Anti-terrorism Solutions - Blast Protection


Natural light and security unite in Major Industries' Guardian 275® translucent panels
Explosives have become the weapon of choice for terrorists around the world, and the force of these blasts can wreak havoc on standard building materials. As an explosion impacts your building, a flying debris field is created which can cause a variety of injuries to your building's occupants. In fact, studies show that lacerations due to high-speed flying glass fragments are responsible for a significant number of injuries sustained in explosions. Less flying debris equals less chance of injury, and because they're designed to "flex" with the force of an explosive blast while remaining intact and secure in the opening, Guardian 275® Translucent Daylighting Panels can reduce the amount of dangerous fragments created by an explosion.

Tested, Abused – and Performance Verified
During a series of tests conducted by Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants Inc., a world-renowned engineering and testing firm, a variety of Guardian 275® panels were attached to a large shock tube, a test device that creates specific pressures and applied impulses (an applied impulse, measured in psi-msec, is equal to the net force on the panel times the time period over which this force is applied.) The combinations of pressure and impulse simulate the effects of an actual explosive device in a safe, controlled environment that allows for a scientifically valid measurement of blast resistance.

Major Industries' translucent daylighting system also shields occupants from a direct line of sight. Potential terrorists observing from busy streets and other uncontrolled locations are offered few clues to the activity within occupied spaces while interior spaces are enhanced with glare-free, energy-saving daylighting.

Guardian 275® panel configurations were put through a range of pressures and impulses in order to thoroughly evaluate their blast resistance and safety. A machine-generated blast pressure range of 5 to 6 psi, with applied impulses between 41 and 69 psi-msec, was chosen to test commonly specified blast loads for anti-terrorism protection of buildings in the United States. To put these numbers into a real-world scenario, a similar blast load of 5 psi could snap a wooden utility pole. A larger applied pressure of 10 psi with an applied impulse of 90 psi-msec was used to generate a medium level blast load that studies show could cause significant structural damage and serious health risks.

Testing conducted in the 5 to 6 psi range showed that Guardian 275® panels resisted the applied loads over a range of impulses and retained their structural integrity. Since their unique design features allow them to "flex" with the force of a blast, the panels created no flying debris and were found to pose no threat to building occupants.

The largest applied pressure, used to recreate a devastating medium level blast, was 10 psi with an applied impulse of 90 psi-msec. The Guardian 275® panel once again "flexed" with the pressure and remained intact.

The results are clear – Guardian 275® panels, after going through the most punishing blast tests in the translucent daylighting industry, meet or exceed the following related performance requirements:

  • Department of Defense (DoD) Minimum Anti-terrorism Standards for Buildings (UFC 4-010-01) for conventional building standoff distances and ISC Security Design Criteria Level C loading
  • US General Services Administration (GSA) Standard Test Method for Glazing and Window Systems Subject to Dynamic Overpressure Loadings – Condition "1", Hazard Level "None"
  • ASTM F 1642-04 Standard Test Method for Glazing and Glazing Systems Subject to Airblast Loading
  • AAMA 510-06 Voluntary Specification Guide for Blast Hazard Mitigation for Fenestration Systems
Outstanding Blast Protection... Without Sacrifice

Guardian 275® Translucent Daylighting Panels, which meet or exceed the most rigorous anti-terrorism standards, can be configured to provide your desired level of blast protection. Our experienced engineering department will take your requirements and, using a combination of the industry's most accepted and advanced blast load analysis programs and real-world test results, design a system that will meet your exact specifications.

While our Guardian 275® Translucent Daylighting Panels feature a high degree of safety, they also allow soft, balanced, glare-free natural daylighting to illuminate your building's interior. Numerous studies show that daylighting improves people's mood, increases productivity, and provides an energy-saving alternative to traditional electrical lighting. Guardian 275® translucent panels offer unmatched color stability and extreme weather resistance, as well as LEED® credit opportunities and unique design possibilities beyond traditional blast-resistant materials.

Guardian 275® Translucent Daylighting Panels have established a new performance standard for security and light quality in the daylighting industry. Our years of experience and long list of satisfied customers, along with recent anti-terrorism blast and weathering tests, prove that we're the right choice for your next project.

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