Denel Group company Pretoria Metal Pressings (PMP) has assisted in recent windscreen penetration tests for trains travelling at 160 km/h, testing their ability to withstand a 1.1 kg projectile fired at 320 km/h.
The glass had to withstand an impact from a 1.1-kilogram projectile fired at a velocity of 320 km per hour; no penetration from the projectile or glass fragments were allowed on the reverse side of the glass. The requirements were exceeded, with the test passed with a 1.1 kg projectile fired at 390 km/h.
A special cannon that made use of compressed air to launch the 1.1-kilogram projectile was designed and built by FGW Safety Glass engineers for the tests. A number of test were carried out over a period of two months. Modifications were made to both the cannon and the glass and finally on 1 December 2016 in the presence of the client and the Armscor inspectorate, four glass samples passed the tests.
Because of the layout of the tests being similar to an ammunition test it was decided that the ideal safe and secure environment for conducting these types of tests would be the Denel PMP Medium Calibre Proof Range, Denel PMP said.
After testing various different examples of glass, success was achieved with a specific glass configuration.
“Another example of where Denel PMP personnel’s expertise and versatility helped to deliver a specialized service to an outside company to develop, manufacture and deliver a proudly South African product,” Denel PMP said.
Previously the glass for the train windscreens had to be imported into South Africa. FGW Safety Glass is a Roodepoort based company in the Furman Glass Group that manufactures safety glass for automotive, military, mine vehicles and rail locomotives. Denel PMP noted that train windscreens are currently imported and the train operator wishes to have a locally produced product that is better suited to local conditions.