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Laminated side glass

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  • Laminated side glass

    Hi all, Has any one had the pleasure of taking out a side window that is laminated. Did you know that it was laminated before you tryed to use the center punch. How did you take the window out and have you come up with any new ideas on removing them.

    Have a good day and be safe.


  • #2
    I was at a comp last weekend and I saw 4 teams take out windshields using a tile knife. My question is has anyone tried to do this on laminated glass or the shatter proof glass that is in Audi's , Mercede's and Volvo's.
    Some thing to think about.
    Jim Greene


    • #3
      Check out the current issue of FireHouse or the upcoming October Issue of Fire Rescue Magazine. I was involved with Ron Moore, Ron Shaw, Tom Wehr and other in testing this product in several way in May, What we found has been written up in the articles I have refered to. to sum them up VERY BRIEFLY is that this stuff is so similar( Virtually Identical to current windshield) that most if not all your current technology will work to remove the glass, Biggest problem (which really isn't) is identifying these windows. If you try with a center punch and all you get is a small "BB" like hole and Spider wrb then you move to plan "B". My preference ( on a roll down type side window) is to use a windshield saw to cut along the base of the window then bow the glazing and slide it down and out of the frame. this seems to work well and is relatively speedy. Hope this Helps

      Carl D. Avery


      • #4
        A Posting from Forum Moderator Ron Moore

        Complete text of Firehouse magazine, University of Extrication article, August 2000 edition, page 35-36.

        Subject: Vehicle Glass

        Topic: Enhanced Protective Glass (EPG)
        Objective: Develop forcible entry procedures for laminated side and rear window glass

        Task: Utilizing tools and equipment available within the department’s inventory, rescue personnel shall develop a plan for forcibly removing EPG laminated side and rear window glass at vehicle crash scenes

        A firefighter approaches the damaged vehicle with a spring loaded center punch in her gloved hand. Upon receiving a nod from her officer, she announces "breaking glass’ and presses the punch low in the corner of the window until she hears a dull thud. To everyone’s surprise, the punch ‘punched’ but only a small BB-size fracture appeared in the window glass. If this were to ever happen to you, what would you do?

        I for one, would try a second time with the punch thinking that for some reason it wasn’t working right or possibly I had placed it incorrectly on the side window glass. After a second pop and even a third, if the only evidence of your efforts are three small BB-size dings in the glass, you may be the first in your department to encounter a vehicle equipped with laminated side and rear windows.

        The newest class of aminated side and rear vehicle window glass, know as Enhanced Protective Glass or EPG, is a rapidly growing new application, driven by consumer demand for improved intrusion resistance and increased comfort. Police estimate that 50% of all vehicle break ins are through the side windows. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reviewed occupant ejections during crashes for one year and found that 45 percent could have been prevented if the vehicle were equipped with alternative glazing such as laminated side window glass.

        Laminated glass has been used successfully in passenger vehicles for more than 60 years in front windshields, providing protection in head-on collisions and when exterior objects such as rocks strike the windshield. Today, vehicles such as the Audi A8 use laminated glass for its side and rear windows. This is standard equipment since 1998 model year and has been an option since 1995. BMW is now making a security glass option on selected vehicles. The Mercedes S class sedan has laminated side and rear windows standard with its’ 2000 model. Volvo’s S80 and V70 sedan also offer laminated side windows as an option.

        The basic structure of laminated safety glass is a sandwich of two or more sheets of glass bonded together with a strong plastic interlayer know as polyvinyl butyral, or PVB. The resulting material looks like normal glass, but is shatter-resistant. This is the same glass ‘sandwich’ construction used in vehicle windshields. The thickness of the glass layers and the plastic layer will be very similar to the windshield, as well. If damaged in a crash, laminated side or rear windows fracture and behave very similar to a front windshield. A spider-web pattern of cracks will develop with the glass held together in one large piece by the plastic inner layer of plastic.

        Identifying laminated side or rear window glass

        It is difficult to tell if an undamaged side or rear window is of laminated or tempered glass construction. The movable side windows will be mounted in the doors in the same manner regardless of whether they are tempered or laminated glass. If a side or rear window is impacted during a crash, the tempered glass may break into the small glass nuggets. A laminated window will fracture into the famous ‘spider web’ design. A rescuer will be able to see this difference upon approach to the vehicle.

        With an undamaged window, possibly examining the small print in a lower corner of the window may reveal the word ‘tempered’ or ‘laminated’.

        Extrication procedures for laminated side or rear window glass

        So what do we do right now if the next crash we go to presents us with a vehicle with laminated side and rear windows? All standard vehicle crash scene protocols still apply.

        When required to forcibly remove any vehicle’s side or rear window glass, follow these simple steps;

        Determine side window to be opened.

        Protect patient and inside medic.

        Announce ‘Breaking Glass’.

        Apply spring-loaded center punch with steady push low in a corner of the glass.

        If the side window glass is tempered, it will break instantly when the punch pops. Remove glass nuggets and proceed with next assignment.

        If the side window is laminated, you will get your first BB mark when the punch pops. Place the punch to the left or right of the first spot and operate the punch again. If a second BB mark results, move to a third location on the window and try again. After three pops, you must proceed on the assumption that the glass is laminated safety glass.

        Use a windshield saw (or a chopping or cutting tool) to make a horizontal cut low along the entire bottom edge of the glass. This cut is made approximately one inch above the edge of the door and runs the full length of the window.

        Using the tool in your hand, pry the lower edge of the laminated glass window out slightly. Grab this bottom edge of the window with your hand and pull towards you. This bows the glass outward. Now, pull the entire piece of laminated glass down and out of the door frame. This new laminated glass removal procedure will take one rescuer about five seconds to complete.

        If the rear window of a vehicle is equipped with laminated glass, think of it as a second windshield. Whatever tool or technique you use now for windshield removal will work for rear window removal as well. The full rear laminated glass window must be completely cut out of its’ frame using a windshield saw, recip saw or other glass cutting tool.

        This author wishes to thank Solutia Inc., of Springfield, MA, and the Enhanced Protective Glass Automotive Association EPGAA) for their technical expertise and visual support of this University of Extrication article.


        • #5
          Just thought I would pass this along since it is related. I found this article on yahoo: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/001003/mi_solutia.html.



          • #6
            OK I Know this is a FireHouse Forum, but Check out My Article on this Subject (I was part of the team with Ron Moores, Ron Shaw and Tom Wehr and others involved in the evaluation at Solutia) in this months Fire Rescue Magazine, I would Love to hear any feedback you may have. This stuff is out there now in "Limited" use, but believe me this will be changing.

            Carl D. Avery


            • #7
              Do you have the right tools?

              One lesson learned by the Plano (TX) Fire Rescue involved a low speed crash between a sedan and a pickup. Everything worked out OK and both patients refused treatment at the scene.

              We discovered that the 1999 BMW 740iL sedan had a full security package. All windows were laminated glass. All windows, side and rear, were actually more like a windshield than the normal side and rear window we are accustomed to.

              We realized right then and there that a spring loaded center punch would not have been effective on this car if extrication work were necessary. We immediately purchased Glas-Master tools for all our apparatus. With this tool in their inventory, all our engines and trucks can now attack both the tempered glass that we expect and the side window laminated glass or plastic Lexan material if we encounter it.

              Do you have the right tools on your first-due apparatus?


              • #8
                Ron, You know I agree, my personal Choice is the Glas-master, But It makes sence to me any QUALITY Windshield saw will work. To me there are some critical factors here. 1- Ready for immediate intervention on Virtually All Glazing typically used on the road today. 2-ease of training. 3- no fuel, no cords, no hoses. 4- affordable. Do any of you out there have any other observations?

                Carl D. Avery


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