Driver and passenger protection from glass spall

Driver Protection
Glass spall is the debris caused by glass breaking into many small fragments and impelled in the same direction as the impact. With toughened glass this is the small dice shaped particles, often temporary 'clumped' together by their uneven edges. With laminated glass this is the small splinters of annealed glass.

A bus driver can be protected from vandalism attacks by the screening of the cab environment with polycarbonate panels. Protecting a driver in a bus from glass spall is often achieved by the use of armoured glass in the signalling window assembly. A less effective but certainly cheaper method of driver protection is the use of a polyester film applied to the inner faces of the glass.

When using a polyester film to protect passengers from glass spall, the film needs to be 'anchored' within the glazing interface.

Vehicle Security

Polyester film as a sacrificial anti-graffiti protection system

It is clear that vandalism is an ever-increasing dilemma for the passenger transport operator. The industry has seen a dramatic increase in levels of graffiti and, in particular, etched-graffiti (scratching marks into the surface of the glass). It is now a major concern and operators have been seeking ways of controlling and, where possible, eliminating the problem.

The application of sacrificial anti-graffiti films to glass is currently one of the most hotly debated "potential" solutions being considered by the industry. In assessing and exploring the issues, it became clear to us that the decision 'whether or not' to apply films was far from a simple one - particularly as we came to understand the less obvious implications and ramifications.


When using film as the principle intention to protect the glass surface from etched-graffiti, a peripheral gap of 1-2 mm needs to be maintained around the glass edge to ensure etched film can be easily removed and a fresh film applied to the un-marked glass. A growing number of authorities are using this removed etched film as evidence of particular culprits.

Application of polyester film

Pre-cut, 'peel and stick', self apply films, available in vertical standing cassettes, take away the cumbersome task of attempting to cut from a roll of film whilst working within the close confines of a bus or train saloon. This film can easily be introduced into a filming program and show immediate ambience and cost benefits. PSV Glass offers a half-day on-site application training course to customers wishing to fit their own polyester films.

Maintenance

The initial filming investment and inertia could be lost if a small number of previously filmed windows were replaced, following breakage, with little priority given to the replacement of the film.

Another consideration is that, by applying a film to a newly installed direct glazed glass, application pressure could compromise the integrity of the bond, potentially leading to water ingress.

By replacing broken glass with pre-filmed glass, control of the filming management program is maintained, newly installed glass is immediately covered from potential glass scratching and direct glazed glass stays intact and watertight.

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