Impact Testing – Assessing the Strength of B-Clear Panels

Mykon B-Clear panels have a range of practical and architectural capabilities and are suitable for both structural and non-structural applications. The B-Clear range is made with an aluminium honeycomb core, manufactured at our headquarters in Cambridgeshire, UK. The panels are an excellent solution for increasing natural light in a space, due to their 78% light transmittance value, paired with the internal, aluminium fisheye effect.

B-Clear can be fitted with three types of skin: polycarbonate, acrylic, or toughened glass, each pertaining their own applications. Polycarbonate and acrylic panels are most suitable for non-structural applications like interior walls or partitions and screens. When using a toughened glass skin, B-Clear panels are strong enough to be used in walkways, mezzanines and staircases.

To ensure the products are permitted for use in high strength applications, samples of the panels had to go through rigorous testing. Three types of material were tested: one glass panel sample, two polycarbonate sample panels and two made with acrylic. The glass tested was 40mm thick and the polycarbonate samples were 19mm and 27mm thick, as were the acrylic samples. All are available as part of the B-Clear range.

To determine the strength of each sample, the test followed specifications of BS EN 12600:2002 Glass Building – Pendulum Test. This is the European standard used to classify flat glass products used in buildings, which are rated on performance under impact and mode of breakage. The European classification system is aimed at increasing personal safety by reduction of piercing injuries to persons, and to determine the containment characteristics of the material.

To undertake the test, a 50kg impactor and a clamping frame was constructed following the guidelines of BS EN 12600:2002. Each sample was placed in the frame and the weighted impactor was dropped at three different heights to test its structural resistance. The three drop heights used were 190mm, 450mm and 1200mm. Classification by drop height corresponds to graded values of energy transmitted by the impact of a person, such as used in structural applications.

There were three possible types of resulting damage from the test:

  • Class 3: numerous cracks or disintegration at a drop height of 190mm
  • Class 2: numerous cracks or disintegration at drop heights of 190mm and 450mm
  • Class 1: numerous cracks or disintegration or unbroken at drop heights of 190mm, 450mm and 1200mm

Alongside the types of resulting damage, there were also three possible modes of breakage:

  • Type A: numerous cracks appear forming fragments with sharp edges, some of which are large
  • Type B: numerous cracks appear, but fragments hold together and don’t separate
  • Type C: disintegration occurs, leading to a large number of small particles that are relatively harmless

The samples remained unbroken at the end of the tests, exhibiting damage typical of the Type C classification. The strength of the glass, acrylic and polycarbonate skins to remain unbroken means it qualifies as a class 1 material.

Our high-quality polycarbonate or acrylic skinned panels are perfect for non-structural applications. However, by substituting polycarbonate or acrylic with toughened glass, our skilled technical team have created a B-Clear panel superior in strength, suitable for use in structural applications. These durable panels are scratch resistant, easy to clean and highly resilient to deflection.

For more information on Mykon B-Clear panels please click here.