Removing windscreens in a flash

UK car Repair specialist Belron International has developed a flash-gun which allows car windscreens to be removed safely and efficiently.

Windscreens contribute to the structural strength of a car and modern adhesives make removing them difficult. Considerable physical force is sometimes required to prise the glass away, which can be dangerous.

Ever tighter manufacturing tolerances and tougher health and safety and environmental laws are making the task all the more difficult, according toBelron, which owns windscreen specialist Autoglass.

Belron’s development arm, AGSI, which has been working on a research project with the University of Swansea, believes it has come up with a safe andcommercially-viable solution.

After experimenting with lasers and ultrasound, the team has developed a flash-gun which fires bursts of concentrated light onto the adhesive joint.

‘Clean de-bonding of the glass from the adhesive is reliably achieved. The physical effort of cutting is eliminated along with the risk of injuries and vehicle damage greatly reduced,’ said a spokesman for Belron.

The system has been evaluated by the product design consultancy PDD, and patents have been granted for the application.

Belron recently commissioned a batch of 30 prototype tools, and has already completed an evaluation programme.

PDD has also developed a production concept for a mobile version of the tool.