A Very A-Peeling Proposition
In the last blog I teased you with a mention of the “peel test” and I think it is important that we all get educated on this. On the other side of the pond in the United Kingdom the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) represents all companies relating to the glazing industry including window film (similar to our IWFA).
The GGF is recognized by the UK government and plays a large part in the setting of new standards and codes named the Building Regulations. These rules govern and control the way the buildings are constructed in the UK (just like our building codes here in the States).
The GGF knows, as we all do, that as time goes on the protection that film provides is waning. While most security films in the UK come with a 10-year warranty, the GGF wanted a standardized way of testing if an installation was still providing the necessary protection. Additionally, they wanted the building owners to be able to certify that their new installation was up to all industry standards, if they so choose to test.
Security film adhesive is the strongest of all window films because of what it is intended to do but on the other hand it is the worst to remove.
So how do you test the strength of security film on location? The GGF developed a method. They were not only concerned with the adhesive strength but the film’s integrity as well. We all know that film becomes brittle when it has prolonged exposure to the sun.
I’ve attached the full pdf of the instructions entitled “Peel Test Procedure” cause as with any testing procedure designed for any government regulation there are too many words to fit in this blog. So the abridged version is as follows.
Here in the United States there seems to be this misconception that once we install security film it will last forever … a one-and-done mentality. I, for one, would like to see our IWFA adopt a form of peel testing.
The benefits are multifaceted:
It would help the end user to understand that safety film doesn’t last forever and give them a quantifiable way of testing their current job upon completion and in the future as the film degrades. This ensures the protection they sought is there or needs to be replaced … the risk doesn’t go away but the protection provided will dwindle.
It also benefits our industry as it gives more credibility to our products and our concern that the public’s safety is kept to the highest standards. Not to mention a legitimate built-in repeat business model. Another side benefit to dealers is they can charge money for the peel test … especially if they didn’t do the job originally.
These test pictures above are from a recent test performed by Pentagon Protection PLC, in London at the Waterloo Train Station. In the last blog I did mention this large job. Pentagon originally installed film at this location more than 10 years ago. Since the Waterloo Station was going through a remodel they knew it was time to replace the film as well. The main reason for the film isn’t what you might presume. It’s not for a possible terrorist attack although it certainly is possible … it’s for glass retention; specifically the upper four rows of windows. The main concern is spontaneous glass breakage. This phenomenon can happen to tempered glass as it can spontaneously shatter without any apparent reason. Reasons vary from internal defects within the glass such as nickel sulfide inclusion, thermo stresses or minor damage during glazier installation—not a good thing when thousands of people are standing underneath them.
Pentagon had to remove the old film and install new Pentagon FT800 8-mil clear. Additionally, Pentagon installed their proprietary customized attachment system. This is a hybrid attachment that screws into the frame but has a peel-and-stick tape strip to the film/glass side. It was put to the test not long after they completed the job … a worker was walking on top of the glass pressure washing and slipped and fell. He shattered the glass but the film and attachment held strong … otherwise he would have fallen another 40 feet to the ground and that sort of thing could ruin your day.
In all, the job was approximately 80,000 square feet and took our crews four months to complete.
The last survey I asked if you have ever installed security film and a whopping 94.7 percent said yes. Awesome. I also asked if you had ever installed an attachment system other than Dow 995 and only 59.1 percent of you have. That means that 40.9 percent of you need to be enlightened on different attachment systems available in the market. Trust me when I say once you’ve used other attachment systems other than Dow 995 … you’ll never want to go back.
Since I’m pretty sure most of you have never heard of the peel test I want to know if you think we should have it in the United States. This month’s survey asks:
Quote of the Month
“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
– Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)