As the Chelyabinsk region of Russia recovers from the damage of last week’s meteor strike, including large amounts of glass breakage, some industry experts are weighing in on whether the type of glass could have made a difference in the amount of glass breakage that occurred while Russian officials are looking at the price of glass in the region.
“Impact glazing materials such as hurricane approved (laminated glass) would have helped greatly,” says Lyle Hill, president of Keytech North America. “The problem is, though, in most cases, the glass is only as good as the framing holding it in place. This is why hurricane-approved systems are inclusive of getting the framing and glazing procedures tested and approved. I doubt if they have much in the way of building codes in Russia.”
However, even with proper building codes, such as those in the United States, such a large impact still would have had a major impact, Hill notes.
“ … A meteor hit like that one probably would have caused similar damage (although hopefully not quite as bad) in the states in areas not covered by hurricane standards,” he adds.
Valerie Block, senior marketing specialist for Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions, also shared her thoughts with USGNN.com™.
“I don’t have any experience with meteor impacts, but I will say that a lot of the injuries were caused by flying glass,” she says. “So, of course, laminated glass would have been helpful by retaining broken glass after breakage.”
There also has been some discussion as to how window film may have helped.
“Basically what the film would do is hold the glass together,” says George Emerson, sales representative for Pro-Tection Seattle Inc.
While the film could not have prevented the external building destruction and glass breakage, it could have helped prevent some of the internal damage, as well as injuries, he adds.
“What would have happened is the blast would have just caused the glass to peel back like a banana, but the glass wouldn’t go flying around,” says Emerson.
“From what I understand, a lot of the injury came from glass breakage,” says Glenn Yocca, president of U.S. Film Crew. “Any time you have glass breakage, window film helps contain the glass fragments. Security film would have been a major benefit.”
Meanwhile, The Moscow Times has reported that Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service is now monitoring prices for glass and pre-assembled window units in the Chelyabinsk region, along with the price of labor for repairing the damage from the blast.
According to the report, the meteorite shower affected the windows in buildings covering 200,000 square meters, “sending local demand for window glass and pre-manufactured window panes skyrocketing.”