety and security film applied to their windows. 

Ellen Giard Chilcoat is a contributing editor for Window Film magazine.


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