1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post MYLAR (sp) WINDOWS

    If I have understood recent information correctly, "Mylar" (a plastic) will soon be used on vehicles in place of safety glass.... is this correct? ... and if so, would a router be the idea tool to take a window -vs- a sawzall?

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    It is my understanding that a Lexan type window will be replacing side windows in future cars. Some have them now as "security glass", but it is not a standard item.
    Just about anything will cut the window.

    I did some unofficial testing and found that a router with a straight bit worked well, as did a reciprocating saw, 4 1/2" circular saw, jig saw, hole saw...as long as you can provide an access point (hole big enough to get a blade into) just about anything will work. The reciprocating saw would be a good choice because most departments already have them; no need to buy another "specialty" tool.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I just got back from the Long Island extrication competition. While there I attended a seminar on polycarbonate windows. The speaker was Chris Skotzke from Exatec, a joint venture company formed by Bayer & G.E. Plastics. They showed some pretty positive effects of having glass replaced with polycarbonate. An ejection from a vehicle equipped with polycarbonate windows appears to be highly unlikely unless a window is open or the car opens up in some way other than window fracture. They showed a test of a minivan rollover. The test was performed on identical vehicles only one had polycarb. windows and the other glass. After several rolls, a 6-year old infant dummy was ejected through the side window of the minivan with glass. The dummy was then crushed as the minivan continued to roll. The polycarb. windows did not fracture. I certainly like the idea of my kids being kept in the vehicle.

    Exatec did point out some possible disadvantages which I thought was very respectable ! Underwater rescue would be more involved. This stuff is quite durable. He also mentioned that a "good samaritan" or passer-by will have a difficult time trying to rescue a person trapped in a burning car if it necessitates window removal.

    The speaker mentioned that they are leaning against replacing the glass windshields with polycarb. because in a head on collision it may be beneficial for an unrestrained person to actually pass through the windshield as opposed to being stopped in their tracks by the polycarb. They also pointed out problems with breakdown from UV exposure which they feel they have under control with the use of either an absorbant or a reflector material.

    I think its great that they are willing to put their info out for review by the rescue community.

    Regarding extrication. It would be neat to know if a steel cutting circular blade with teeth would work for roof removal when this material is present by cutting all the way around and through the posts as well.

    Ron Shaw at extrication.com took careful notes and probably has info available as well.

    following is the speaker's info:

    Chris Skotzke
    Program Engineer
    31220 Oak Creek Drive
    Wixom, MI 48393
    EMAIL: cskotzke@exatec-llc.com

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    At the infrequent military aircraft familiarization I have attended in the past, the subject of rescue involving polycarbonate canopies came up- if this is the same material. The response from the Air Force at the time was that the only way to cut through the poly was to use a circular saw with a COARSE carbide tipped blade. This was several years ago though. Perhaps the military has updated info. Capt. Dan

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    For some information on this subject check out the following address:

    [This message has been edited by boog8591 (edited August 16, 1999).]

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    At present the polycarbonate windows are only being considered for fixed windows which are aft of the rearmost occupant position.

    For more info on the Exatec product testing, see http://www.terc.org.

    Also, visit your local car dealers eg. Mercedes and see what they are doing TODAY with their side passenger windows. You might be surprised.

    The indestructable window materials, while prevent partial or full ejection are posing other problems, thus the onset of inflatable side curtains (Volvo) or Head Protection Sytems (BMW)> Again, a trip to the car lot will be an eye opener.

    Dermot Quinn

  7. #7
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I don't know if you are refering to the intrusion resitant windows which contain layers of laminates. A small mall will spider the window but will not break through the glass with seveal blows. A recip should cut the glass with no problem and perhaps the Glasmaster. It's used to deter car jacking in the high price import vehicles.

    You most likely are referring to polycarbonate since you talked about using a router tip to cut the window. I found that brad tipped drills and brad tipped wing tips go through the product as well does a Japanese pull saw. Recips will cut through them as well, the blade must be able to clear cut or friction will build an melt the material together again.

    You will still be able to go through the windshield by norm methods, by federal law polycarbonate can not currently be used, glass laminate will still be there.

    Moveable Side windows are presenting a problem, when rolled down partially they flutter as the vehicle moves down the highway at higher speeds. Beefing up the edges would avoid this but increase the weight and thickness which is undesirable. This would mean that the auto industry would have to change channeling in the windows and wouldn not accept replacement glass should polycarbonate not work out.

    They are subject to scratches and UV deterioration, most of use have seen this in the aircraft plexiglass windows where it causes small fissures throughout the product.

    Limited runs will be conducted on fixed windows only within the next three years.

    I have written an article on the subject and will be out for publication soon. If you need further information you can go to the TERC web site or contact me and I will assist you.

    Email: fireline@extrication.com

    Ron Shaw

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