SABIC Innovative Plastics introduced a new, high-tech shield to enhance the protection of transit operators in Toronto at NPE 2009. This new high-value operator protection is made of Lexan* polycarbonate sheet and coated with the Exatec* E900 advanced plasma technology at Exatec's facility in Wixom, Mich. The combined high impact strength and optical clarity of Lexan sheet and the excellent abrasion resistance of the Exatec coating, led the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to equip its fleet with new shields to help prevent assaults on TTC operators, which average one per day. Exatec, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of SABIC Innovative Plastics, develops advanced polycarbonate glazing systems for the automotive market.
While protection of the driver was a primary objective of the TTC bus retrofit, the glazing solution also had to meet stringent regulatory requirements for optical clarity (driver visibility) as set forth in the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) ANSI Z26.1 AS-2 standard. The driver protection enclosure consists of a 31 by 38 inch rectangular Lexan sheet window with a lower metal door. Lexan 9034 sheet with Exatec coating is the first polycarbonate (PC) glazing certified to comply with AS-2. According to company, this string and lightweight solution offers weight reductions of as much as 50% vs. glass, as well as superior impact strength, abrasion resistance and overall durability vs. acrylic-based panels.