Volume 9, Issue 2,                                March/April 2005


ShatterGARD Protects US Troops

ShatterGARD, an Atlanta-based glass protection solutions company, and its subsidiary Global Vehicle Protection Inc., donated 100 VehicleGARD kits to help protect U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The company released a statement announcing its plan in late December 2004, shortly after the now-infamous press conference in which a soldier with the U.S. National Guard asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield about the lack of armor on the vehicles U.S. soldiers were using in combat. Though it was later reported that a member of the press who was also attending the session planted the question, it highlighted the deficiencies in protective hardware U.S. troops in the Middle East have.

“We believe that our soldiers have the right to feel as safe and secure as possible,” Jordan Frankel, vice president of ShatterGARD said in a company statement announcing the donation. “Frequently we hear from soldiers about how our film has saved lives and prevented serious glass related injuries in combat zones. This is ShatterGARD’s way of saying thank you to the men and women who diligently serve our nation.”

Protecting People First Foundation Issues Safe Window Report
The Protecting People First Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to raising public awareness of the safety technologies available to protect people and property from natural and man-made disasters, along with ABS Consulting, an independent provider of Risk Management Services, have released the results of a six-month study on window performance during the very active hurricane season of 2004. Project Safe Windows: Finding the Breaking Point was released on Monday, February 7, 2005 at a news briefing in Tampa and West Palm Beach, Fla. 

According to the report, the research team performed site inspections and interviews with property owners, building contractors and insurance adjusters for the study, along with wind calculations that were determined by ABS engineers using a catastrophic modeling program.

Where window film is concerned, the report notes that in some instances solar film alone “has prevented broken windows from shattering or breaking loose from their frames, it does not do so with the same level of effectiveness as films designed precisely for these purposes.”

The report goes on to detail the difference between “film that is attached to the frames by securing bars or wet-glazing techniques” and states “daylight safety film does not increase the strength of the glass plate.” 

Subsequent to the description and analysis of each protective technology studied (including hurricane shutters, hurricane screens, plywood and different types of glass), the report includes a chart comparing each technology. Per the chart, hurricane shutters protect the best, followed by hurricane screens, laminated glass and plywood. 

According to the chart, security film provides passive protection across the board, with “wet glaze” and “mechanical attachment” both providing small missile impact (and mechanical attachment providing partial large missile impact).

Overall, the report notes that while modern building codes are in place and help protect the public, many older homes and buildings could stand some retrofitting. It also states that “security window film performance could be systematically improved if more applications used a wet glaze silicone to adhere window film to the frames of a window or mechanical attachment systems,” and that solar control film should never be considered acceptable protection against hurricane winds.

“Our research shows that despite Florida’s experience with hurricane season, windows, the most hurricane-vulnerable component of most homes and office buildings, did not get the attention they should have. They were under-protected, and it is precisely when a hurricane shatters a window and gets inside that the damage begins,” Eric Cote, manager of the Protecting People First Foundation said at the news conference.

A consumer reference edition of the report is available online at www.protectingpeople.org.

2005 SEMA Scholarship Applications Available
The Specialty Equipment Manu-facturer Association (SEMA) offers scholarship awards to students studying for careers in the automotive aftermarket and related fields. Two scholarships are available for graduate work or undergraduate juniors or seniors at a four-year accredited college or university. One scholarship is available to a sophomore class undergraduate in a two-year university or college program, and one is available for a vocational or technical school student also studying a two-year program.

To qualify, students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5, be enrolled in a full-time program with an accredited university, college or proprietary program in the United States or Canada and be pursuing studies leading to a career in the automotive aftermarket or related field.

Applications for 2005 are available online.

Riggan Joins IWFA Staff
The International Window Film Association (IWFA) office has a new staff member. Janette Riggan has joined the staff as an office assistant. She has extensive experience in office administration in woodworking, pharmaceutical and church areas. She replaces Carolyn Carter.
“We expect that Janette will be an asset to the IWFA office resulting in better communication with our members and more prompt responses to our members’ requests,” said Darrell Smith, IWFA executive director. “The next time you call in to the IWFA office, introduce yourself and welcome her to our industry.”

Penny Beverage Stacey Returns to WF Staff
Former Window Film editor Penny Beverage Stacey has returned to the Key Communications Inc. staff as a member of the production department. She left last year prior to getting married.

“We’re excited to welcome Penny back to the staff,” said Window Film publisher Debra Levy.

Hüper Optik Expands to Southeast
Hüper Optik USA, headquartered in Houston, has expanded its operation to include an exclusive regional distribution center in North Carolina. The expansion gives the company, a provider of nano-ceramic window film systems for public and private facilities, local representation in the Southeast, with the new facility serving Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.

The expansion also includes the addition of ViewPoint Industries principal John Yard joining the Hüper Optik USA group of distributors to head the new office, according to a Hüper Optik press release.
The move allows ViewPoint Industries, which is based in Raleigh, N.C., to align with previous Hüper Optik regional distribution centers, including Hüper Optik Florida of Destin, Fla.

“ViewPoint Industries, headed by John Yard, culminates our extensive search for a partner in the Southeastern region of the United States,” said Faisal Nazir, president of Hüper OptikUSA, in the press release.

The November/December issue of Window Film magazine included a website address for Bekaert Specialty Films that was incorrect. The correct web address is www.bekaertfilms.com.                                                       WF

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