I recently visited IAGs new factory in UAE. As I got shown round the unit that produces the armoured glass (amazed to see the process first hand) I got to confirm and get new information.
A new set of windows, including front screen, costs anywhere between 10,000 to 20,000 US dollars, depending on the B rating, to replace and generally has a fit for use lifespan of about 2 years when it’s looked after. However,
- not being looked after is the most common cause of it having to be replaced sooner than it should.
- not being looked after effects the ballistic property of the glass.
There’s a whole list of stuff that negatively affects the way that the see throughs keep the resistance effective.
- Leaving the vehicle parked in the sun (for hours on end); this causes degradation of the polycarbonate layers. Any degradation immediately makes the laminate’s ballistic properties nigh on useless.
- Using detergent or any oil/fat based product to clean the glass inside or out. Effect, as above. Water should only be used and when dry, cleaned with something like a microfibre cloth. Clean one. Driver and or passengers rubbing at the glass from the inside can damage the final internal layer that prevents splinters of glass flying around.
- Any cracks in the glass will immediately compromise effectiveness. These can occur through poor handling of the doors. Letting them swing open, for example, and hit other vehicles, objects. A door of an up armoured 4×4 can weigh in excess of 120kgs!
Poor driving can also lead to the glasses getting damaged. Sudden vertical forces, such as hitting speed bumps and potholes at too high a speed can cause cracks. Especially if the windscreen and other glasses haven’t been cut/finished well before they are fitted. IAG glasses are precision made and finished to minimise the chances of this happening.
Leaving the doors hanging open can also increase the possibility of glass damage. If the door is left hanging it can damage the hinges and the door’s position drops. If someone slams the door shut … 120kgs hits the striker which is not inline …
The see through bits are generally known by most as the vulnerable part of the up armouring process. When it’s at its best, a B6 laminate when hit in the same place could be penetrated by the third round of an AK 7.62.
Look after them and they might look after you!