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    Default Lexan Windows In Auto? Smart?

    Saw an article about Lexan being used in cars instead of glass (except windshields) which may hit the streets in 4 years or so.
    Members of TERC were invited to try many different tools to get through/remove the Lexan.

    Outside of extrication on the street, my first thoughts are what are the odds of people living when trapped in cars on fire, or submerged with lexan in place, and not being able to break out the windows?

    They said the purpose of this lexan was to prevent burglary but I think it is a death trap! What do you guys think? Ever faced something like that?

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    I don't know about you guys in the States, but over here in Australia, there is a real lack of information about this stuff coming out from the manufacturers.

    All the information that I have so far is from the States. It certainly raises some concerns for rescuers in terms of delayed times in getting in, and unconventional techniques for access, ie: cutting glass, not smashing.

    You also put it in a differrent light- I hadn't thought twice about the victim trying to get out!

    You mentioned it was coming out in around 4 years- I thought it already was on the market???? Anyone know different?

    Anyone got some links to other websites with additional info?

    I don't know the original source of this photo (It was emailed to me recently), but it certainly is an eye opener!
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    Luke

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    Yeah, it is on the market now but it is supposed to get really marketed in 4 years, that is an estimate, I am not real sure of the years it is suppose to real big, but they are talking about it.

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    Out is an issue.There are a number of ways to get in.Mini circular saws,sawsalls,rotozips come to mind right off.You can bet if there's a way to screw up a system to make our job more difficult,an engineer will find it.You build it,I'll find a way to destroy it.T.C.

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    One thing to note about these Lexan windows and cutting/removing them. It has been found that they will try to return to original shape. In other words, looking at the picture posted above, where it is bent and deformed, as you cut/remove it, the window will attempt to straighten itself out which may create quite a pop and surprise the rescue personnel.

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    Originally posted by Rescue 101 [edited]
    You can bet if there's a way to screw up a system to make our job more difficult,an engineer will find it.You build it,I'll find a way to destroy it.T.C.
    Rescue 101 - you have got that right! We have to realize that the fire service and therefor the Rescue Service is a Low Priority when it comes to building Building or Building Car. Cars are changing so rapidly that it is Dificult to Keep up. I strongly encourage all of the readers to attend any classes they can about New Car Technologies, because we are going to face more and more challenges as time goes by, Challenges from Hybird Cars, New Suplemental Restraint System (Location and type),New Electrical Systems, New Fuels, and even whole new ways to build cars like Chrysler's Sparce Frame technologies (yes S-P-A-R-C-E Frame, and no it is not on the road yet) BTW Sparce Fram is technology that uses Composite and aluminum to create the Frame/Body - It is supposed to be Lighter and Stronger. Now back to the Lexan, We can overcome this technology as Rescue 101 has pointed out. Also be watching for Laminated Windows coming out for Side and Rear windows, this Technology IS on the market now and is easy to overcome as we know how to handle Laminated windows as we do this every day with windshields. Keep looking at the challenges coming our way, and Realize as a Friend once told me that todays solution is tomorrows problem
    Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
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    Carl,this one's for a laugh!Chrysler's been using "sparse"frameology for years!Remember the Aries K and the Omni?Sparseology at it's finest!We butchered one of those so bad one night getting two teens out of a car vs tree that the tow truck left with three pieces.Oh man I needed that.But you're absolutely right on about the need for continual training.T.C.

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    Here is a link to the magazine Fire Engineering. It is an article archive about changes to glass technology in cars.

    (You may need to subscribe to the website to view the article. (It's free and only takes a few minutes...)

    Fire Engineering Article Archives
    Luke

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    Lexan windows...

    I read somewhere a few months ago (I think it was one of Ron's articles) about automobile manufacturers going laminated side windows just like the windshield. Anyway, I can not remember exactly what the article said, but it had information in there from some government highway safety division that estimated that something in range of 30-35 percent of automobile fatalities could be prevented with laminated side windows to prevent the occupants from being ejected. That made sense to me, and Ron's article outlined how to identify laminated side windows as well as how to take them out relatively easy. Lexan, however, is just a fair pit stronger then laminated glass, so I don't think my GlassMaster or windshield saw, will do much to it.

    It sounds as if Lexan does become common place, new techniques, and maybe even new tools are definitely in order... I have always wanted to try small explosives for extrication... I figure a good piece of plastic, or TNT, on all the posts, wired up to a central triggering device should be enough to remove a roof... and you don't even have to worry about taking it out of the action circle because if you do the math properly it will land on the other side of the road, well out of the way...

    Ok, I had my fun, back to Lexan....If Lexan will return to it's original shape (I don't know much about it in the first place) then are we going to have to watch for loaded windows in addition to loaded bumpers and airbags, etc? I don't know what kind of "snap" they would have to them, but I am sure it is enough to do some damage if you're not paying attention.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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    Default lexan windows

    Maybe we don't have to get excited about "breaking glass" any more.

    I would think that the door can be opened in most cases without time taken to remove the window.

    But like everything, being aware of potential and safety precautions allways

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    I agree with FF26. I seem to remember back in the fall (Sept?) there was an article posted here somewhere commenting about the Lexan windows. Two things I remember most about the article were:

    1. when you try to hit the side or rear windows with a centre punch, the window will star slightly, similar to a rock chip. As the article "suggested" that after the second or third "rock chip" you could reasonably expect that you have found a Lexan window.

    2. the article also stated that after you have hit the window two or three times with the punch, you will probably notice somewhere in the bottom corner of the window, the manufacturer name and part number. Similar to what is seen in the bottom of the front windshield. The unfortunate part of this is that I do not remember exactly what the trademark symbol should look like. Although, I guess the window not breaking the way "it should" will be a pretty big clue - I hope

    Other than that, suggestions for removal were pretty sparse other than using a saw to cut it out. We carry a SAZALL as well as a small drywall saw in our kit, so I suspect that either one would accomplish the job well enough.
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    Originally posted by Malahat Two-7 [EDITED]

    1. when you try to hit the side or rear windows with a centre punch, the window will star slightly, similar to a rock chip. As the article "suggested" that after the second or third "rock chip" you could reasonably expect that you have found a Lexan window.

    2. the article also stated that after you have hit the window two or three times with the punch, you will probably notice somewhere in the bottom corner of the window, the manufacturer name and part number. Similar to what is seen in the bottom of the front windshield. The unfortunate part of this is that I do not remember exactly what the trademark symbol should look like. Although, I guess the window not breaking the way "it should" will be a pretty big clue - I hope

    suggestions for removal were pretty sparse other than using a saw to cut it out. We carry a SAZALL as well as a small drywall saw in our kit, so I suspect that either one would accomplish the job well enough.
    Just some information I have regarding this subject, first a little about my back ground. You know my name, I am a former Contributing Editor to FIRE RESCUE MAGAZINE. In that Position I was invited to Springfield, Massachusette by Ron Shaw along with Ron Moore (our forum moderator) and Tom Wehr of Glas-Master fame. When in Springfield we were asked to evaluate a new form of side window, Laminated Safety Glass verry similar to that used in windshields. I think in reference to the above quote, the spider web similar to a stone chip would be a sign of the laminated safety glass, NOT the lexan. the Lexan would only leave a dimple. There was a strong recomendation from all of present for the assessment of the laminated safety glass to be labeled accordingly. As far as the Lexan goes a Hole saw is indicated as it can be tough to start a cip-saw in this stuff with out starting point. It has been recomended to use a LARGE hole saw as this may allow access with you arms to unlock doors and other such goals. Remember these windows will keep passengers safely inside the vehicles and may help reduce secondary injuries. these can ultimately lead to enhanced seurvivability in Motor Vehicle Crashes. So as this new technology comes along be ready for it, By they way articles on this subject have appeared in FIRE RESCUE, FIREHOUSE and FIRE ENGNEERING. Please make sure you keep up on your Literture
    Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
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    Thanks for the info correction Carl. I knew that I had read something regarding changes in side and rear glass, and now I have been shown to the correct direction. Its good to know that there are people out there with a better memory than mine. Your updated info will be kept in mind for future reference and the time when we do run across this stuff. And clarifying the difference in material reaction between the laminated glass and lexan is good to know as well.

    I appreciate being guided to the proper direction on this. Thanks Carl Avery.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    Originally posted by Malahat Two-7 [EDITED]
    Thanks Carl Avery.
    Aw Shucks, Twern't nothin', Seriously you are welcome. Actually just trying to do what the forums here are for! I am one that believes that as we all share information we all benefit from it. We can all learn a lot from each other if we just listen. Please make sure you listen carfully, Like the old saying the Almighty gave us two ears and one mouth, we need to listen twice as much as talk. Question everything, including my posts. Make sure it sounds right to you. Examine everything All of us say here and use the principals and axioms you have learned as an Extricator. Make sure it makes sense to you, if not question it the person making the post should be able to defend their position
    Last edited by Carl Avery; 04-15-2002 at 09:19 PM.
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    CO2 fire extinguisher and a pick head axe?
    Stay Safe! Truckman38 Firefighter/EMT
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    *Never go anywhere without SCBA, a tool and a plan!
    *Never forget our fallen!

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    Originally posted by truckman38
    CO2 fire extinguisher and a pick head axe?
    Can't say that I have tried this or know anyone that has, Somehow I have my doubts though. If any one has tried this with 1/8 inch Polycarbonate with hard coat left us know. Another concern I have if this does work what kind of control would you have over the breakage and where the pieces go?? I do Like Truckman38's sign off message and in that spirit I am very willing to learn. what do you all think?
    Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
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    I seem to recall some information from Holmatro about this type of Lexan, and I am sure that they said that if it was bent out of shape, like the picture Lutan has,that it could fracture and break, similar to a grenade going off. This was only if it was under incredible pressure. The Holmatro rep made a presentation at the World Extrication Challenge in 2000 at the Scottish Fire Service Training School and he said that he got the info from Cadillac, I think.
    The other article I read said that you could use a router type woodworking tool on the lexan and you just cut around the window frame and pull the whole piece out. A router has a blade like a rod that spins around under the tool, so it makes it's own hole and then cuts by itself. Cut the lexan not the metal.

    Hope this helps.
    D. Camp

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    Back in 1998 I did some new tech.. I found out back then that Volvo & Audi A8 & of course Mercedes had Theft Proof Glass. We all know what that is ( Laminated Glass ).
    Since then the numbers have increased.
    The new plastic I mean glass I also heard was made to help keep the passengers inside the vehicle in case of roll over, but we all know everyone wears the seat belts properly. Also I recall that in case of side inpact it is a little easier on the Head because it will give & still keep them inside.
    Last edited by Jim Greene; 04-25-2002 at 10:32 PM.
    Jim

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    Any one know more about the C)2 and axe idea? i had posted it because that was how i leearned to axcess the same material on windows.
    Stay Safe! Truckman38 Firefighter/EMT
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