A new appointment with Labinsight in the Safety lab | Istituto Giordano

A new appointment with Labinsight in the Safety lab

(Pubbl. 21/03/2023)

For several months, with the Labinsight column, we embarked on a journey to get to know the laboratories of Istituto Giordano. The section managers accompanied us, explaining the tests that take place within each of them and the equipment they use daily.

We will stop by the Safety lab this month, and our guide will be Dott. Andrea Bruschi, whom we asked a few questions, read the interview!

Q: Hi Andrea, in the section where you operate, one speaks of safety in the English term 'Safety', i.e. safety in using the product. Tell us something about that.

A: The concept of safety can be defined as the knowledge that the evolution of a product will not produce undesirable or dangerous effects on host structures or humans. This definition sums up the activity we carry out in the laboratory for which I am in charge: an example is the wind resistance tests on numerous types of products, window frames, blinds, and coverings... we statically simulate the action of the wind to verify when and how the sample can reach a dangerous state for users.

Q: How does it feel to head such a vital laboratory?

A: Certainly, thirty years of experience helps a great deal in solving, without particular anxiety and hopefully with quality, the most varied problems, technical or managerial, that this work entails; a downside of this continuous cognitive and cultural evolution is growing older, but this side effect cannot be eliminated...

Q: Various tests are carried out in the laboratory on different types of products: can you tell us which ones?

A: A systematic classification is impossible. Sometimes tests are requested on products we did not even know existed; internally, we study the possibilities of building the necessary test equipment. Let's say the most recurrent ones are these:
door and window frames, building enclosures for exteriors - i.e. curtain walls, blackout blinds, thermal insulation, safety glass in the building, railway and nautical sectors, interior walls of various kinds, motorway or railway noise barriers, industrial protection barriers, etc. etc….

Q: The tests you carry out in the lab are impressive; for example, the bulletproof tests on a train window are spectacular. Tell us more about that...

A: Over time, the 'Safety' laboratory has developed considerable experience in soft-body impacts (simulating the impact of a human body) and hard-body impacts, using impacting bodies of various kinds, the characteristics of which are described in the various product standards examined. For example, in the railway sector, particularly for locomotive windscreens, the standard provides for an impact made with a hemispherical aluminium body of mass 1 kg, fired at speeds of up to 500 km/h.
Another rather spectacular test is provided by an American regulation, in which wooden logs are fired against the glass panes of a window frame at a speed of 90 km/h. This technique originated and is required in Florida for testing the mechanical resistance of building components in the event of a hurricane.
The company that commissions this kind of test is usually an Italian company that wants to export its product to the USA; unfortunately, due to climate change, this test could become a routine request for Italy as well. We hope this will never happen...

Watch an impact resistance test on glass for hurricane-prone areas carried out by Safety's laboratory 


Q: Before we end our tour of your section, why is it important to perform these tests?

A: Basically, the tests are for the protection of the end consumer: the laboratory certifies with these tests the quality of the product, with a judgement which is in no way burdened by a conflict of interest. This need for the objectivity of judgement is, for us, the first commandment.

For more details on the tests, we can perform See the special page