GANA Divisions Discuss Safety Guidelines During Fall Conference
October 19, 2011

The Glass Association of North America's (GANA) Fall Conference continued yesterday with a number of discussions related to safety.

During its meeting, members of the Protective Glazing Committee continued work on its "Screening Out Ultraviolet Radiation with Laminated Glass" glass informational bulletin (GIB), making it more general as befitting the broad resource the GIBs aim to provide. Next, the group reviewed a very early draft of a potential GIB on radio frequency. Of concern was that the committee wants to address the topic but its members at this point don't include RF experts. Consequently, the group is seeking out expert input in order to proceed with an educational document.

The committee also brought up topics to consider for future GIBs. Among them, a particular hot topic of late: bird-friendly glass. While the committee seemed at first unsure that the topic fit within the scope of a committee that has focused on safety to building occupants, many members seemed to agree that it would be a proactive to address the hot topic with some industry-specific information.

The committee meeting was followed by a meeting of the Laminating Division which likewise led to a great deal of progress on educational resources. Among other activities, the group began wordsmithing its GIB on glass in furniture. As ASTM moves closer to completing its standard on this topic, the GANA group hopes to have out a document explaning the types of glass to be used in furniture applications. Upon completing their edits, a motion carried to move the document to the Technical Committee for ballot.

The Tempering Division likewise heard an update on the ASTM standard, which it was noted is expected to be released before the end of this year. During that division meeting, Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia cautioned, "This standard ASTM is putting out is very weak compared to standards coming out from other countries, including China, so this is something we'll want to keep an eye on." By way of example, she noted that China is requiring a label on every piece of glass. That the United States does not has been "one of the big contentions." That has been driven largely by furniture manufacturers; "they feel the consumers would prefer not to have any type of marking on their glass tabeltop," Schimmelpenningh said.

Also during the meeting of the Tempering Division,  Greg Carney of C. G. Carney Associates proposed starting a task group for development of a document on "best practices for heat treating glass." As he explained, the division had been working with the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) for several years now, encouraging window cleaners to use proper procedures for cleaning glass.  One of the items that has come up in discussion with IWCA, Carney noted, is that the window cleaner group put together a best practices document and have taken large strides in this direction. They then challenged GANA to do the same. Carney showed the group a proposed outline of what could be covered by such a group, a broad stroke of general guidelines, dos and don'ts and basic considerations. During this meeting, Carney went over a proposed outline of topics to consider, from appropriate personal protective equipment to washing to conveying systems to packaging and shipment.

One listener spoke up and said a resource like this could be work to improve overall quality of the industry. Others expresssed concern that many of the coaters might not agree - or share - those best practices adopted in their own processes.

The task group will continue to evaluate the possible direction of such a guidance.

The GANA Fall Conference concludes today. Stay tuned to and watch for the November issue of USGlass Magazine for additional updates from the event.

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