IMPACT RESISTANCE OF BAR GLASSES

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Abstract

Bar glassee are often used as weapons in interpersonal violence. Violence often erupts spontaneously and assailants use objects close to hand as weapons. After an initial national Accident and Emergency Department study to identify glass designs most often implicated in interpersonal violence, the impact resistance of 1-pint beer glasses was tested in a materials laboratory with a Zwick 5102 pendulum impact tester. Both straight-sided (nonik) glasses (annealed and tempered) and handled tankards (annealed) were tested to destruction. The impact resistance of new glasses was compared with that of glasses subjected to wear. The mean impact resistance of new annealed noniks did not differ significantly although new glasses were significantly more resistant than worn glasses (p < 0.01). It was not possible to break any of the tempered glasses with the pendulum used (maximum impact energy, 4 J). When noniks had been scratched at the rim to mimic wear, tempered glasses also had the highest impact resistance (p < 0.01) whereas the mean resistance of the annealed noniks was not significantly different. When tempered glasses failed during testing, they all disintegrated into relatively harmless cubes of glass, particularly the thicker bases of glasses. In contrast, annealed designs fractured leaving sharp shards although the thicker bases remained intact. The mean impact resistance of new annealed noniks was 0.5 J, of worn annealed noniks 0.08 J, of tempered new noniks > 4 J, of worn tempered noniks 0.18 J, and of tankards, 1.7 J, It was concluded that tempered noniks were at least six times more impact resistant than annealed glasses of the same design and that worn tempered noniks remained at least 100% more resistant to impact than worn annealed noniks. Furthermore, when tempered noniks were tested to destruction the fragments were relatively small and had blunt edges.

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