Bulletproof and bullet resistant glass are used to provide protection from ballistic projectiles. They are manufactured from a variety of different grades specifically geared to withstand projectiles of different velocities.
Levels 1-3 are used for lighter, small arms weapons up to a .44 magnum, while Levels 4-8 protect against projectiles from higher velocity rifles up to 7.62mm. The higher the glass rating, the higher the impact it can withstand.
It is important to note, however, that there is no such thing as truly bulletproof glass that can permanently withstand unlimited impacts. Bulletproof and bullet resistant glass do offer an important level of protection, but must be carefully tailored to meet the particular needs of your application.
Bulletproof and bullet resistant glass products often include non-glass materials, such as acrylic and polycarbonate films or layers. The type of material, thickness, and weight of the glass depends on its intended use. Special thermal resistance, UV protection, and optical qualities can also be added to meet particular application needs.
Whether you need bulletproof windows for a government facility or ballistic glass for partitions in a financial institution, Bullet Guard Corporation has the option for your needs.
Bulletproof vs. Bullet Resistant Glass
Although there is no bulletproof glass that can 100% withstand an ongoing barrage of high speed projectiles, ballistic glass can be manufactured to provide reliable protection for initial and some subsequent impacts, as long as the correct material and grade are in place. Despite the fact that ballistic glass is often referred to as “bulletproof”, it is in fact bullet-resistant.
Whether you refer to it as bulletproof glass, bullet-resistant glass, or ballistic glass, the fundamental purpose of the material is the same: to protect individuals from bullets fired from a variety of guns. While a lower grade may be suitable for a retail office, military installations or government buildings may require high grade glass that can handle higher powered rifles.
Since the grades of bullet resistant glass cover a broad range of velocity and force, a thorough examination of your facility and potential ballistic exposure are critical. With this purpose in mind, a number of materials and manufacturing methods have been developed.
How Are Bulletproof & Bullet Resistant Glass Made?
Depending on the material used, ballistic glass is manufactured using high-heat, high-pressure fabrication to create a solid, reliable sheet of material for bulletproof glass windows, bullet resistant partitions, and other security measures.
What Is Bulletproof Glass Made of?
Bulletproof glass comes in three primary designs: glass-clad polycarbonate, solid acrylic, and polycarbonate laminate. Glass-clad polycarbonate, as the name implies, is composed of a sheet of polycarbonate material between two sheets of glass. The polycarbonate supports the glass and provides a stronger barrier than glass alone.
Acrylic and polycarbonate are both available in a variety of formulas and blends, and are manufactured in an array of thicknesses to meet different impact resistance requirements. Two of the most popular polycarbonate plastics include Lexgard® and Hygard®, which are valued for their high level of clarity and ability to absorb and diffuse impact energy.
Bulletproof & Bullet Resistant Glass Considerations
When choosing the right material and level for your bullet resistant glass product, it is important to consider the following:
- Type of Glass: Each material used for bullet resistant glass offers unique benefits, from extreme protection for high velocity rounds to optical clarity for security checkpoints. Be sure to tailor the material to your specific operational needs.
- Level of Protection: Your material, layering, and thickness will affect the protection level and shatter resistance of the ballistic glass. Take the time to research the velocity and force of potential ballistic projectiles for your particular situation.
- Interior vs. Exterior: Consider the location of your ballistic glass from a strategic perspective. Will you be installing bulletproof glass in an area facing a dark, deserted, or otherwise vulnerable outdoor area? Or will you be installing ballistic glass in a well-lit indoor room within a secure facility? In addition to determining the potential threat level, you should consider whether your bullet resistant glass will be regularly exposed to sunlight, extreme temperatures, or other environmental factors that can affect the clarity and physical integrity of the material. You may need to consider insulation for exterior windows to ensure optimal performance.
- UV Protection: If your ballistic glass is regularly exposed to UV radiation from outdoor sunlight exposure or indoor sanitation procedures, choose a UV resistant material. When exposed to UV rays, some plastic materials will lose clarity and become brittle.
- Installation and Maintenance: In addition to functionality, it is important to consider the installation process and required maintenance for your ballistic glass. Some materials are more difficult to install and may require more hands-on attention than others. Consider the location and accessibility of your bulletproof glass to ensure you are not choosing a material that is too high-maintenance or labor intensive for your operation.
- Cost-Benefit Analysis: Finally, take the time to analyze the full cost of your ballistic glass installation and maintenance, when comparing with other products. A higher quality bulletproof glass may cost more initially, but could save you money in installation, maintenance, repairs, and replacements in the long run.
Industries & Applications for Bullet Resistant Glass
Bulletproof glass is used in an extensive range of industries and applications. Due to its clarity and high level of ballistic protection, ballistic glass is valuable for any operation where safety is critical. Some of the most common uses for it include:
- Stadiums and Arenas: The large crowds and high level of money exchange makes stadiums, arenas, and other public venues high-risk areas. To reduce risk, these facilities often use bulletproof glass to protect box office employees.
- Hotels and Motels: Hotels, motels, and other hospitality operations often operate with areas open to the public. Coupled with frequent cash exchange transactions, this puts hotel workers at high risk. For this reason, many hospitality facilities provide bulletproof partitions and enclosures for their front desk staff.
- Banks and Credit Unions: Financial institutions typically feature large lobbies, high traffic, and frequent cash exchange that makes them a prime target for robberies. Even with dedicated security staff, banks and credit unions are often constructed with bulletproof windows, partitions, and enclosures to ensure worker safety.
- Convenience Stores: Similar to stadiums and hospitality facilities, convenience stores experience high levels of traffic at all hours. Bulletproof glass and partitions help to protect employees from potential gun violence and robberies.
- Schools and Universities: Although we like to consider schools a safe place for students and faculty alike, increased violence at schools and universities has prompted many districts to enact protective measures, including bulletproof windows and security enclosures for student, teacher, and visitor screening.
- Police Stations: While police stations are often portrayed in film and television with bulletproof windows, the reality is that they have only recently begun to install bulletproof interior and exterior windows to protect staff and officers alike.
Bulletproof & Bullet Resistant Glass From Bullet Guard Corporation
In general, bulletproof glass offers myriad ways to protect workers in a range of face-to-face industries, from retail and hospitality to police stations, schools, and banks. The variety of materials, thicknesses, and strength levels available for bulletproof glass ensure that there is an option available for the particular needs of nearly any operation. To learn more about our bulletproof and bullet resistant glass products and services, contact the experts at Bullet Guard today or request a quote.