Instead, they feared that coated glass panes could impair their rescue efforts. An exercise carried out by the fire service of North Saxony has now provided proof of the film’s positive attributes: LLumar Graffiti Shield guards against glass fragments and simplifies rescue work as the coated panes can be removed in their entirety.
Films from the Llumar “Graffiti Shield”series have been in use in vehicles and public transport shelters for several years now to protect their glass against vandalism. Since then, they have saved companies a lot of money in maintenance and repair budgets by acting as a protective layer which is “sacrificed” to save expensive glass surfaces from being scratched and attacked with paints and chemicals.
Wilful scratching is the primary cost factor. It not only makes glass panes unsightly and makes the passengers’feel less safe, but can also structurally weaken the glass panes up to the point when there is a risk of them breaking and an accident occurring.
Depending on the structure of the glass and the frame system, changing the glass pane is often difficult and cannot be done without investing a great deal of time and money.
Coating the surface of the glass with the replaceable protective film provides renewable protection, even in such cases where the service life and entry time for the vehicle or property in question is short. From a financial point of view, it can provide a saving of factor 20 (meaning 20 film changes are the equivalent of the cost to change a single pane). Glare and thermal shield functions and decorative printed designs can also be integrated.
Actionism without foundation
In April 2008, an initiative fronted by the Ministry of Transport informed transport companies that the use of any kind of films was generally prohibited on those glass panes situated at the emergency exits of buses (meaning all side and rear glass panes). This was apparently due to concerns expressed by the emergency services in which – presumably based on cases where the film was not applied properly – they criticised the fact that their rescue attempts were hampered on the one hand and, on the other, that disembarkation through the emergency exit areas was made more difficult.
If this intended regulation had come into force, the German bus operators would have had to pay a great deal of money to remove several thousand square metres of already installed advertisement and sun protection or fragment/scratch protection films and to do without their services. They would have no longer had the option to retrofit their vehicles in an attempt to solve new problems.
In this case, with the ABG-tested LLumar Graffiti Shield GCL SR RPS 6 protective film, the Bielefeld-based company CPFilms was able to dispel their doubts with hard proof provided BY the rescue services FOR the rescue services. Within the framework of the summer training exercises held by the North Saxon fire services, a 272 UL series MAN-Bus was subjected to rigorous emergency disembarkation and rescue tests. They were based, on the one hand, on heavy rescue equipment such as metal cutters and spreaders. On the other hand, precisely the reason for concern expressed by the ministry was addressed: if the panes are coated professionally with a properly homologated protective film, does this really cause an impairment, is the effect neutral or does the film actually assist access or disembarkation in emergency situations?
Improved safety thanks to the Llumar Graffiti Shield
The latter was the case. It was possible to break the panes made of single-layer safety glass by striking them once with the standard emergency hammer (the ISO-ESG standard requires two to three strikes). In contrast to the uncoated reference pane – NO glass fragments (which could otherwise get into a person’s eyes or airways) were dispersed. Instead, a controlled, full-surface break using normal physical strength and exerted with bare hands caused the pane to be pushed right out of the frame without any risk of injury, thus leaving the complete window opening free for use as an escape route.
The ESG pane which was not protected by the film, on the other hand, only displayed an opening the size of the palm of your hand with sharp edges and numerous additional strikes with added risk of flying glass were needed to create a hole which was big enough to climb through. Even so, edges which could lead to injury still remained leaving it unsuitable for panic situations.
The test pane which was coated on both sides (Llumar Graffiti Shield on the inside and advertisement film on the outside) also displayed benefits. Here, the fire service struck it from the outside with an axe and was able to remove the complete film-coated pane from the frame in one piece after two light hits and after just a few seconds.
Heinz Noll, District Fire Chief of the Torgau-Oschatz fire service was full of praise: ”This is a really good product. When the fire service breaks into the buses, the film-coated pane remains in one piece and the passengers, who may already be injured, are not exposed to any additional danger.”
LLumar Graffiti Shield
The LLumar Graffiti Shield from CPFilms is a film with a thickness of only 0.1 to 0.4 millimetres which absorbs any mechanical and chemical influences without affecting the glass underneath. When applied professionally, the film is practically invisible and has the same characteristics as normal glass. Self-professed “artists” do not notice that they are writing on or scratching a plastic film.
In addition to its protection against vandals and the positive qualities it displays during rescue activities, Llumar Graffiti Shield also has a number of additional advantages. Small scratches which occurred before the item was covered in the film are compensated by the film, the film acts as a UV filter and blocks up to 99% of damaging UV rays and it can be used as emergency glazing for damaged, but still unbroken panes.
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Notice for editors: LLumar® is a registered trademark of CPFilms Inc., unit of Solutia Inc.
Solutia’s CPFilms Inc., is the world’s largest producer of high-quality, aftermarket window films and a leading supplier of high-value precision-coated film and film components sold to a variety of businesses. The business manufactures films that provide comfort, aesthetics, energy savings, safety and security when applied to glass. Our LLumar films are designed to meet worldwide standards, carry a factory-backed warranty, and are professionally installed. For more information about LLumar products, log on to www.llumar.com. CPFilms Inc. is a subsidiary of Solutia Inc.
Solutia Inc. uses world-class skills in applied chemistry to create value-added solutions for customers, whose products improve the lives of consumers every day. Solutia is a world leader in performance films for laminated safety glass and after-market applications; chemicals for the rubber industry; heat transfer fluids and aviation hydraulic fluid; and an integrated family of nylon products including high-performance polymers and fibers. For more information about Solutia log on to www.solutia.com.
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