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Product Testing and Compliance

Many glazing systems are now designed and specified to achieve resistance to blast. Where blast protection is specified, it is crucial to assure that a blast design load and hazard rating is agreed and specified.

Once the design is approved an assurance plan must be developed which will confirm that the original specification is manufactured and installed correctly. The plan should cover all stages of the project, from manufacture through to installation.


Product testing

Glazing systems proven to provide blast protection against specific blast loads through testing are commercially available. These may be suitable, however it is important to ensure that the following are considered:

  • the appropriate test standard has been identified

  • the test report provides full details of the system tested, the blast load applied and the hazard rating

  • the proven system is the same one being offered for the specific project

  • the design and procurement specification include the correct standards

  • the manufacturing and installation processes have been followed correctly


Compliance

When a blast protection requirement for glazing has been identified and the design agreed, security managers and project managers must be confident it has been correctly delivered. An assurance plan should be put in place which will identify that:

  • the design and procurement specification include the correct standards

  • bids have been checked for compliance with the specification during procurement

  • the specified materials and process have been used in the manufacturing process

  • the system is correctly installed, in accordance with the drawings

  • there is no deterioration in performance once installation has taken place

The following key points are particularly important to ensure the correct blast resistance is achieved:

  • has the risk from toughened glass fracturing due to inclusions within the glass been considered?

  • where laminated glass is specified, has the correct interlayer layer been used?

  • has the glass been installed the right way around?

  • have the correct adhesives and sealants been used and installed correctly?

  • can water easily drain from the façade?

  • is the glazing system correctly fixed to the building?

  • what cleaning and maintenance procedures are in place?

Certification should be provided by the manufacturers, installers and those training the installers to provide evidence of the standards that their products and processes have delivered.

The areas highlighted above, and in the guidance note below, stress the key areas that security managers and project managers should be considering when installing glazing systems with a requirement to protect or mitigate the impact of a blast load.

Additional advice should be sought from a blast engineer from the Register of Security Engineer and Specialist (RSES) if a higher level of risk from improvised explosive devices has been identified in relation to the building you are concerned with. In this case a more detailed blast protection strategy will need to be developed to bring down the higher levels of risk.

 

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