Upcoming dates for “Job Shadowing” will be Dec. 8, 2011, Feb. 16, 2012, and April 21, 2012. Contact Gary, Mike, or Tom at (318) 636-2405 for more information.
This month’s guest speaker, along with the meeting place, food and drink, were all provided by Ken Stephenson of Louisiana Glass and Mirror. Rick Mathis of Sika Corporation discussed the importance glass and adhesives in the automotive industry. He added that Sika is involved in glass of all kinds; auto, trucks, cruise ships, etc. If glass is involved, so is the Sika Corporation.
Mathis began his presentation by showing a slide of a wrecked automobile that had the windshield replaced on a Friday and had a wreck on Monday where the car was flipped and slid for over 200 feet on it’s roof. The windshield was still intact. It was scratched, but it stayed in place. Mathis stated that if you are able to stay in the car in an accident, your chances of surviving is over 95% versus being ejected.
Mathis also talked about the history of automotive glass. The first cars didn’t come with a windshield. The only reason a glass was put on the car was because of women; their makeup would get dirty from riding in a car, so a glass pane was put in to keep the dirt from ruining their makeup. As changes occurred in the automotive industry, the windshield became more than just a bug deflector. Today’s windshields, with heat and complex bends, make some with a 500% breakage strength. Now the windshield is strong, but collision repair technicians need to make sure it stays in place during a collision. If the windshield pops out during a collision, the people in the car will become more severely injured. Keeping the windshield in place allows the air bags to work more effectively and keeps the occupants in the car. Keeping windshields in place began by using gaskets, but that era has come and gone in automobiles, said Mathis. It went from gaskets to Butyl and now to an adhesive that when fully cured has a rate of 800 to 1500 PSI depending on the adhesive used.
Mathis also had videos showing how Sika used “unbelted” crash dummies during their sled crash tests and they are the only company that tests their products belted and unbelted to see the action of the crash dummy and what happens during the collision with each method. Attendees were amazed to see how keeping the windshield in place during a collision allowed other safety features to work better. Mathis said that Sika is always working on ways to improve adhesives. Currently, Sika is developing new technologies and adhesives. Different ways to cure these new high strength adhesives for many customer designs are being explored, from curing with UV light to sound frequency.
Mathis also discussed other changes coming to automotive glass like built in camera displays, and window tinting. Camera displays in mirrors and other glass required certain procedures and products for removing and replacing glass that has some type of electronic component to prevent corrosion. If the procedures and products are not used or not used correctly, the adhesive will not bond properly or could cause corrosion that would disable many of these new electronic features. In future, the tinting of windows will be done by the car occupant by dialing up or down the tint themselves; the Chevrolet Volt will be coming out with this feature. When you turn the car off, the windows automatically black out to reduce the heat build up inside the car. Mathis said we can expect to see some type of this tinting in 2012. Some manufacturers are also going to offer different colors in this tinting method. This type of tinting was invented in 1974 and used in industrial equipment in 1976.
Glass roofs are also becoming popular. One reason is because the more glass you have on the car, the bigger the car feels inside. For glass roofs versus metal, the biggest difference is hail damage. Hail will most always dent metal, but rarely breaks glass. When the glass is broken, it is easier to replace broken glass than repair dented roof panels.
Mathis finished his presentation by stating adhesives are priced based on strengths. He said that no one should be installing glass using butyl tape and that Sika Corporation doesn’t even sell any butyl tape. For more information, he directed the group to look at www.safewindshield.com. That site is dedicated to providing information about proper auto glass replacements and is owned and managed by AGRSS, Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council, a non-for-profit corporation.
For more information please visit www.nwlcra.org.