A British company that specialises in designing glazing systems to withstand terrorist attack has put video footage of a successful and groundbreaking test against a lorry bomb on YouTube.
Wrightstyle designs, fabricates and installs its advanced systems worldwide. Recent contracts have included the Dubai Metro, Durban’s new FIFA World Cup stadium, and the US Marines museum in the USA.
Using new media as part of our marketing is all about making Wrightstyle as accessible as possible, and educating architects that glass in buildings can be made safe from terrorist attack,” said Jane Embury, Wrightstyle.
The YouTube posting comes in a week that saw the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) issue guidance to UK architects on incorporating anti-terrorism measures into their designs, and comes in the wake of further recent terrorist atrocities in Moscow and amid continuing uncertainty worldwide.
“The message that we have been trying to convey to architects is that, if a system such as ours is used for the external glazing, the glazing system will look no different from conventional curtain walling,” said Jane Embury.
The importance of blast resistant curtain walling is that the main cause of injury and death from a bomb attack is flying glass. In an attack using explosives in an urban area, between 80% to 85% of all secondary blast injuries are caused by flying glass.
Wrightstyle’s landmark test, conducted at a specialist site in the UK, involved the system being subjected to the equivalent of 500k of TNT, acknowledged as an average-sized lorry bomb.
The Wrightstyle system’s strength was achieved through a glazing technique that bonds the glass to its framing support, so that in an explosion the components work together to safely absorb the shock and retain the glazing elements.
In the independent test at an RAF base, the simulated lorry bomb attack was immediately followed by a simulated car bomb attack (100k of TNT). The lorry bomb was detonated 75m from the test rig, whilst the car bomb was detonated at a distance of 20m to produce a higher pressure loading and shock on the facade, and was also successful.
“We may not have yet taken explosives from the hands of terrorists. But for the occupants of those buildings that incorporate the latest blast-resistant steel glazing systems, we have taken away an equally potent weapon, the glass itself,” said Jane Embury.