Breaking Glass could be dangerous – using an alternative would be safer

Alternatives to breaking glass in an emergency exist in the form of Safeglass®, plastics and toughened glass.

The following case study is an example of improved design.

The client has a break glass cover over and emergency door release on a train. For legal reasons, the handle has a specified height at which it must be positioned. This means that it is situated at shoulder height next to the doors and is therefore very vulnerable.

The Brief:
The brief was to replace the break glass with a stronger material or re-design the part to be better. Ultimately, the client wished to reduce the costs of replacing the break glass.

The Solution:
Using the existing frame, it was possible to set the break glass further back giving a little more ‘shoulder room’ which could reduce breakages. This would mean changing the break glass that was there since the existing mechanism would not be able to operate further back. Safeglass® was the preferred material. Grooves needed to be cut into the glass to help it to break.

The Result:
The new part should reduce the number of breakages and is cheaper than the old break glass. Costs should therefore be reduced. There is also interest by other train companies who operate the same class of train.

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