Toughened glass could help cut car crime

Toughened glass with up to 60 times the resistance of standard glazing could help to reduce the growing number of car jackings and thefts from vehicles.

According to the most recent Home Office statistics, 330,000 cars are stolen in the UK each day, with a further 1.8 million thefts from vehicles. In over half these crimes police records show that thieves enter through the car’s side windows.

‘Now that cars are increasingly resistant to theft, criminals are attacking vehicles once the owners are inside, giving them access to the keys, as well as all the security codes,’ said Michel van Russelt, Solutia automotive marketing director for Europe and Africa.

Solutia’s Vanceva Secure consists of a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB), the material traditionally employed to toughen glass, sandwiched between two pieces of glass. But what marks it apart from other toughened glass is that it also has a transparent polyester layer laminated into the sandwich.

The glass provides at least two minutes of intrusion resistance, even when subjected to a sustained attack with a heavy object, and is likely to foil criminals attempting a spontaneous smash and grab raid.

Once shattered, the treated glass does not break up and fall away, but remains intact in its frame, preventing entry and also protecting passengers involved in collisions from roll-over and side-impact injuries.

However, the glass can easily be removed using standard tools carried by the Fire Brigade. The glass also filters up to 95 per cent of harmful UV and infrared rays, prolonging the life of upholstery, and also dampens outside noises including wind and other traffic.

The designers say the impact-resistant product is also suitable as an anti-vandal glass for shop windows and bus shelters.

In tests, sheets withstood 20 impacts from a 9.5kg weight dropped from a height of 70cm – four times the number required to conform to British Standard levels for vehicle glass.

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