Volume 7, Issue 4, July-August 2003

A Total Blast
    FRED IV Blows Up At Quantico
by Kristine Tunney

This year’s Force Protection Equipment Demonstration (FPED) was the fourth installment of an event that brings together representatives from the Department of Defense, federal, state, local and foreign governments and correctional facilities together with more than 400 equipment vendors and manufacturers of force protection equipment to view the latest advancements in protective technology. 

In addition to the chemical suits, bomb-receptacle trash cans, night-vision equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles, one of the most useful, versatile products exhibited at the show was safety and security film. Suitable for varying degrees of protection, the film and attachment systems exhibited at FPED were designed for protecting against flying glass hazards caused by bomb blasts or natural disasters. 

Having the opportunity to walk around FPED made you feel privy to all the special devices it takes to keep our federal buildings as safe as possible. While brochures are good and testing videos are better, having the opportunity to see how products endure a blast firsthand was the best opportunity of all. During FPED’s blast mitigation demonstration, manufacturers had the opportunity to show those in attendance how their products really performed.

Up Close and Personal
A number of security films and attachment systems were tested against TNT and C4 explosions as well as being fired upon from sharp-shooting marines. Protective glazing providers such as Viracon and Oldcastle-Arpal and film manufacturers including Bekaert Specialty Films, Madico and Film Technologies International (FTI), took advantage of the opportunity to let their products speak for themselves by subjecting them to a blast that involved 50 pounds of TNT detonated 50 feet away from each of the tested film systems. But whether in-person or on paper, the technologically-advanced capabilities of the films exhibited at FPED made attendees take notice of how far the industry has come in keeping its customers safe and secure.

Following close-range TNT explosions, attendees at FPED IV were given the opportunity to examine security films from FTI, Madico and Bekaert up close to see how they withstood the blast. Glass fabricators, including U.S. Bullet Proofing, also demonstrated laminate protection possibilities.Protective Products
Woburn, Mass.-based Madico publicized its Protekt® series at the event. Promoting its clear 4-mil film suitable for residential use, up through its SafetyShield 800 film for applications needing more protection, the company’s offerings ran the gamut of various application requirements. 

The company says its single-ply, clear 4-mil film reduces fading of interior furnishings by screening out ultraviolet (UV) rays, helps hold shattered glass together, increases security by making forced entry difficult and provides scratch resistance.

For applications needing more protection against blasts, intruders and natural disasters, Madico’s SafetyShield 800 offers certified performance in a variety of areas. According to the company, the multi-ply laminate has passed the impact requirements for American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z-97, the ASTM E-1996 hurricane standards, GSA performance criteria for blast mitigation and accelerated weathering ASTM G26-95 standards. At Madico’s demonstration, a participant examines several different applications, including those utilizing attachment systems.

  Madico’s FrameGard™ anchoring system is also available for use with its films, to prevent the filmed glass from erupting from its window frame under blast-load conditions. The system incorporates a movement zone that allows the film to move under applied load without putting excessive force onto the fixings and frame. The company says that the FrameGard system improves the performance of security window film against blast pressure and body impact loads when compared with traditional daylight film applications. 

Johnson Window Films of Carson, Calif., looks to commercial and residential interests for promotion of its Safe Plus™ line of safety and security films. According to information from the company, the durable polymer film construction and tough adhesive bond to glass, creating a “safety net” that holds glass in place after destruction from natural or human damage. 

The Safe Plus line also protects against insidious dangers to a home, including UV light and solar heat gain. The company says its lines address such concerns by cutting UV light and reducing solar heat problems while protecting against accidental damage or “smash-and-grab” crimes.

Johnson Window Films also offers its “University” program, which includes a 5-day training session that focuses specifically on flat glass window film. The course begins with an overview of window film construction specification and includes features and benefits that include instruction on different types of flat glass, choosing the right tools for the application, specialty installation procedures and business basics. 

ACE/Security Laminates of Ogdensburg, N.Y., offers a number of laminates made of corona-etched treated polyester in a range of grades, each grade appropriate for varying levels of threat risk. The laminates are designed to provide protection against a range of violent acts including attacks with clubs, rocks and hand grenades.

Its makers say that ACE laminates meet Government Services Administration (GSA) levels one and two, and the company says that its SL 14 “is the first film of its kind to meet and exceed the Underwriters Laboratory standard for burglary-resistant glazing material for 1/8-inch and ¼-inch glass.”

The 100 Series through the 400 Series cater to the needs of various security demands. According to the company, the 100 Series provides protection from smash-and-grab robberies, the 200 Series responds to the need for high-end safety, the 300 Series is designed for bullet- and bomb-resistance and the 400 Series provides the highest level of protection for life-threatening situations ranging from small firearms to chemical explosions and terrorist bombs. 

The company also produces an anchoring system for use with its SL 14 and SL 20 anti-terrorist clear film that protects against high blast loads by retaining the glass within the window frame. 

St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M Co. was on hand to promote its Scotchshield™ Ultra safety and security window film line. 3M’s Ultra600 Supreme Strength film is an abrasion-resistant, optically-clear micro-layered safety and security window film. According to the company, using Ultra600 deters smash-and-grab burglaries, increases safety from flying glass, increases protection from windstorms, earthquakes and blasts and reduces the fading of furniture and fabrics by blocking 99 percent of damaging UV rays. 

Ultra600 features strong impact- and tear-resistance and the company says it meets safety glazing standard CPSC 16 CFR category two (400 ft./lb.) and ANSI Z97.1 under category two. 

View-Plus Window Film Products Inc. of Kelowna, British Columbia, traveled across North America to show attendees its View Guard® Frame/Lok Attachment System. The company says that its attachment system is an attractive and economic method of attaching a window coated with security film laminate to the interior side of the existing window frame. The company says that the use of security film combined with its View Guard attachment system keeps intruders or flying objects out, even after the glass has shattered. 

The View Guard Frame/Lok Attachment System is available in 32 standard colors and 188 custom colors to ensure that the system blends in with the original door or window. The system is also available in a number of different styles designed for specific applications. 

Bekaert Specialty Films LLC of Clearwater, Fla., pushed its Armorcoat® safety and security films to attendees, touting existing installations on the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, FBI Headquarters and U.S Department of Energy. According to the company, the Armorcoat line is composed of optical-quality polyester, high-grade ultraviolet inhibitors and special laminating and pressure-sensitive mounting adhesives that hold glass in place when natural disasters, explosions, bomb blasts and other incidents result in glass breakage. 

The safety films are manufactured in thicknesses ranging from between 2-mil to 14-mil and provide varying degrees of anti-penetration resistance. In addition to the clear undetectable films, Armorcoat is also available in a variety of solar energy- rejecting tinted versions. Both clear and solar safety version block nearly 100 percent of UV light from entering windows and damaging furnishings. |

The company also says that solar versions of its safety films reject up 80 percent of the sun’s total solar energy, which results in reduced energy consumption in addition to increased protection.

Select Armorcoat films have passed the impact requirements of Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) testing, Title 16 Part 1201 category two for architectural glazing materials impact standards as well as GSA safety criteria for bomb blasts, Level C. 

GLASS-GARD and SAFE-GARD lines of safety and security window films from Film Technologies International Inc. can be as much as nine times thicker than the company’s typical solar control products. A heavy mounting adhesive is applied to the safety and security films to hold broken glass pieces together and remain in place on the film surface. Safe-Gard is incorporated into an insulating glass unit and monolithic glass windows and doors by dry lamination that takes place during the manufacturing process, while Glass-Gard is designed for installation on retrofit applications.

Glass-Gard’s patented adhesive forms a molecular bond to the glass and holds it together, even after multiple impacts. While the glass may break or crack, it remains adhered to the film and in most cases will still be intact in its frame, according to the company. The tensile strength, coupled with Glass-Gard’s elasticity and tear resistance aids in the ability of eliminating the chance of objects penetrating the glass and film.

GLASS GARD has also passed the ANSI Z97.1 and CPSC 1201 in categories one and two.

Llumar Magnum® protective window film from Martinsville, Va.-based CPFilms Inc. utilizes multiple layers of special-grade DuPont Teijin Mylar® polyester film that is combined with special adhesives that bond the film to the window, forming a protective shield that helps holds glass in place against excessive force due to earthquakes, hurricanes, riots, vandalism and terrorist activities.

The protective window film can block up to 99 percent of UV rays, preventing the fading of interior furnishing and lowering a building’s energy cost by reducing its solar load.

The company’s various safety and security films have been tested to a number of internationally-recognized standards including: ANSI Z97.1; CPSC 16 CFR 1201; Dade Country Windborne Debris protection and ASTM standards for tear resistance, tensile strength, surface abrasion resistance and puncture strength. 

The dates for the next FPED have not yet been set. 

Attendees from federal, state and local governments attended FPED’s blast mitigation demonstration.

Kristine Tunney is the editor of Window Film magazine.


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