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Gav
-5th November 2009, 09:20
Seems there's been a freak incident at the Junior Europeans when a mask was punctured by a foil leaving the recipient with nasty cut.

More on the story and a pic of the mask are available here (http://www.fencing.se/nyheter/allvarligt-tillbud-med-nya-masken-i-odense).

hokers
-5th November 2009, 10:40
Yeah I saw this on fencing.net while I was waiting for us to be back up here.

It's all going to come down to the ananlysis of the mask, age, treatment etc.

Shouldn't be possible for most people to generate enough force to do this to a mask meeting the standards.

kingkenny
-5th November 2009, 11:55
Well my thoughts on this are all Visor mask should use a duel layer like the LP mask. The outer layer protects the outside of Lexan from chemical corrosion, direct UV damage etc. It stops scratches and damage to the protective Lexan and in our test it showed a significant improvement to the strength. This layer could probably be retrofitted or added to the visor mask manufactured in China.

We have recommended this to the Semi previously. Remember

!!! DO NOT USE ANY CHEMICAL CLEANERS ON THE VISOR. !!!

Bonehead
-5th November 2009, 19:17
Well my thoughts on this are all Visor mask should use a duel layer like the LP mask. The outer layer protects the outside of Lexan from chemical corrosion, direct UV damage etc. It stops scratches and damage to the protective Lexan and in our test it showed a significant improvement to the strength. This layer could probably be retrofitted or added to the visor mask manufactured in China.

We have recommended this to the Semi previously. Remember

!!! DO NOT USE ANY CHEMICAL CLEANERS ON THE VISOR. !!!

Does anyone know if anti-mist spray is ok to use on my LP Visor Masks and if not is there a suitable recommended alternative?

kingkenny
-5th November 2009, 20:51
The one here has been used for a long time with visor masks, its half way down the page.

http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/Shop_Home_Spares_and_Accessories_39.html

Not sure about other types of anti-mist spray.

Kenthegopher
-5th November 2009, 21:21
I take it you mean dual layer, unless a pun was intended.:whistle:

I very much doubt that a layer of less than 1mm would make an appreciable difference to the strength of the visor. Fair enough, it provides scratch resistance and is more economical than replacing the visor.
Is this one-up-manship for Leon Paul?:D

On to my thoughts...

Has anything similar happened to a mesh mask or is this occurrence exclusive to visors?

(I like smilies)

Ken

Gav
-5th November 2009, 21:38
Has anything similar happened to a mesh mask or is this occurrence exclusive to visors?

(I like smilies)

Ken

Yes. The most famous death in fencing occurred when a blade pierced a mask and killed the fencer on the spot.

pigeonmeister
-5th November 2009, 21:57
Sadly I think Smirnov died 9 days later.

The key point is that his death led to a real overhauling of equipment standards. Thankfully there was no serious injury in this case, but that's no reason to avoid a serious period of self-reflection.

It may be knee jerk but I would seriously consider banning visor masks in competitions until further testing. Especially when the motivation for bringing them in was probably as much to do with TV money than anything else.

I suspect that this would have happened if the fencer had not been so lucky.

miraberis
-5th November 2009, 22:06
I'm especially shocked that this happened with a FOIL!

pinkelephant
-5th November 2009, 22:56
I'm not. The surface area of a foil tip is less than that of an epee, so with the same force behind it, it creates a larger pressure. Of course, that's a bit simplistic as it's ignoring the relative flexibilities of the blades, and I'm not an engineer.

Lynne
-6th November 2009, 08:05
Sadly I think Smirnov died 9 days later.

The key point is that his death led to a real overhauling of equipment standards. Thankfully there was no serious injury in this case, but that's no reason to avoid a serious period of self-reflection.

It may be knee jerk but I would seriously consider banning visor masks in competitions until further testing. Especially when the motivation for bringing them in was probably as much to do with TV money than anything else.

I suspect that this would have happened if the fencer had not been so lucky.

Was kept alive artificially until after the closing ceremony so that he didn't die at/during the World Champs, I believe. So you're both right.

kingkenny
-6th November 2009, 08:07
Kenthegopher

The out layer adds significantly thats the point in my post. Its very cheap to add and should be compulsory. Other companies could add it easily and people could retrofit it.

Lexan that has been damaged chemically goes brittle I know this as I have tried it.
The Lexan in the picture has cracked not punctured in all our test when the lexan is punctured the lexan flows out of the way like a plastic not cracks. (Lexan can withstand much hirer puncture levels than F.I.E mesh)
The outer layer on the front is not brittle, and is less susceptible to chemical attack. The blade in this case was not broken and I am pretty certain that if the mask had had a outer layer the lexan might have cracked but the outer plastic would not have been punctured as the force would have been spread/diffused over a larger area.

I will try to do a video of a test to show what I am talking about and post it when I get time.

Bokkie
-6th November 2009, 08:14
I'm no materials scientist but shortly before I crossed to the dark side and became an Epee Sith Under Instruction, I received a particularly painful hit with a foil. True, a foil is much more flexible and will probably bend but I suspect there is a point where a foil can hit a spot in such an orientation that the force is directed through a nearly straight blade. That is the only time when I've taken an unpleasantly painful hit in foil. It's not as painful as the zaps I recieve in Epee. My bruises are honorable but they are deuced more painful. Such is the price that one Under Instruction must pay.

On the subject of transparent masks I remember seeing a program where safety glass was demonstrated where the two panes had a flexible see-through substrate between them. A piece of timber was fired at near hurricane wind speed. It failed to penetrate the window. I'm not suggesting we need visors 1" thick but can the same concept be applied to masks? Perhaps I've missed something important in this thread?

Gav
-6th November 2009, 10:35
One of the members of FNet asked a Materials Science forum to give their opinion of the mask. Read the following link for an interesting discussion:

http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=258328&page=1

The consensus I see on that board appears to bear out what KK has already said.


On the subject of transparent masks I remember seeing a program where safety glass was demonstrated where the two panes had a flexible see-through substrate between them. A piece of timber was fired at near hurricane wind speed. It failed to penetrate the window. I'm not suggesting we need visors 1" thick but can the same concept be applied to masks? Perhaps I've missed something important in this thread

I've seen this too. It was either Mythbusters or Brainiac Science Abuse. The same idea applies to lamellar armour.

scottishsabreur
-6th November 2009, 13:11
I have an LP exchange visor mask and found the two layers to be very useful and the first thin layer does make a difference. When fencing an epeeist at sabre they countered straight to mask and hit me directly in the middle of the visor. It felt like a fairly heavy point hit so after the bout I had a look at my visor to assess the damage and found the first layer to be intact but it had a severe dent in it and when it was taken off I could see it had almost burst through the first layer however the second layer was untouched. I didn't realise other companies made visor mask with only one layer :S

hokers
-6th November 2009, 14:03
This is only going to be a factor if it turns out that the failure was not due to some solvent applied to the inside.

Interesting to see the materials science guys suggesting an alternative material.

Foilling Around
-6th November 2009, 14:06
The replies on the Mech Eng forum are quite frightening if some mask manufacturers are producing unprotected polycarbonate visors.

The combination of weakening due to scratching and the possibility of chemical weakening must make this a srious accident waiting to happen.

Perhaps someone with more clout than me needs to get this kind of information infront of Semi.

I realise that they are aware of problems in that the visors have to be replaced regularly, but It is obviously not working.

The bruising from an epee is much more frequent due to the nature of the weapon, but PE is right, when the foil hits for a split second without bending and the force is tranmitted directly from the hilt then the smaller tip does produce the extra pressure.

pigeonmeister
-6th November 2009, 20:12
The FIE have now dropped the mandatory use of visor masks in internatonal competitions until further notice.

Kenthegopher
-6th November 2009, 22:14
Point taken, KK.

Anything that can reduce the forces to the main visor is probably a good thing.

I've heard from a reliable source that chemical cleaners would show up as a hazy patch on the polycarbonate. There does not appear to be any such patches on the visor.

Ken

(as an aside - so, there have been more fatalities with mesh masks than visored masks? It seems reasonable to me to revert to mesh:eek: )

pinkelephant
-7th November 2009, 08:01
The FIE have now dropped the mandatory use of visor masks in internatonal competitions until further notice.

Only at foil. They are still required for sabre.

german_fencer
-11th November 2009, 10:50
For everybody who believes, the transparent visors are as secure as the "normal" mesh masks, look at this foil mask from Odense and read the FIE letter:

http://www.fie.ch/download/letters/2009/urgent/15/en/Urgent%20Letter%2015-09.pdf

http://www3.pic-upload.de/thumb/11.11.09/3wjgbbv3ral.jpg (http://www.pic-upload.de/view-3641095/maske-odense.jpg.html)

Genstu
-11th November 2009, 12:02
The lad wearing the mask is seriously lucky!!

Will the result of the investigation be published in full?
I am assuming that they will send the lexan out for analysis, on paper it is stronger as has been said many times but is more likely to abuse than a traditional stainless steel mesh. What I mean is that you can 'see' damaged metal it is something that any person can relate too but using inappropriate chemicals [or even the sun's rays] can have a dramatic effect on the properties of lexan that just cant be seen. I dont really see how this will go away as a problem albeit a small chance that failure will occur the lack of physical symptoms that can be observed will always leave some doubt. The fact that the mask was 'checked' by an FIE armourer at the competition on the day before the incident goes to show that you cant see the weakness in an abused mask.

JulianRose
-11th November 2009, 12:13
also interesting that the FIE has only seen fit to remove the madatory use for foil and not for other weapons as well.

Gav
-11th November 2009, 12:16
Ok, to stop confusion I am closing this thread and merging it with the existing thread.

german_fencer
-11th November 2009, 12:19
Ok, to stop confusion I am closing this thread and merging it with the existing thread.

Oh sorry for double post, didnt see this thread.

Barely legal
-11th November 2009, 12:48
Just read the comments on the material science forum.
From there I gather that grease and solvents contained in a persons breath will also damage Lexan. Therefore a (even if incredibly thin) coating/second laver will protect the visor from this and improve its safety.
Would it be possible to also coat both sides of the Lexan with a protective coating to give even more protection?

german_fencer
-11th November 2009, 13:18
Would it not be possible not to use these masks anymore, they are obviously dangerous and there is no advantage for fencing at all. :confused:

Gav
-11th November 2009, 13:34
Would it not be possible not to use these masks anymore, they are obviously dangerous and there is no advantage for fencing at all. :confused:

Not true. People who use them actually like the improved view they have through the visor.

MatFink
-11th November 2009, 13:42
There is little evidence that visor masks in priciple are more or less dangerous if used and stored correctly.

The LP mask is a far superior design for a number of reasons, but it is most significant that had the mask at the Europeans been fitted with a second layer it is unlikely the fencer would have sustained the same injury.

As a thought for LP it may be worth having a 2nd thin layer on the inside, as this will prevent any scattered lexan propeling towards and hittings the fencer, but also protect the material from chemical damage (curry breath :) ) or scratching through poor storage methods (leaving body wires in mask!!!)

Advantages

There are clear advantages for both foil and Sabre of using the visor mask. At Epee the advantage is less clear as it is balanced out by disadvantages that are unique to epee. There are very few top epee fencers who prefer the visor mask to mesh, and those that do tend to be members of a small tactical group in the weapon.


The loss of the visor mask at foil particularly would be a great shame. Spea to any of our top foilists and they will tell you that they feel the visor mask is of huge benefit.

However, like with all fencing equipment across time it is important that this equipment is constantly reviewed and improved.

Matt

J_D
-11th November 2009, 16:28
Would it not be possible not to use these masks anymore, they are obviously dangerous and there is no advantage for fencing at all. :confused:

I really prefer using the vision mask. I find that the visibility is a great improvement and have recently replaced my old one with an LP Vision Exchange mask. This is lighter and far cooler. I use a mesk mask at sabre simply because that is what I have, when it's worn out I intend to replace it with a vision one.

As to damage to the Lexan: I got through 3 lexan sections on my old mask in 6 years of use, I've had the new one for a few months now with no apparant damage. I get through 12 to 15 outer layers a year. The mask gets used between 6 to 10 hours a week at training as well as opens/Vets internationals.

I wash the lexan in warm water with some mild washing up liquid and use LP's anti-mist spray. The mask comes out of my bag when I get home for airing. I still have as much confidence in it as I do my mesh masks.

Insipiens
-11th November 2009, 17:02
There is little evidence that visor masks in priciple are more or less dangerous if used and stored correctly.

The LP mask is a far superior design for a number of reasons, but it is most significant that had the mask at the Europeans been fitted with a second layer it is unlikely the fencer would have sustained the same injury.
...

It appears that "used and stored correctly" is much harder to do for a visor mask than a mesh mask: it includes not allowing it to come into contact with various substances (arguably sweat) and not exposing it to extremes of cold: anyone flying anywhere with a visor mask would not be "using and storing it" correctly (not sure if which that counts as) if they put it in their hold luggage due to the extremely low temperatures.

Your assertion regarding the second layer is merely that until any results of the investigation are made known. Or have you seen such results?

miraberis
-11th November 2009, 20:26
There are clear advantages for both foil and Sabre of using the visor mask. At Epee the advantage is less clear as it is balanced out by disadvantages that are unique to epee. There are very few top epee fencers who prefer the visor mask to mesh, and those that do tend to be members of a small tactical group in the weapon.



Could you elaborate a bit?
I can think of improved vision (which is not really an advantage because everyone has the same benefit) and at sabre reduced target area (which again only counts as an advantage when only some peopel are wearing the visor masks and everyone else is wearing mesh masks, which I gather doesn't apply at the top level).
And what are the disadvantages that only relate to epee?

J_D
-11th November 2009, 22:31
....and not exposing it to extremes of cold: anyone flying anywhere with a visor mask would not be "using and storing it" correctly (not sure if which that counts as) if they put it in their hold luggage due to the extremely low temperatures.


It would be interesting to see if there is a copy of the specification for the material availble [Anyone?]

As for hold temperatures, for the majority of short-haul trips this is unlikely to be an issue, yes it will be colder than the cabin, but if the mask is in a bag with clothing etc it will not be that bad. Holds on commercial flights are pressurised. Have you ever got your baggage back and found frozen liquid in there?

Gav
-11th November 2009, 22:50
It appears that "used and stored correctly" is much harder to do for a visor mask than a mesh mask: it includes not allowing it to come into contact with various substances (arguably sweat) and not exposing it to extremes of cold: anyone flying anywhere with a visor mask would not be "using and storing it" correctly (not sure if which that counts as) if they put it in their hold luggage due to the extremely low temperatures.

Your assertion regarding the second layer is merely that until any results of the investigation are made known. Or have you seen such results?

Good mention of this here (http://www.fencing.net/forums/thread46415-4.html#post837371).

The salient part:


It is not just the care instructions, it is in the part of the rule book that very few people read, the appendix.

- To avoid degrading the polycarbonate, all contact with chemical
agents that can damage the material must be prevented; in particular,
any presence of PVC is unacceptable.
— The mask should be kept in a protective bag and it is desirable to
avoid putting the mask in the fencing bag (and hence in the aircraft
hold) during airplane journeys, but rather to keep it in hand
luggage.

Do any of you use tubing for your blades or ever put your mask in your bag. If you use a mesh mask you don't need to worry about these two things. The appendix is also where they have the rule for protection of the men or I should say recomendation.

Insipiens
-12th November 2009, 17:42
It would be interesting to see if there is a copy of the specification for the material availble [Anyone?]

As for hold temperatures, for the majority of short-haul trips this is unlikely to be an issue, yes it will be colder than the cabin, but if the mask is in a bag with clothing etc it will not be that bad. Holds on commercial flights are pressurised. Have you ever got your baggage back and found frozen liquid in there?
I have rarely got the back that quickly ;)
My bags have often been decidedly cold to the touch and I haven't ever checked the very small quantities of liquid that might be in the bag until sometime afterwards. Perhaps "extremely cold" is an exaggeration but given Gav's quote from the appendix to the rules I think it is fair to say that they have not been properly stored and used if carried in the hold of an aircraft carrier.

There has been lots of discussion on the US forum to the effect that there is no definition of the specific materials which have to be used. I haven't bothered to read all the specifications on visor masks in the rules so I don't know if they are talking out of their hats. (Those on the US forum who express an opinion have consistently been of the view that the visor masks are not safe - often this appears to be held on the basis that you cannot "punch test" them: I don't think that was a view held outside of the US very much but maybe people will change their minds.)

Gav
-12th November 2009, 18:01
(Those on the US forum who express an opinion have consistently been of the view that the visor masks are not safe - often this appears to be held on the basis that you cannot "punch test" them: I don't think that was a view held outside of the US very much but maybe people will change their minds.)

I think we have to be careful that we don't conflate two seperate issues - the punch test of steel mesh and the inability to test lexan visors - as I believe certain fnet members have done. The punch test is itself destructive and provides no absolute guarentee that the mask is safe. Nothing does. It's a mystery to me why some are so obessed with it. However this test has nothing to do with armourer inability to test lexan masks. You seem to be suggesting that we should punch test masks because a lexan visor has failed. That seems very much like a logical fallacy to me.

We have to be very careful that we don't rush to fix a problem without considering it rationally. Reading the Mat Sci board it seems that there are alternatives that are available that would make the visor better than it currently is. A few simple checks on the visor seem an obvious way of bringing immediate risk down to a manageable level. I think the FIE's decision to suspend the requirement temporarily is actually sensible.

randomsabreur
-12th November 2009, 19:15
If I'm flying to an international, the vast majority of my fencing kit will be in my hand luggage - that way if my bag gets misdirected I can still fence. That doesn't include my sabres (obviously) and my bodywires which given they are bayonet are unlikely to be compatible with a purchased/borrowed sabre at an event abroad. I think that this is a common attitude. Sabres and mask are never in the same compartment of the bag, and if the sabres are ever in the same compartment as anything else (top bag only day) they have some kind of sleeving over them so that they don't rust/stain anything with rust. I think most fencers do that, rust stains are indelible...

In the early day, people with visor masks had special protective bags for them. I never bothered, but my mask is always packed in its own cloth bag for general purpose training/storage and generally packed with soft stuff and wrapped in towels/jumpers when travelling anywhere long distance.

That said, given that some people still like to cut off the arms of their underplastrons, I'm not sure the foreign attitude to safety is the same as that in the UK.

mendacious dog
-13th November 2009, 06:47
... Perhaps "extremely cold" is an exaggeration but given Gav's quote from the appendix to the rules I think it is fair to say that they have not been properly stored and used if carried in the hold of an aircraft carrier.

Wow. I wish I could get to my competitions on the USS Nimitz. :D

:dogs:

Woof

german_fencer
-15th November 2009, 17:56
Ther German federation forbids(!) to use masks with transparent visor for all weapons for domestic competitions until the incidenct is cleared up.
German source: http://www.fechten.org/news/article/10/dfb-verbietet-das-tragen-der-transparenten-maske.html

mozzar
-15th November 2009, 19:44
That said, given that some people still like to cut off the arms of their underplastrons, I'm not sure the foreign attitude to safety is the same as that in the UK.

At least they're wearing some sort of plastron. I've yet to meet a Spaniard who does. Very few actually own one I think.

Callacallito
-15th November 2009, 22:56
just to let you know.

due to the accident at odense the german federation has forbidden the mask with transparent visor for all german fencers at german competitions until the commission of fie has cleared the accident.

this warning is not valid for fie/efc competitions....

this decision was made 14/11/2009

Callacallito
-16th November 2009, 09:06
http://fie.ch/download/letters/2009/urgent/15/fr/Lettre%20urgente%20%2015-09.pdf

allthree
-16th November 2009, 10:57
just to let you know.

due to the accident at odense the german federation has forbidden the mask with transparent visor for all german fencers at german competitions until the commission of fie has cleared the accident.

this warning is not valid for fie/efc competitions....

this decision was made 14/11/2009

Does anyone know how long it is likely to take the FIE to clear the accident? Wonder also how long before health and safety decides its better for no one to use them untill cleared?

Bonehead
-16th November 2009, 19:54
If the visor mask is forbidden for use in the UK, until the commission of the FIE has cleared the incident, Should LP make a commitment to temporarily replace, FOC, these with standard masks?

miraberis
-16th November 2009, 21:23
1) Why Leon Paul specifically? They aren't the only equipment supplier who provide the visor masks.
2) Why would they? Unless there was reason to believe they were at fault, which can't possibly be known until after the FIE have finished their investigation. Then I imagine there would be a product recall and possibly refunds.
3) How could they? If there turns out to be nothing wrong with the visors then whoever supplies the temporary replacement masks would be hugely out of pocket! They might be able to resell the used masks (the ones that came back in good condition), but it would have to be at way below the price of a new mask.
4) How would they? Sounds like a logistical nightmare!!!
5) What's the point? If the visors were to be banned I expect people who want to do competitions would borrow masks from their club, anyway. They might not bother to do any competition, but if they're a high level fencer their ranking suffers and if they're not right at the top they are less likely to use a visor anyway and probably will be more agreeable to using a club mask.

What makes you ask, anyway? Is the BFA likely to ban the visor mask? Just because the Germans have forbidden it doesn't mean we will. I don't think the BFA would risk the possible adverse effects it might have on their competitions when the judgement hasn't even come back yet.

pinkelephant
-16th November 2009, 21:33
It wasn't a LP mask. Why on earth would LP replace masks when their own have not caused a problem? Are you suggesting they replace other manufacturers' masks?

Gav
-16th November 2009, 21:38
If the visor mask is forbidden for use in the UK, until the commission of the FIE has cleared the incident, Should LP make a commitment to temporarily replace, FOC, these with standard masks?


I am puzzled. The failed mask was made by Uhlmann. Why would LP need to replace the masks? And why for free?

Oh, I see I've been beaten to it.

cesh_fencing
-17th November 2009, 15:59
Totally agree with PE and Gav.

No one has any idea why the visor failed on that mask and will not until the FIE report on it.

Even though personally I hate the idea (and feel) of Visor masks, I do not feel anyone should panic as Visor masks would not have been ratified as safe for use by the FIE in the first place without a suitable level of testing.

In addition I did not think the FIE had actually banned their use, just that they are now not compulsary at World Cup/Grand Prix events so they cannot be overly scared of repeat incidences.

Gav
-17th November 2009, 16:03
Chris, you're correct. They are not required but no one at the FIE says don't use them (as far as I know). Germany on the other hand has banned them.

Callacallito
-18th November 2009, 06:37
Here a comment from a swedish website:

Summary in english:
Serious incident with new mask in Odense

On Sunday, the Lexan visor of a fencing mask was penetrated during the men's foil competition at the European Junior Championships in Odense. The fencer was not fatally injured but the incident is considered very serious. The Medical Commission of the European Fencing Confederation has "for the continuation of these championships...suggested the fencers not to use the transparent masks any more"

The cause to how a hole in the visor could hapeppen will now be investigated but it will take time and it will probably be difficult to identify an unambigous explanation. Plexiglass, or Lexan as it is also known, is very strong and in all durability tests masks with a visor have proven stronger than the traditional mask. To assess the risk, it is important to remember that masks with transparent visor have been used in hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of training bouts and competition matches.

Reportedly, there were no unusual circumstances from a fencing point of view when the accident occured. The blade was not broken. One fencer made a "normal" lunge and hit the visor. The hit caused a hole with a diameter of about 2 cm. The attack hit close to the base of the nose above the corner of the mouth and caused substantial bleeding.

What consequences the recommendation of the EFC Medical Commission will have is not clear. After the accident, all participants continued the men's foil competition as if nothing had happened. The possibilities to find new foil masks in Odense are likely to be very limited.

There are many guidelines for the handling of masks with transparent visor. Lexan is known to be sensitive to low temperatures, to contact with chemicals and to tensions in the material caused by incorrect fixation of the visor. Furthermore, the FIE rules are that Lexan visors must not be older than two years. It has been shown, however, that the masks are marked with date at the time of sale, not at the date of production, something which makes the determination of real age difficult.

At the moment, there is no known method to test that a visor still has its original strength.

kingkenny
-18th November 2009, 12:22
Leon Paul is confident that their transparent masks are safe and if the simple instruction (http://www.leonpaul.com/pdfs/285_vision2000.pdf ) supplied with each mask are followed is stronger than the traditional F.I.E. mesh mask.

Our masks have passed the F.I.E. tests, the testing to comply with the European PPE Standards and have followed the advice contained in Annex C of the European P.P.E. standards EN 13567:2002+A1:2007 for fencing equipment (see attached.)

This Annex is a guide only and does not form part of the legal standard, however it was written after consultation with materials experts and Leon Paul have followed the experts advice. Transparent mask have already been withdrawn once due to the advice in Annex C being ignored, when a company was drilling holes in the polycarbonate visor. (see point c in the annex)

Once the technical reasons for the failure are known the P.P.E. standards will have to be reviewed to see if any changes such as brining this annex into the standard needs to be considered.

Even without knowing the technical reason for the recent failure we have urged the F.I.E. and once again all manufacturers of transparent masks to consider the addition of an outer scratch layer, it is inexpensive, requires little or no change to there present design and can only increase the safety of the product.

Nick_C
-18th November 2009, 13:26
Lexan is known to be sensitive to low temperatures, to contact with chemicals and to tensions in the material caused by incorrect fixation of the visor.

LP, is it possible that low temperatures such as you would find in an aeroplane's hold could suitably weaken the visor sufficiently for it to crack with an impact generated by a "normal lunge"?

hokers
-18th November 2009, 13:26
Again, if it turns out to have been chemical damage from inside the mask, the outer layer isn't going to make much difference specifically.
However if it reduces pitting to the Lexan, that sounds like a good thing in terms of strength, from what the materials science guys were saying.

Gav
-18th November 2009, 13:34
LP, is it possible that low temperatures such as you would find in an aeroplane's hold could suitably weaken the visor sufficiently for it to crack with an impact generated by a "normal lunge"?

Nick, check out the Materials Science thread that I linked to earlier in this thread.

Callacallito
-18th November 2009, 18:21
didn´t know the actual discussion here at the forum....very interesting and helpful.

The accident is topic in one of Germanys biggest newspaper today.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/h5G38e/3151922/Gefaehrliche-Transparenz.html#top

The final statement is my opinion, specially when fencing is a sport which young kids have to join early if they want to become succesful. For me as a parent the safety is the most important thing of this sport. And I´m very disappointed when I see any fencer in the trainings without fencing trousers or without plastron etc.....

In that meaning it is clear to me, that the transparent mask has to be banned when there is a potential risk to loose eyes or worse damage to the face only because the officials want to see the face at TV for commercial belongings. (By the way, does anybody really want to see the tears of a crying fencer/Girl????:)

I know that any sport has potential risks but a hit by a broken blade should stay the worst case! An accident under normal circumstances like Odense is not a potential risk. it added one percent more to the potential risk. And as written in the newspaper one percent risk of life is too much in my point of view.

So everybody should be able for his own choice what he like to do.......

kingkenny
-18th November 2009, 18:37
For Leon Paul Lexan here is the specifications:


Temperature - PC can be dropped to -40oC and heated to 120oC, with no loss of property.

Callacallito
-18th November 2009, 18:49
http://www.fechtforum.de/thread.php?postid=3409#post3409

Gav
-18th November 2009, 21:34
For Leon Paul Lexan here is the specifications:


Temperature - PC can be dropped to -40oC and heated to 120oC, with no loss of property.



Now Now KK... isn't the spec' for "lexan" pretty well laid out?


http://www.fechtforum.de/thread.php?postid=3409#post3409

Is there an English translation? My German (which I am ashamed to admit I did actually study at school) isn't up to the task.

kingkenny
-19th November 2009, 07:31
Now Now KK... isn't the spec' for "lexan" pretty well laid out?/QUOTE]
Sorry not sure what you mean?

I was asked:
[QUOTE]LP, is it possible that low temperatures such as you would find in an aeroplane's hold could suitably weaken the visor.

I asked the company that make our plastic Lexan and that was the answer I received. But I can only give the answers to our products as there are many types of Lexan and many types of plastic all with different properties.

http://www.gcip.co.uk/EP/lexan_polycarbonate_sheet.htm

J_D
-19th November 2009, 07:54
KK...which particular product do you use, there are specs available for a number of products on that page.

kingkenny
-19th November 2009, 08:34
Sorry this is not the company we use or the Lexan we buy it was just a 10 sec google to show that Lexan can have many different specs.

cesh_fencing
-19th November 2009, 12:17
I think it is best for everyone to just wait until the official report comes through.

As with all kit, manufactuers have slightly differing specs and manufacturing processes and every fencer looks after their kit to differing degrees of care.

Until a conclusion is drawn from the FIE I would think that those with these masks, if they are confident they have been looking after them correctly and are happy to take the 'perceived' risk continue using them. If they have any doubt to use another option as that is their choice.

I am sure that the fact this happened at an official championships has made the powers that be have to re-look at any possible dangers and decide if there is a higher or lower risk involved with these masks.

I guess the real issue is if they do shatter, as in this case, there is nothing at all to stop the point, at least with traditional masks they are more likely to dent when hit really hard so decreasing the penatrative force and reducing the possibility of penatration. What has caused it to shatter is the thing that needs to be discovered.

Anyway it will certainly be interesting to see the final outcome (if it is made fully public).

Callacallito
-19th November 2009, 17:40
very interesting statement of the Allstar CEO Frank Messemer in a big german newspaper today!!!

He hopes that the fie will forbid the transparent mask soon, as the supplier can´t take care of the right usage by the fencers.....

He said that the problem is, that the fencers didn´t read the manual of the masks and risk their life themself by using pvc for cleaning the masks or not taking the mask into the cabbin during their flight in planes......

http://www.faz.net/s/Rub9CD731D06F17450CB39BE001000DD173/Doc~EE35315F0687D4A799C6384671216B67A~ATpl~Ecommon ~Scontent.html

miraberis
-19th November 2009, 17:51
Nobody has replied to my post asking what the benefits/disadvantages of the visor mask to the actual fencing are, if we leave safety and TV 'watchability' aside.
I'm really curious to know because I can't think of ANY that apply when both fencers are wearing visors and only a couple when you are and your opponent isn't.

Callacallito
-19th November 2009, 18:21
CEO Statement from Allstar/Uhlmann
very interesting statement of the Allstar CEO Frank Messemer in a big german newspaper today!!!

He hopes that the fie will forbid the transparent mask soon, as the supplier can´t take care of the right usage by the fencers.....

He said that the problem is, that the fencers didn´t read the manual of the masks and risk their life themself by using pvc for cleaning the masks or not taking the mask into the cabbin during their flight in planes......

http://www.faz.net/s/Rub9CD731D06F17...~Scontent.html

try this link:

http://www.faz.net/s/Rub9CD731D06F17450CB39BE001000DD173/Doc~EE35315F0687D4A799C6384671216B67A~ATpl~Ecommon ~Scontent.html

Gav
-19th November 2009, 18:22
Nobody has replied to my post asking what the benefits/disadvantages of the visor mask to the actual fencing are, if we leave safety and TV 'watchability' aside.
I'm really curious to know because I can't think of ANY that apply when both fencers are wearing visors and only a couple when you are and your opponent isn't.

Probably because it's been gone over before. They add not much but are possibly a concession to media bodies in an attempt to keep the sport in the Olympics... etc.

Those who use the masks seem to like them so there is a benefit to the fencer themselves.

cesh_fencing
-19th November 2009, 19:25
Nobody has replied to my post asking what the benefits/disadvantages of the visor mask to the actual fencing are.

Benefits -
1) Users of them claim improved vision directly forward from fencer.

Disadvantages -
1) Blocked area with no visor around edges of vision due to the strip to hold the visor
2) They can steam up
3) Much heavier than standard mask
4) Weight overbalanced to the front which can cause over-balancing
5) Require regular visor replacements when scratched and cost far more to buy so leaves less money to pay for trips etc...
6) For sabre, decreases target
7) Can see fencers eyes of those wearing visor masks more easily so you can pick up tells on what they are about to do.

Anyone elses thoughts?

J_D
-19th November 2009, 21:17
Benefits -
1) Users of them claim improved vision directly forward from fencer.

Disadvantages -
1) Blocked area with no visor around edges of vision due to the strip to hold the visor
2) They can steam up
3) Much heavier than standard mask
4) Weight overbalanced to the front which can cause over-balancing
5) Require regular visor replacements when scratched and cost far more to buy so leaves less money to pay for trips etc...
6) For sabre, decreases target
7) Can see fencers eyes of those wearing visor masks more easily so you can pick up tells on what they are about to do.

Anyone elses thoughts?

Benefits
1) Yes, fully agree: optically, it's as though you're not wearing a mask.

2) better vision when fencing in halls with poor lighting; where direct sunlight is coming through a window onto the piste (at the Aldershot for instance); when fencing outdoors (Duel on the beach) etc etc.

Disadvantages

1) If the mask is set up correctly, the strips do not impede vision at all.

2) So far my new one has not steamed up, this did happen in the previous design.

3) While it is still heavier, the new design is not that different, and if you use it all the time you don't notice anyway.

4) Again, less so than before, again you get used to it.

5) If budgets are that tight then don't buy one, the LP scratch layer is a few pounds, I change it every month or so. The Lexan gets replaced when out of date.

6) Sounds like a positive...

7) The 'tell' can work both ways: you can deceive by apparantly focusing on an area you have no intention of attacking.

miraberis
-19th November 2009, 22:16
Thanks for that. Feel a bit better informed.

J_D
-20th November 2009, 08:04
For Clarification, I have the new LP Vision Exchange with the ICE padding.

lisward
-23rd November 2009, 13:30
I hope FIE doesn't ban it, I'm about to purchase one for epee :o

Clare Halsted
-30th November 2009, 13:02
The Italian Federation have put a temporary ban on the use of transparent masks in Italian competitions. Anyone going to Lignano (JMF) or other Italian events please note.
Clare

Bonehead
-30th November 2009, 15:57
The Italian Federation have put a temporary ban on the use of transparent masks in Italian competitions. Anyone going to Lignano (JMF) or other Italian events please note.
Clare

Question is how long before our own governing body take a similar stance? Personally I have every confidence in my LP visor mask.

Would the Italian ban include the Lignano comp as it is an FIE event?

mousers11
-30th November 2009, 17:57
Nearly went through Sam Ridleys with an epee at last years Bill Hoskyns, could be argued that mask did its job ? but having seen the results of what was not that hard a hit i would not want to fence in one of anybodys manufacture

3 Card Trick
-30th November 2009, 18:45
Clarification please. The German Federation have imposed a similar ban, but it only applies to non FIE or EFC eventsheld there. As this weekends Junior Events in Italy are FIE events are the Italians unilateraly amending the FIE Rules?

Foilling Around
-30th November 2009, 19:01
This is what came through on email. It came with a note from Peter Jacobs to the effect that it also applies to Epee as well as he has spoken to them on the phone. It does not make it clear if it applies to FIE events as well but as it is due to a threat of legal action and it states "competitions in Italy". Not FIS competitions, then I would suspect that it does.

RE: immediate suspension of the use of masks with transparent visors.

We remind to all fencers who will participate in the next foil competitions in Italy:

1. Due to the incident in the World Championships in Rome in 1982, the President of our Federation has a threat of condemnation by the judiciary for a few more years, whether there will be more serious accidents.
2. In addition to the incident of Odense, we had another one at the Italian Championships in Tivoli.

Therefore at this time and waiting for further studies on this topic, the use of the mask with transparent visor for the foil is suspended until further notice.

Transparent masks will not be accepted to the weapon control.

Best regards.
___________________
Salvatore Ottaviano
General Secretary

Hassan
-30th November 2009, 19:40
I think clarification on this needs to happen pretty quickly.

Shevyworld
-30th November 2009, 21:08
Surely the fact that it talks about 'weapon control' would indicate FIE events. The advice to the U20 epee team from Kate has been don't take visors to Lignano.

Foilling Around
-30th November 2009, 21:41
Surely the fact that it talks about 'weapon control' would indicate FIE events. The advice to the U20 epee team from Kate has been don't take visors to Lignano.

Some domestic events abroad have weapons control - eg Tauber Cadet WF always does and the Copenhagen Cadet MF did last year. So weapons control does not always mean FIE and it could even mean weapons control on the piste. ie referee instruction.

Crimson Blade
-30th November 2009, 21:50
Nearly went through Sam Ridleys with an epee at last years Bill Hoskyns, could be argued that mask did its job ? but having seen the results of what was not that hard a hit i would not want to fence in one of anybodys manufacture

I believe this comment is one typical of someone who is unfamiliar and unaware of the workings of a Leon Paul Visor mask.
The hit in question did damage the outer visor of the mask, creating a visible mark. This is the job of the outer visor. The inner visor was not even scratched nor dented and is still being used to this day as it is still in date.
The referee at the time was also unaware of the workings of the mask and checked with the officials at the time, who assured him that there was no problem whatsoever with the inner visor.
However, the mesh mask I used prior to this, was hit with a similar force, from a foil and now has a rather large dent in it and would probably fail a mask check.

miraberis
-1st December 2009, 01:33
At least you can see a dent in a mesh mask and know it would fail a check or that you need to replace it. How would you know that your visor mask is dodgy?

kingkenny
-1st December 2009, 09:01
Due to recent events some customers have contacted Leon Paul wanting more information about Visor masks. Below is some extra information about these masks provided by Leon Paul.

Why would you use a Visor mask?
A Visor mask lets in about 20% more light meaning the fencer can see more clearly. It is a proven fact that this improves your reaction times. So if there were two identical fencers and one used a standard mask and the other a Visor mask the one wearing the visor mask would have a faster reaction time. Reaction speed in fencing is crucial.

Quote from Richard Kruse European medallist
“Having used the visor masks I would not go back to the traditional mask. What I hope for personally is that they will let the usage of these masks be optional. That way people can decide for themselves.”

Quote from Laurence Halsted European medallist
“The visor masks allow an increased amount of light which means faster reaction times. If given the choice I would always opt for the visor over mesh.”

Do visor mask differ?
In the F.I.E rules book chapter 3 material rules ref 2.1.2 there are recommendations by materials experts on how a Visor mask should be manufactured and designed for maximum performance and safety. Similar advice appears in the CEN European standards. Leon Paul are the only fencing company to have followed all the safety guidelines.

Leon Paul is the only duel layer visor mask. This duel layer greatly increases the residual strength of the mask. This outer scratch layer is recommended by the materials experts but has been ignored by other manufactures. The duel layer prevents damage to the inner protective Lexan layer. The outer layer also helps prevent chemical attack to the Lexan layer. In our expert opinion we believe that if the recent failed mask had used a duel layer as recommended in the two guidelines the mask would not have failed.

Leon Paul use only the best quality Lexan that is unaffected by low temperature up to minus 40 degrees C , which is much lower than the minimum theoretical temperature that can be reached in an aircraft baggage hold.

The Leon Paul mask is a front loading visor mask making the changing of the visor quick and easy. The fixing screws are approached from the outside and the replacement outer scratch layer is easy to do. We use captive nuts which are permanently fixed to the mask frame.

We manufacture everything in our own factory and do not outsource the manufacture of our masks to other firms or countries. This way we can guarantee the product meets our standards and the materials we use do not change. We independently and periodically test our materials to ensure quality control.

To minimise heat, carbon dioxide concentration and condensation on the plastic visor surface we use both anti misting coatings and minimised internal padding which maximise ventilation. In some tests of ventilation our transparent masks outperformed standard mesh masks made by one of our competitors.

How do I look after a Lexan mask.

Looking after a Lexan mask is simple and safe as long as you follow the guidelines laid out in our instructions:
http://www.leonpaul.com/pdfs/285_vision2000.pdf

Key points are:
• If the inner visor under the scratch resistant outer layer appears damaged in any way immediately replace it. Damage includes any scratches to the inner or outer surface or any sign of cracks.

• The visor should not be cleaned using anything other than water and a clean lint free cloth. Use of soaps especially those containing perfume and alcohol such as hand washes and washing up liquid can damage the visor.

• Do not allow the mask to come into contact with any chemicals.

If you have any further questions please email a member of our team at sales@leonpaul.com.

Mr WFFC
-1st December 2009, 10:03
Kingkenny, I'm not a materials scientist (but I am a scientist) an I ask whether Leon Paul has any information about ultra violet (eg from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight) as a potential cause of weakening a visor mask?

I cannot find any reference to keeping the mask out of direct sunlight in your pdf, although you do recommend keeping it in the mask bag.

I realise that masks are usually kept in the dark recesses of a fencing bag when not in use, but it might be possible for a fencer (or their parents or spouse) to leave a mask in direct sunlight for some time to "air".

Perhaps the lexan and the outer layer are not affected by UV in which case I'm sure users of visor masks would be glad to have this information.

If the visor can be weakened by UV then perhaps some reference to this could be put in your pdf.

mousers11
-1st December 2009, 10:28
I believe this comment is one typical of someone who is unfamiliar and unaware of the workings of a Leon Paul Visor mask.
The hit in question did damage the outer visor of the mask, creating a visible mark. This is the job of the outer visor. The inner visor was not even scratched nor dented and is still being used to this day as it is still in date.
The referee at the time was also unaware of the workings of the mask and checked with the officials at the time, who assured him that there was no problem whatsoever with the inner visor.
However, the mesh mask I used prior to this, was hit with a similar force, from a foil and now has a rather large dent in it and would probably fail a mask check.

I & the ref did not realise that i had damaged the mask, the fencer in question was prepared to fence on in it, it was a spectating fencer who pointed it out. & then i asked the ref for clarification on wether we could continue

hokers
-1st December 2009, 10:32
Why would you use a Visor mask?
A Visor mask lets in about 20% more light [citation needed] meaning the fencer can see more clearly. It is a proven fact [citation needed] that this improves your reaction times.

Do visor mask differ?
In the F.I.E rules book chapter 3 material rules ref 2.1.2 there are recommendations by materials experts on how a Visor mask should be manufactured and designed for maximum performance and safety. Similar advice appears in the CEN European standards. Leon Paul are the only fencing company to have followed all the safety guidelines. [citation needed - which guidelines has no other manufacturer followed?]

In our expert opinion we believe that if the recent failed mask had used a dual layer as recommended in the two guidelines the mask would not have failed. [speculative before the SEMI report?]

In some tests of ventilation our transparent masks outperformed standard mesh masks made by one of our competitors. [citation needed]



If this were wikipedia, I would have to add [citation needed] in a couple of places in this advice. If you can be specific and provide examples in your claims it sounds much more convincing and much less like marketing.

Quote/reference your sources of the light, reaction time, safety guideline and ventilation claims and everyone's happy.

mendacious dog
-1st December 2009, 11:20
A Visor mask lets in about 20% more light meaning the fencer can see more clearly. It is a proven fact that this improves your reaction times. So if there were two identical fencers and one used a standard mask and the other a Visor mask the one wearing the visor mask would have a faster reaction time.

Hmm - I'm not 100% convinced by this either to be honest, although I love visor masks and am willing to be proven wrong. Most people, when concentrating really hard on something, narrow their eyes somewhat. This reduces the level of light entering the eye but doesnt affect reaction time. The opposite in fact - taking out some of the visual input allows the brain to concentrate on the task in hand and react faster.

Will closing one eye double my reaction time? What about wearing sunglasses?

:dogs:

Woof

Threestain
-1st December 2009, 12:05
Hmm - I'm not 100% convinced by this either to be honest, although I love visor masks and am willing to be proven wrong. Most people, when concentrating really hard on something, narrow their eyes somewhat. This reduces the level of light entering the eye but doesnt affect reaction time. The opposite in fact - taking out some of the visual input allows the brain to concentrate on the task in hand and react faster.

Will closing one eye double my reaction time? What about wearing sunglasses?

:dogs:

Woof

According to my uncle (who owns a large sunglasses company - to the extent that likely most of you wear/have worn his sunglasses at some point) any tinting (including supposed 'increased contrast' yellow lenses) reduce light received by the eye, reducing contrast and excitement of the retina. Therefore, by extention (though obviously no study has been done to my knowledge with regards to vision masks) reaction time should in theory improve.

Threestain
-1st December 2009, 12:20
Additional:

Wearing sunglasses therefore increases reaction time. Narrowing your eyes is not that commonplace and is actually often from people who has some eyesight problems (and therefore adjusting the conformation of the cornea aids refraction). If you try looking at something with narrowed eyes it's more difficult.

Closing one eye will remove depth perception and make things MUCH more tricky.

Barely legal
-1st December 2009, 12:25
Hmm - I'm not 100% convinced by this either to be honest, although I love visor masks and am willing to be proven wrong. Most people, when concentrating really hard on something, narrow their eyes somewhat. This reduces the level of light entering the eye but doesnt affect reaction time. The opposite in fact - taking out some of the visual input allows the brain to concentrate on the task in hand and react faster.

Will closing one eye double my reaction time? What about wearing sunglasses?

:dogs:

Woof


According to my uncle (who owns a large sunglasses company - to the extent that likely most of you wear/have worn his sunglasses at some point) any tinting (including supposed 'increased contrast' yellow lenses) reduce light received by the eye, reducing contrast and excitement of the retina. Therefore, by extention (though obviously no study has been done to my knowledge with regards to vision masks) reaction time should in theory improve.

I am with kingkenny on this one. The extra amount of light that enters the mask does not provide additional visual input, however what it does do it increases the quality of the input. This would be especially important if there is bad/inconsistent lighting in the hall. (Properly speaking, it increases the signal to noise ratio). This should make it easier to distinguishe between an object moving and lets say a shadow moving over an object.

I am not sure how many people narrow their eyes when the fence. I think this is normaly done when people read or are in front of a computer where there is a lot of light present. This condition is not true inside a mesh mask.

It would be nice to see a citation for the 20%, but just by considering the ratio of metal to air for a mesh mask and the size of a visor it seems reasonable.

kingkenny
-1st December 2009, 13:07
Reaction times mesh vs visor research was done by King College University in 2000. I am waiting for a simple online test so we can demonstrate the basic principle I will try to add it when I get it.

I have posted a link to the guidelines before on another thread but hear it is again.
http://www.leonpaul.co.uk/artwork/guide_for_visor_mask.jpg

The main point ignored is point D. Having a outer layer to prevent scratches to the Lexan visor.

Point C was initially ignored and resulted in the masks being banned before.

Leon Paul have also looked to design a mask that also covers all points. Making it easy to change the visors. Minimizing padding and decreasing the size of the rubber band that runs around the mask to increase air flow. Adding a anti-fog coating to the Lexan and wicking materials in the padding.

We used Northumbria University to do a study on Co2 and 02 levels in a range of masks. This was carried out with the help and guidance of Dr S L Stewart Ph.D (Division of Psychology and sports science Northumbria University). We have used the 60+ page document to improve our mask design over the last few years.

cesh_fencing
-1st December 2009, 14:12
Quote - In our expert opinion we believe that if the recent failed mask had used a dual layer as recommended in the two guidelines the mask would not have failed.
[speculative before the SEMI report?]..

Agree with Hokers on this.

Until the SEMI report is published noone knows why the visor failed. Saying any mask would have withstood the specific set of events (visor, non visor, single layer, dual layer, LP or any other make) is pure speculation and 'expert opinion' should be left to the SEMI report.

Certainly you could claim that you believe there would have been a smaller risk of failure if your testing shows this, but to say the mask would not have failed is a claim to far (and one that could not be proved to certainty as it is impossible to re-create the exact circumstances).

With sufficient force all materials used in fencing equipment will eventually fail.

Red
-1st December 2009, 14:56
Surely the mask would have failed precisely as it is designed to do - outer layer destroyed with the inner layer probably ruined but less likely to have been injurious?

kingkenny
-1st December 2009, 15:09
Research done on visor masks over the last 10 years make Leon Paul believe that a scratch layer is fundamentally important to the safety of these masks and should be mandatory.

Leon Paul has 15 plus years in research and development in this area, has had test done by F.I.E. approved test houses and used University's for research and development. Leon Paul has also contacted and used advice from Lexan experts including manufactures in paintball helmets, motor bike helmets, ice hockey helmets and many more.

Gav
-1st December 2009, 15:10
I actually spoke to someone who knows about plastic manufacture and they agreed that having an extra layer probably does help however you should also have a layer on the inside. In fact PC [fighter] pilot helmet visors actually have a thick outer coating and an extremely thin inner coating which stops fogging and both layers improve the safety and longevity of those visors. However having both layers costs a lot more and no one thought that the fencing community would bear that. Additionally if you look at PC based armour then you improve the strength of the plastic by creating lamellar style armour by sandwiching the PC between 2 other layers. Again doing this costs money. However having at least one coating - in this case the external one - does add some protection in terms of keeping chemicals - and scratches - off the outside of the visor. No one I've spoken to seems to think that this is all that controversial an idea.

Gav
-1st December 2009, 15:22
PS. This doesn't mean I am actually in favour of visored masks. I still think there are several things I don't like about them: weight and aesthetics being just two.

Mr WFFC
-1st December 2009, 15:46
Does anyone have an answer to my question (posted earlier in this thread)about the effect of UV light on the visor plastic?

Here is a quote from an article I found:

Loss of Mechanical Integrity. The loss of strength, impact resistance, and mechanical integrity of plastics exposed to UV radiation is well known. These changes in bulk mechanical properties reflect polymer chain scission ( and/or cross linking) as a result of photodegradation. Changes in solution viscosity and the gel permeation characteristics of polymers have been used (Torikai et.al., 1993) to establish molecular changes during photodegradation.

Mr WFFC
-1st December 2009, 16:02
Sorry, I have just seen a pm from kingkenny saying that he has asked an expert the UV light question.
Obviously we will have to wait for a reply.

hokers
-1st December 2009, 16:20
Thanks KK, that's exactly what I was looking for. Seems balanced and well justified now. Would be interested to see the "more-light-better-reaction-times" study, is it published anywhere?

I'm sure most people would agree that the dual layer makes it less likely to fail, but we can't say why this one failed until the report is out. As I said, it still may have made no difference if it's due to chemical damage from inside for example.

horus
-1st December 2009, 21:00
Reaction times mesh vs visor research was done by King College University in 2000. I am waiting for a simple online test so we can demonstrate the basic principle I will try to add it when I get it.

I have posted a link to the guidelines before on another thread but hear it is again.


The main point ignored is point D. Having a outer layer to prevent scratches to the Lexan visor.

Point C was initially ignored and resulted in the masks being banned before.

Leon Paul have also looked to design a mask that also covers all points. Making it easy to change the visors. Minimizing padding and decreasing the size of the rubber band that runs around the mask to increase air flow. Adding a anti-fog coating to the Lexan and wicking materials in the padding.

We used Northumbria University to do a study on Co2 and 02 levels in a range of masks. This was carried out with the help and guidance of Dr S L Stewart Ph.D (Division of Psychology and sports science Northumbria University). We have used the 60+ page document to improve our mask design over the last few years.
KK, I'd also like to see a reference for the publication from these guys. I have an interest in that sort of thing and would be fascinated to see what parameters of visual function were assessed. There's a mass of papers out there on visual function and lighting, and psychophysical aspects of vision and reaction time, but I couldn't find one related to fencing or its equipment.

Whilst I would not dispute either the reported improved reaction times of visor v mask, or the fact that reaction times improve with lighting levels, I do feel there are some conclusions being drawn here that are not exactly scientific. As an e.g., there are other reasons why the visor could enhance visual performance and perception, and I suspect that increased light level is unlikely to be very relevant or at least not the main factor. (Think driving on a wet road into the sun - lots of light on a greasy windscreen - Bright light, good vision? No. Driving in the fog in the day - poor vision. Driving at night on a dark road in otherwise good conditions - overall dim light, but a better chance of keeping to the road and avoiding obstacles. The point is that in this example, it is contrast sensitivity that is more important in governing reaction time than luminance).
Cheers

lisward
-2nd December 2009, 12:46
Due to recent events some customers have contacted Leon Paul wanting more information about Visor masks. Below is some extra information about these masks provided by Leon Paul.

Why would you use a Visor mask?
A Visor mask lets in about 20% more light meaning the fencer can see more clearly. It is a proven fact that this improves your reaction times. So if there were two identical fencers and one used a standard mask and the other a Visor mask the one wearing the visor mask would have a faster reaction time. Reaction speed in fencing is crucial.

Quote from Richard Kruse European medallist
“Having used the visor masks I would not go back to the traditional mask. What I hope for personally is that they will let the usage of these masks be optional. That way people can decide for themselves.”

Quote from Laurence Halsted European medallist
“The visor masks allow an increased amount of light which means faster reaction times. If given the choice I would always opt for the visor over mesh.”

Do visor mask differ?
In the F.I.E rules book chapter 3 material rules ref 2.1.2 there are recommendations by materials experts on how a Visor mask should be manufactured and designed for maximum performance and safety. Similar advice appears in the CEN European standards. Leon Paul are the only fencing company to have followed all the safety guidelines.

Leon Paul is the only duel layer visor mask. This duel layer greatly increases the residual strength of the mask. This outer scratch layer is recommended by the materials experts but has been ignored by other manufactures. The duel layer prevents damage to the inner protective Lexan layer. The outer layer also helps prevent chemical attack to the Lexan layer. In our expert opinion we believe that if the recent failed mask had used a duel layer as recommended in the two guidelines the mask would not have failed.

Leon Paul use only the best quality Lexan that is unaffected by low temperature up to minus 40 degrees C , which is much lower than the minimum theoretical temperature that can be reached in an aircraft baggage hold.

The Leon Paul mask is a front loading visor mask making the changing of the visor quick and easy. The fixing screws are approached from the outside and the replacement outer scratch layer is easy to do. We use captive nuts which are permanently fixed to the mask frame.

We manufacture everything in our own factory and do not outsource the manufacture of our masks to other firms or countries. This way we can guarantee the product meets our standards and the materials we use do not change. We independently and periodically test our materials to ensure quality control.

To minimise heat, carbon dioxide concentration and condensation on the plastic visor surface we use both anti misting coatings and minimised internal padding which maximise ventilation. In some tests of ventilation our transparent masks outperformed standard mesh masks made by one of our competitors.

How do I look after a Lexan mask.

Looking after a Lexan mask is simple and safe as long as you follow the guidelines laid out in our instructions:
http://www.leonpaul.com/pdfs/285_vision2000.pdf

Key points are:
• If the inner visor under the scratch resistant outer layer appears damaged in any way immediately replace it. Damage includes any scratches to the inner or outer surface or any sign of cracks.

• The visor should not be cleaned using anything other than water and a clean lint free cloth. Use of soaps especially those containing perfume and alcohol such as hand washes and washing up liquid can damage the visor.

• Do not allow the mask to come into contact with any chemicals.

If you have any further questions please email a member of our team at sales@leonpaul.com.

I hope Leon Paul will try to defend the manufacturing of visored masks, seeing that the other makers do not conform to all the specified safety guidelines, as I am about to order a visored mask. I think the ruling should be that it be compulsory to follow all the guidelines

hokers
-2nd December 2009, 13:39
I hope Leon Paul will try to defend the manufacturing of visored masks, seeing that the other makers do not conform to all the recommended manufacturing/design guidelines, as I am about to order a visored mask. I think the ruling should be that it be compulsory to follow all the guidelines

Fixed this for you.

Defensive statement is reasonable now it's justified, but we all have to wait and see what SEMI say. They may add additional guidelines, they may make them compulsory, they may introduce an indefinite ban, who knows.

randomsabreur
-2nd December 2009, 17:04
My guesses on how the visor helps reaction times/visibility - biased towards sabre as that's what I've done most of

1. As you get used to fencing, you unconsciously learn to filter out the mesh - but this is still taking some "brain power". The visor means you are not doing this, so there is less need to extrapolate. You still extrapolate for the non-visor parts, especially the fixing bands, but less extrapolation occurs. I feel like this extrapolation is more difficult when it's dark in the venue (e.g. Birmingham upstairs hall)

2. Going back to the wet windscreen, low sun thing - the bare wire of the mesh of a plain mask reflects the light from the window into your eyes, making you completely dazzled - in the same way as sunlight/oncoming headlights dazzle you far worse when the are refracted off raindrops on your windscreen. The visor mask seems to mean you get less dazzled as you only have direct light to contend with, which has a lower likelihood of occurence (few windows letting sunlight in at eye level - most are well above in most gyms)

horus
-2nd December 2009, 17:56
1. I quite agree. 2. Pretty much what I was getting at too.
Under most "normal" lighting conditions found in sports halls, another 20% of light will not make a huge difference to retinal function - but removing the interference of the image caused by the mesh could improve visual perception in several ways. I suspect this is due to improved contrast of the image (as also occurs when the room lighting is increased), or possibly improved stereopsis or even visual field, but would like to see a bit more science. I've no reason to doubt the assertion that the visor mask lets in 20% more light, it's the way the visual function was tested in the study that I'm interested in.

tiger Swords
-4th December 2009, 11:08
Given my son is fencing this weekend in Lignano I fitted a new visor to give him the best chance of having it passed & sent him with a mesh 1600N mask just in case ....a bit of a pain so the sooner this is sorted the better.

However.....we did decide to attempt to destroy the old Lexan visor that we removed.....

Here are the results of my very 'not very' scientific tests:

Both cases, support visor on two sides

1. smack with large 'stone' hammer:
Result: few scuff marks (this would have caved in a mesh mask in my opinion).

2. Support visor on two sides & strike very hard with a stabbing action i.e. as much force as possible, using a large handled but small bladed screwdriver.
Result: scratched Lexan (without destroying a mesh mask I cant say if a mesh mask would have stood this, but I sure would not want my face in one while testing).

Visor tested was dated 01/09, with a few reasonable scratches to start with.

Not very scientific I know, but it did reassure me somewhat. This was serious abuse. For the failure that I saw in photos of the Euros incident, something strange has occured. We have all seen bus shelters made of the stuff standing up to brick throwing rioters etc i.e. outdoors, subjected to UV & atmosperic pollutants etc.

Under normal use, & without being subjected to solvents etc this stuff is strong. As a physicist (by education at least), material for material, I would not be surprised if it were at least as strong as standard mesh. The relative strength of masks must be different for differeng tests in any case. For example a broken blade with a very sharp point might conceivably force mesh apart but may be stopped by Lexan.......there are numerous conceivable differing scenarios where one mask type may be better than another.

That does not mean that other failures couldn't occur on visor masks, e.g. around weld where the mesh meets Lexan, or of fixing brackets for example.

Given the photo that I have seen (assuming this is genuine -is there any provenance to the image floating around ......there are too many vested interests involved for me not to be a bit sceptical?), there has been some catastrophic failure caused by who knows what, so the quicker SEMI come back with a response the better.

When I have a bit more time. I'll try making a jig so the Leaxn is supported on 4 sides (a more realistic test) & I'll try attacking the Lexan with a spike & see how it copes.........

hokers
-4th December 2009, 11:19
When I have a bit more time. I'll try making a jig so the Leaxn is supported on 4 sides (a more realistic test) & I'll try attacking the Lexan with a spike & see how it copes.........

That's quite interesting, thanks for that. Tell you what you might want to consider (depending on how scientific you want to go with this), how about dropping a weighted "spike" onto different parts of the mask, particularly to line the impact up with scratches?

MatFink
-4th December 2009, 11:40
Given the photo that I have seen (assuming this is genuine -is there any provenance to the image floating around ......there are too many vested interests involved for me not to be a bit sceptical?), there has been some catastrophic failure caused by who knows what, so the quicker SEMI come back with a response the better.



The photo is definitely real. It is different from the one that accompanied the original report but it is the same mask in exactly the same condition.

Worth mentioning the FIE statement on the matter is not entirely accurate. It was Trani and not Lari fencing at the time. Big size and power diffeence between those two guys, not that it should be a factor, but it does show that information can get confused. However, in the case of the photo sceptics can rest easy.

Gav
-4th December 2009, 17:35
Tigerswords, which manfucturer made your mask? Was it Uhlmann?

Guys a lot of this has already been discussed in the other thread, I'm going to merge the threads together ... Again.

rugmike
-7th December 2009, 08:41
That's quite interesting, thanks for that. Tell you what you might want to consider (depending on how scientific you want to go with this), how about dropping a weighted "spike" onto different parts of the mask, particularly to line the impact up with scratches?


I may be wrong (Kingpeny help/advise ?) but I seem to remember hearing that LP visor masks have been subjected to just this test, and came out as being in fact "stronger "than mesh masks. And I too have tried to destroy an LP inner visor, and failed - in fact nearly knocking myself out when a club-hammer rebounded !

I must say that providing sensible time limits and regular condition inspections are applied, the visor would convince me every time - memories of a club member pole-axed from a heavy whack in a team sabre match are always with me.
Not only did we find a dent in the mesh of his "standard" mask - but a very vivid imprint of the mesh on his left forehead, not a million miles away from his temple, and concussion. This certainly wouldn't have happened with an LP visor mask.

But, of course , if FIE do enforce a ban , passing quickly over the investment made in visor masks by manufacterers and consumers (!) if they are banned, everyone would atleast be back in the same boat i.e. everyone would be back to the gridview vision environment !

But, without bringing product placement into the mix too much, and as things stand, having seen and handled most other makes of visor masks, and a) knowing LP are the only ones to have followed all guidelines, and b) having come up with the safest looking and practically thought-out product - there's only one I'd feel happy seeing in use.

rugmike
-7th December 2009, 08:47
The photo is definitely real. It is different from the one that accompanied the original report but it is the same mask in exactly the same condition.

Worth mentioning the FIE statement on the matter is not entirely accurate. It was Trani and not Lari fencing at the time. Big size and power diffeence between those two guys, not that it should be a factor, but it does show that information can get confused. However, in the case of the photo sceptics can rest easy.

Where is this photo - or is it in "limited circulation" ?

( And, given my previous post, do I really want to see it ?!! )

Gav
-7th December 2009, 09:21
Where is this photo - or is it in "limited circulation" ?

( And, given my previous post, do I really want to see it ?!! )

Please look earlier in this thread.

There's a pic of the mask right there. For those curious - and I can see we're already repeating a lot of what's been discussed you will also find some posts from a materials science board.

No more new threads please.

lisward
-7th December 2009, 09:41
I may be wrong (Kingpeny help/advise ?) but I seem to remember hearing that LP visor masks have been subjected to just this test, and came out as being in fact "stronger "than mesh masks. And I too have tried to destroy an LP inner visor, and failed - in fact nearly knocking myself out when a club-hammer rebounded !

I must say that providing sensible time limits and regular condition inspections are applied, the visor would convince me every time - memories of a club member pole-axed from a heavy whack in a team sabre match are always with me.
Not only did we find a dent in the mesh of his "standard" mask - but a very vivid imprint of the mesh on his left forehead, not a million miles away from his temple, and concussion. This certainly wouldn't have happened with an LP visor mask.

But, of course , if FIE do enforce a ban , passing quickly over the investment made in visor masks by manufacterers and consumers (!) if they are banned, everyone would atleast be back in the same boat i.e. everyone would be back to the gridview vision environment !

But, without bringing product placement into the mix too much, and as things stand, having seen and handled most other makes of visor masks, and a) knowing LP are the only ones to have followed all guidelines, and b) having come up with the safest looking and practically thought-out product - there's only one I'd feel happy seeing in use.

I totally agree with you.
Also if it were an Uhlmann mask.. Well Uhlmann equipment is made in China soo..

Saxon
-7th December 2009, 09:56
...so what?

If (as I assume you are implying) Chinese manufacture is sub-standard, then Uhlmann have a choice. Either they should be testing samples on a very regular basis to establish the standards compliance of the components, or they should source the components from somewhere they are more sure of.

Uhlmann are selling the masks as compliant to the required standards. If they are not, it's not the fault of the component manufacturer.

I'm inclined to agree with both hypotheses here - I have seen significant damage on the outer layer of an LP mask with no harm to the Lexan visor. I have also seen some really stupid cleaning attempts (looked like scouring powder or a Brillo pad had been used on the inner and outer surfaces), and am quite willing to believe that certain cleaning products will affect the breaking resistance of the Lexan to the extent that it becomes dangerous. Have to say that if I were ever to get a visor mask, it would likely be the two layer version.

Mr WFFC
-7th December 2009, 09:57
As a scientist (though not in a relevant discipline) I have to say that while the anecdotes about trying to destroy visors are interesting they do not mimic acurately the kind of impact stresses that would result from a 14(+) stone athlete channeling the force of an attack through a foil tip with a maximum impact area of less than 10 sq mm.
It is also worth remembering that in the mask the visor is held in place quite firmly. This means that energy cannot be disipated by the visor flexing.

IMHO The key components of any test should be:
That the visor is fixed into the mask at the time of the test.
That the force is applied rapidly to a very small area (much less than 10 sq mm as not all foil hits land with the point at 90 degrees to the impact surface).
That the test is carried out many times all over the surface of the visor (i.e. near the edges as well as in the middle)

I'm sure that the FIE did subject visors to quite rigorous and appropriate tests before passing them. However, a visor has clearly failed in quite public circumstances. I would be interested to know the full details of the testing procedures used to pass the visors, but I might just have to trust the authorities.

The questions that need to be answered in this case are:

1. Was the visor in question faulty?

2. If the visor was faulty what was the cause of that fault?

Unfortunately neither question can be answered easily, and possibly not at all.


I am not opposed to visor masks, but I do want to be sure they are safe. Four fencers at WFFC have them (3 LP, 1 Allstar) and I want to be sure that it is safe to allow them to be used. I am not aware of a mesh mask (meeting current standards of manufacture) failing in a similar manner (i.e. allowing a blade to pass through the mesh to strike the fencer in the face), but perhaps there have been similar incidents. I would be interested to know.

I am surprised by the silence of BF on this matter. One lost eye (or heaven forbid worse) would cause huge damage to our sport.

lisward
-7th December 2009, 10:28
...so what?

If (as I assume you are implying) Chinese manufacture is sub-standard, then Uhlmann have a choice. Either they should be testing samples on a very regular basis to establish the standards compliance of the components, or they should source the components from somewhere they are more sure of.

Uhlmann are selling the masks as compliant to the required standards. If they are not, it's not the fault of the component manufacturer.

I'm inclined to agree with both hypotheses here - I have seen significant damage on the outer layer of an LP mask with no harm to the Lexan visor. I have also seen some really stupid cleaning attempts (looked like scouring powder or a Brillo pad had been used on the inner and outer surfaces), and am quite willing to believe that certain cleaning products will affect the breaking resistance of the Lexan to the extent that it becomes dangerous. Have to say that if I were ever to get a visor mask, it would likely be the two layer version.

Remember Jiang Fencing Equipment?

While it is true that the Chinese Fencing equipment does pass the tests, I believe that its quality is still not on the same level as the European Fencing Equipment equipment. The thing about Uhlmann equipment that unsettles me is the fact that it uses Chinese parts. When you say so what, I understand that you are trying to say that I should not assume that Chinese Equipment is not equivalent in manufacture to their European counterparts. However I believe its common knowledge that Chinese made Fencing Equipment is not as technologically advanced as European one's, furthermore, I also think that Uhlmann is just a brand selling out, people buy it thinking they are getting the good stuff from Germany, when they are getting stuff from China. Moreover, would you buy Chinese Fencing Equipment for quality?

hokers
-7th December 2009, 10:52
[QUOTE=Mr WFFC;227970]do not mimic acurately the kind of impact stresses that would result from a 14(+) stone athlete channeling the force of an attack through a foil tip with a maximum impact area of less than 10 sq mm.

Sure, but think about vectors of force here. All that weight is heading downwards due to gravity (14st=90kgish). Even moving at 10m/s (Olympic sprinter pace) that would only be 900N, even if ALL that force could be concentrated onto the point. Most of the energy from the maximum possible impact must surely be generated from muscle? Not researched that, but I would be surprised if any human could generate over 1000N horizontally from muscle power (throwing 100kg at 10m/s? (squared)). OK it's a combined total of the angular momentum of the two fencers, but even so it seems like a huge amount of force. There's some research to say that some karate practitioners can strike with 2000N+ when doing board-breaking techniques, but these are VERY specific and almost universally vertical. Not really the same thing as a fencing lunge. Got to consider the breaking point of the weapons as well.

It is also worth remembering that in the mask the visor is held in place quite firmly. This means that energy cannot be disipated by the visor flexing.

Yeah but the fencer themselves will flex with the impact. Even if coming forward fast, the neck and body will flex to absorb the impact.

IMHO The key components of any test should be:
That the visor is fixed into the mask at the time of the test.
That the force is applied rapidly to a very small area (much less than 10 sq mm as not all foil hits land with the point at 90 degrees to the impact surface).

Yeah but if they don't hit dead straight (90 degrees) they don't transfer all the impact energy, so the force will be less surely?

I'm sure that the FIE did subject visors to quite rigorous and appropriate tests before passing them. However, a visor has clearly failed in quite public circumstances. I would be interested to know the full details of the testing procedures used to pass the visors, but I might just have to trust the authorities.

The questions that need to be answered in this case are:
1. Was the visor in question faulty?
2. If the visor was faulty what was the cause of that fault?
Unfortunately neither question can be answered easily, and possibly not at all.

Yep. Got to wait for SEMI.

I am surprised by the silence of BF on this matter. One lost eye (or heaven forbid worse) would cause huge damage to our sport.

Agree. If some federations have already banned it, at least a statement from BF giving their position would seem a good idea.

Saxon
-7th December 2009, 10:59
When you say so what, I understand that you are trying to say that I should not assume that Chinese Equipment is not equivalent in manufacture to their European counterparts.

Nope.

I was saying it doesn't matter where it was made it's Uhlmann's responsibility to ensure that what they are selling complies with the required standards.

If it does, then fine. If it does not, then it is not the fault of the component manufacturer, it is the fault of the retailer who is not adequately controlling the quality fo the components they commission.

"Oh it's Chinese, so it's crap" is an irrelevant statement in this case.

Barely legal
-7th December 2009, 13:05
[QUOTE=Mr WFFC;227970]do not mimic acurately the kind of impact stresses that would result from a 14(+) stone athlete channeling the force of an attack through a foil tip with a maximum impact area of less than 10 sq mm.

Sure, but think about vectors of force here. All that weight is heading downwards due to gravity (14st=90kgish). Even moving at 10m/s (Olympic sprinter pace) that would only be 900N, even if ALL that force could be concentrated onto the point. Most of the energy from the maximum possible impact must surely be generated from muscle? Not researched that, but I would be surprised if any human could generate over 1000N horizontally from muscle power (throwing 100kg at 10m/s? (squared)). OK it's a combined total of the angular momentum of the two fencers, but even so it seems like a huge amount of force. There's some research to say that some karate practitioners can strike with 2000N+ when doing board-breaking techniques, but these are VERY specific and almost universally vertical. Not really the same thing as a fencing lunge. Got to consider the breaking point of the weapons as well.

It is also worth remembering that in the mask the visor is held in place quite firmly. This means that energy cannot be disipated by the visor flexing.

Yeah but the fencer themselves will flex with the impact. Even if coming forward fast, the neck and body will flex to absorb the impact.

IMHO The key components of any test should be:
That the visor is fixed into the mask at the time of the test.
That the force is applied rapidly to a very small area (much less than 10 sq mm as not all foil hits land with the point at 90 degrees to the impact surface).

Yeah but if they don't hit dead straight (90 degrees) they don't transfer all the impact energy, so the force will be less surely?

I'm sure that the FIE did subject visors to quite rigorous and appropriate tests before passing them. However, a visor has clearly failed in quite public circumstances. I would be interested to know the full details of the testing procedures used to pass the visors, but I might just have to trust the authorities.

The questions that need to be answered in this case are:
1. Was the visor in question faulty?
2. If the visor was faulty what was the cause of that fault?
Unfortunately neither question can be answered easily, and possibly not at all.

Yep. Got to wait for SEMI.

I am surprised by the silence of BF on this matter. One lost eye (or heaven forbid worse) would cause huge damage to our sport.

Agree. If some federations have already banned it, at least a statement from BF giving their position would seem a good idea.

As a physicist I have to comment on the above post.
First, tests should be done with a 90 degree impact angle, since otherwised most of the force will not be onto the visor and a fencing weapon would bend and slip away from the mask if the impact angle differs much from 90 degrees.

Secondly the mass of the fencers matters not because of their weight (force due to gravity), but their momentum (mass*speed). If two fencers both move forwards, than their relative speed can reach 10m/s. Assuming the combined weight of the fencers is 100kg (this would be two normal sized female fencers both going forward in a fast attack), the force developed is then given by the fact that force/*time is a change in momentum. So of one fencer would be stopped by the blade of the second fencer only in the above example, than a force of 1000N would mean that it would take 1 second to stop the fencers. However realistically most of the deceleration in fencing tends to come form the fencers them self (for example bending backwards and decelerating with the feet), reducing the exerted force.
But if the two fencers are heavier than the example I used and the blade is straight (forcen perfectly along the blade will mean that initially it will not bend) and the hit is at exactly 90 degree to the mask (again blade will not bend or slip of initially), then the initial force required for the associated change in momentum could be much higher than 1600N.

Would a mesh mask be better? Probably, since most modern mesh mask designs have a pointed 'edge' at the front, making it very unlikely that the blade makes contakt with the mask at 90 degrees.

Would a dual layer lexan mask be better? Yes, the first layer would shatter exactly as the single layer did, however this breaking would tend to make the blade vibrate, so when it impacts the second layer it will bend. This bending of the blade means there is more time before the fencers have to come to rest and therefore the decelrating force can be lower. Also the fencers will already have lost some momentum doe to the impact on the first layer. Again this means a lower decelerating force. This is in addition to the argument already made by kingkenny, that the second layer will be of better quality, because it is protected from scratching and chemical damage from the outside by the first layer.


Sorry for the lengthy and very technical post.
If you have any more questions about the physics involved pm me.

Mr WFFC
-7th December 2009, 13:41
Thanks Barely legal, that is most informative.

One question about the angle of impact. Am I right to think that:

If the point strikes the mask at slightly less than 90 degrees a much smaller surface area receives the force of impact. At 85 degrees most of the force would still be on the visor, but the much smaller surface area might mean a greater force per sq mm than if the impact was at 90 degrees.

I'm only a humble Molecular Biologist so I have a rather simplistic view of these things.

lisward
-7th December 2009, 13:45
Nope.

I was saying it doesn't matter where it was made it's Uhlmann's responsibility to ensure that what they are selling complies with the required standards.

If it does, then fine. If it does not, then it is not the fault of the component manufacturer, it is the fault of the retailer who is not adequately controlling the quality fo the components they commission.

"Oh it's Chinese, so it's crap" is an irrelevant statement in this case.

Chinese branded fencing equipment is made to suit required standards too, hence the CE mark, but surely that doesn't mean that it is equivalent in terms of quality to its European counterpart.

Gav
-7th December 2009, 13:47
Chinese fencing equipment is made to suit required standards too, hence the CE mark, but surely that doesn't mean that it is equivalent in terms of quality to its European counterpart.

This is a very fallacious statement.

Baldric
-7th December 2009, 14:41
This is a very fallacious statement.

Agreed.

Chinese industry is capable of producing very high quality, as well as very low quality material. You might be surprised to learn how many components of every-day branded items are made in China.

The best of it tends to come when a western brand owner, experienced in the expectations of western consumers, provides the design and QA with the Chinese factory doing the manufacturing.

However, there is still a cultural difference, particularly where logos, quality marks etc are concerned. Lots of chinese business people just don't consider that copying such marks without licence/test or whatever is wrong. You might as well try to persuade them that the colour red, or the design of a sock is intellectual property.

rugmike
-7th December 2009, 16:00
So........................

What does BF recommend us to do please ?

In my opinion, the fact it was not an LP mask is very relevent.

Quite interesting that these were the masks Continental weapons inspection used to practically take apart, and fail regularly early on, because (I quote a Gallic gent ) "we do not like them, the bib can come off.."

Hmmmm..........

Peter Pan
-7th December 2009, 16:10
So........................

What does BF recommend us to do please ?

......

Here's your answer - http://www.britishfencing.com/British_Fencing.asp?PageID=1682

rugmike
-7th December 2009, 18:24
Many thanks, and very clear - for sabreurs anyway.

rugmike
-9th December 2009, 11:49
Just a query/point (sorry) about the Lexan visor.
The original report (translated) says one problem is that visors are date-marked at time of sale, rather than production,so an age-related factor could be involved.
I have bought replacement/spare inner visors from LP and the date is on the thing already, so perhaps this is another indication of ......well, let's be kind and say differing interpretations of FIE guidelines.
Obviously it's a good business idea for other manufacturers to mark at time of sale - although I can't quite see how the logistics would work - but patently daft when the 2 year time period is a safety requirement.
It would seem LP, again, stick to the guidelines.
'Course, the argument from Uhlman et al would presumably be that it is only a guideline ?
And has anyone had experience of a mask ever being failed due to date expiry I wonder, LP or other ?

Mr WFFC
-9th December 2009, 13:56
And has anyone had experience of a mask ever being failed due to date expiry I wonder, LP or other ?


No, but I do know of one mask (not LP) that was sold with no date marked on the visor! It has also proven rather difficult to get a replacement visor.

mendacious dog
-9th December 2009, 14:21
And has anyone had experience of a mask ever being failed due to date expiry I wonder, LP or other ?

Yep. I was in the weapons check queue for the Edinburgh Coupe du Nord last year (or maybe the year before) when an Icelandic fencer's mask was failed as the visor date had expired. I dont recall the mask manufacturer though. Anyway, being a pan-European kind of guy, I sourced him the temporary loan of a mesh mask to help him avoid having to buy a new bit of kit on the day.

Annoyingly he then beat my club mate in the L32. Makes you wonder why you bother!

:dogs:

Woof

Murray Morrison
-9th December 2009, 14:33
Then he beat me in the L16. Now I know who to blame! (Not myself, obviously!).

Odd Job
-9th December 2009, 14:52
Yes failing masks due to date issues is a regular occurance at weapon control.
And yes failing masks for having no date as well also happens on a regular basis

Saxon
-9th December 2009, 20:22
No, but I do know of one mask (not LP) that was sold with no date marked on the visor! It has also proven rather difficult to get a replacement visor.

Has been known for the date to be located under the metal edge where the visor is held in the mask. Also has been known for the visor to be stamped on the day it was sold, no matter how long it may have been since manufacture.

And yes, GB weapon control (and I assume all/most others) will certainly reject an out of date or undated visor.

Callacallito
-17th December 2009, 08:32
German Newspaper statement:

http://www.fechten.org/uploads/media/DIE_WELT_11.12.2009.pdf

The chairman of FIE prevented to take the mask problem as topic at Palermo Congress.

Reason for broken glass not found at Poitiers/France.

Mask now send to an specialist in the Netherlands.

Nobody can believe why masks not suspended until clearence at Grand Prix etc.

If another worst case accident will happen in the future, the damage to fencing as Sport would be contraproductive. "It would be the death of fencing by media"

hokers
-17th December 2009, 09:38
German Newspaper statement:

http://www.fechten.org/uploads/media/DIE_WELT_11.12.2009.pdf


Can someone translate the whole thing please? I get the general drift but it's not entirely clear.

J_D
-17th December 2009, 09:40
If another worst case accident will happen in the future, the damage to fencing as Sport would be contraproductive. "It would be the death of fencing by media"

An overstatement at the least. Recent deaths in the sport, that included a severed artery following a fleche at epee, and the Ukranian who died fro a punctured lung having modified his plastron, both indicate that the sport is a little more robust than that.

Barry Paul
-17th December 2009, 12:48
German Newspaper statement:

http://www.fechten.org/uploads/media/DIE_WELT_11.12.2009.pdf

The chairman of FIE prevented to take the mask problem as topic at Palermo Congress.

Reason for broken glass not found at Poitiers/France.

Mask now send to an specialist in the Netherlands.

Nobody can believe why masks not suspended until clearence at Grand Prix etc.

If another worst case accident will happen in the future, the damage to fencing as Sport would be contraproductive. "It would be the death of fencing by media"
As I understand it the use of a visor mask is not compulsory at foil and because of 9 years experience without an accident at sabre the use of these mask at sabre has been retained for the present.

It may have passed your notice that in the U.K. they have suspended the use of all visor mask without an additional outer protective layer. The use of an outer protective layer is recommended in the F.I.E. rules and the P.P.E. European safety standards. Perhaps you might like to spend some of your spare time finding out why all other Manufacturers other than Leon Paul ignored this and other recommendations.

Cloudy
-17th December 2009, 13:20
Can someone translate the whole thing please? I get the general drift but it's not entirely clear.

It's a bit rough in parts but it says:

"Must someone die?"

Safety risk: Fencers argue with the governing body about Plexiglass masks.

Berlin - Gordon Rapp is an experienced legal expert, and as such is used to troubleshooting, so it not unexpectedd to see him, the president of the German Fencing Association, appealing to the world governing body when he is worried about the safety of his athletes. "Must someone die?" he asks in attempt to finally get clarification from the FIE after an accident that was nearly very serious indeed.

What happened? At the junior European championships in Odense, Denmark at the start of November, the foil of an Italian fencer passed through the plexiglass mask of his Latvian opponent. The young man [the Latvian] suffered a laceration to his upper lip. If the point had broken through on centrimetres differently, he could have had his eye stabben.

The German Fencing Association immediately banned the plexiglass mask in all weapons. The FIE has left it up to each individual nation to decide what they want to do in terms of the mask for foil fencing. In sabre, the plexiglass masks are required at Grand Prix tournaments from the last 32 onwards. Since 2005, the transparent mask has replaced the mesh mask.

What remains are lots of questions and "a queasy feeling", as described by the German athlete's representative Nicolas Limbach. It's not only the sabreurs that feel that way, even if there is less force behind their weapon. "What must happen for the rule to be clarified?" asks Limbach. And Rapp say, "We were very surprised that the President of the FIE prevented us from raising the matter on the agenda at a congress in Palermo." Rapp wants to "introduce absolute clarity" on the matter through transparently performed safety tests.

For 3 weeks, some people have been waiting. There is no hope of a quick clarification of the matter. The damaged mask from Odense is being investigated by an FIE accredited laboratory in Poitiers, France - so far, no reason has been found for the hole in the mask. According to information obtained by der Welt [the newspaper], the mask has been transported to a company that specialises in material sciences in the Netherlands.

After the accident the FIE quickly reminded its members of the maintainence information for all paraphenalia, something that athlete's representative Limbach found to be "inadequate". The FIE promotes the Plexiglass mask with the idea of making fencing more attractive to television.

~~~~

And that reminds me why I avoid Der Welt whenever I read German newspapers.

Barely legal
-17th December 2009, 14:35
It's a bit rough in parts but it says:

"Must someone die?"

Safety risk: Fencers argue with the governing body about Plexiglass masks.

Berlin - Gordon Rapp is an experienced legal expert, and as such is used to troubleshooting, so it not unexpectedd to see him, the president of the German Fencing Association, appealing to the world governing body when he is worried about the safety of his athletes. "Must someone die?" he asks in attempt to finally get clarification from the FIE after an accident that was nearly very serious indeed.

What happened? At the junior European championships in Odense, Denmark at the start of November, the foil of an Italian fencer passed through the plexiglass mask of his Latvian opponent. The young man [the Latvian] suffered a laceration to his upper lip. If the point had broken through on centrimetres differently, he could have had his eye stabben.

The German Fencing Association immediately banned the plexiglass mask in all weapons. The FIE has left it up to each individual nation to decide what they want to do in terms of the mask for foil fencing. In sabre, the plexiglass masks are required at Grand Prix tournaments from the last 32 onwards. Since 2005, the transparent mask has replaced the mesh mask.

What remains are lots of questions and "a queasy feeling", as described by the German athlete's representative Nicolas Limbach. It's not only the sabreurs that feel that way, even if there is less force behind their weapon. "What must happen for the rule to be clarified?" asks Limbach. And Rapp say, "We were very surprised that the President of the FIE prevented us from raising the matter on the agenda at a congress in Palermo." Rapp wants to "introduce absolute clarity" on the matter through transparently performed safety tests.

For 3 weeks, some people have been waiting. There is no hope of a quick clarification of the matter. The damaged mask from Odense is being investigated by an FIE accredited laboratory in Poitiers, France - so far, no reason has been found for the hole in the mask. According to information obtained by der Welt [the newspaper], the mask has been transported to a company that specialises in material sciences in the Netherlands.

After the accident the FIE quickly reminded its members of the maintainence information for all paraphenalia, something that athlete's representative Limbach found to be "inadequate". The FIE promotes the Plexiglass mask with the idea of making fencing more attractive to television.

~~~~

And that reminds me why I avoid Der Welt whenever I read German newspapers.


A few corrections:

Berlin - Gordon Rapp is an experienced legal expert, and as such does not jump to premature conclusions. This means that it is even more remarkable when he, the president of the German Fencing Association, appeals to the world governing body, worried about the safety of his athletes. "Must someone die?" he asks in attempt to finally get clarification from the FIE after an accident that was nearly very serious indeed.

And plexiglass translates as Lexan.

After the accident the FIE quickly reminded its members of the maintainence information for all paraphenalia, something that athlete's representative Limbach descirbed as shifting the blame to the athletes and found to be "inadequate". The FIE promotes the Lexan mask with the idea of making fencing more attractive to television.



And that reminds me why I avoid Der Welt whenever I read German newspapers.
Completely agree with you

Cloudy
-17th December 2009, 15:08
A few corrections:

Berlin - Gordon Rapp is an experienced legal expert, and as such does not jump to premature conclusions. This means that it is even more remarkable when he, the president of the German Fencing Association, appeals to the world governing body, worried about the safety of his athletes. "Must someone die?" he asks in attempt to finally get clarification from the FIE after an accident that was nearly very serious indeed.

So that's what they meant. Thanks.

Paladin2019
-19th December 2009, 09:21
Chinese branded fencing equipment is made to suit required standards too, hence the CE mark, but surely that doesn't mean that it is equivalent in terms of quality to its European counterpart.

The problem people have with Chinese equipment is that it's made down to a price rather than up to a standard. Nobody makes anything in China because they want premium quality, at best they are looking for value for money.

The other much bigger problem is trust - specifically corruption and poor regulation/accountability in Chinese industry. Hardly a year goes by without some major scandal from Chinese factories: toxic toothpaste, lead paint in toys, killer baby milk... and that's just the stuff that hits the papers. I don't know what happened to this Jiang company, but my coach told me stories of Chinese fencing kit that only had suitably rated fabric on the front of the garments. Just because a product passes tests now doesn't mean it will be made that way consistently.

My other hobby is the electric guitar and I know that most big-brand fakes are made in Chinese factories and sold direct on ebay.

These problems are more severe in China than they are, and as far as I know have ever been, in other low cost manufacturing countries (korea, taiwan, etc.). Like Japan and lately Korea I'm sure China will only improve with time but their reputation and standards are currently hard to stomach as western consumers.

Saxon
-19th December 2009, 16:44
I'm sure China will only improve with time but their reputation and standards are currently hard to stomach as western consumers.

The "Western consumer" does not know his arse from his elbow. Generally because he spends too much time so far up one he can't see the other.

Quick test for you - go around your house, and find all your mains transformers. The little black blocks you plug into the wall to power things like mobile phones, answer machines, network switches, clock radios, all those gadgets from your nice, safe, efficient Japanese, Finnish, Dutch manufacturers, and look to see where they were made.

And then lie awake in bed at night hoping your house doesn't burn down, because I'd guess the majority will be Chinese.

rpryer
-19th December 2009, 16:55
Chinese branded fencing equipment is made to suit required standards too, hence the CE mark, but surely that doesn't mean that it is equivalent in terms of quality to its European counterpart.



However, there is still a cultural difference, particularly where logos, quality marks etc are concerned. Lots of chinese business people just don't consider that copying such marks without licence/test or whatever is wrong. You might as well try to persuade them that the colour red, or the design of a sock is intellectual property.

In my old job, I had a number of clients whose Chinese manufacturers offered to add CE marks etc., without the bother of actually getting things tested. (I will add that my clients didn't take up the offers).

At least LP and other manufacturers will show you their test certificates if you ask.

Paladin2019
-19th December 2009, 17:12
And then lie awake in bed at night hoping your house doesn't burn down, because I'd guess the majority will be Chinese.

My favourite amp speakers are Celestion - formerly a premium British brand, now made in China.

I can't tell the difference between the British and the new Chinese versions, and I am very picky when it comes to musical equipment. Some claim the older ones are better... I don't believe them.

Doesn't change anything I said earlier. People don't trust Made in China yet, and the label has been tarnished repeatedly by scandal.

lisward
-23rd December 2009, 12:06
My favourite amp speakers are Celestion - formerly a premium British brand, now made in China.

I can't tell the difference between the British and the new Chinese versions, and I am very picky when it comes to musical equipment. Some claim the older ones are better... I don't believe them.

Doesn't change anything I said earlier. People don't trust Made in China yet, and the label has been tarnished repeatedly by scandal.

People are missing the point here, its not the 'Made in China' thats the problem, its the quality control people are worried about. Usually the products that are made in China but under a big company, such as Nike and stuff don't usually have problems, but the companies that are based in China :/