Is Fiberglass or Steel the Best Bullet-Resistant Option For You?
Steel has long been known as one of the toughest materials on earth, so naturally, it is one of the first materials that you probably think of when considering bullet resistance. Steel alloy can be tailored for the ideal mix of toughness and hardness in order to resist deformation and cracking when impacted by an incoming projectile. In the right specifications, steel can stop 25 shots within an 8-inch circle and still protect someone on the other side. When it comes to bullet resistance, the thicker the plate, the greater the measure of protection. Increasing the thickness to improve the bullet resistant capabilities of steel only works up to a certain point though, before running into commercial and practicality issues. An increase in thickness also increases both the weight and the mass, and steel is not a cheap material.
While steel creates project limitations because of its sheer weight and mass or its hefty price tag, fiberglass panels are a worthy alternative. At Covenant Security Equipment, our bullet resistant panels are made of multiple layers of woven roving ballistic-grade fiberglass cloth mechanically injected with a thermoset polyester resin and placed in a hydraulic hot press, where it is formed into flat, rigid sheets. Our level 8 panels can handle 5 shots within a 4” square from a 7.62 Rifle and are only 15.2 pounds per square foot. The most beneficial property of a fiberglass panel over steel however, is its ability to capture penetrating projectiles by providing a controlled internal delamination.
Because fiberglass panels have a greater strength to weight ratio than steel, they are used in many different security applications. They can be concealed within or behind walls, doors, cash counters, desks, military transport vehicles, and aircraft. They can easily be cut to your specifications in the field and are easy to install. Steel is often used to make hollow doors and frames, safes, window frames, or deal trays and is an attractive heavy-duty solution to threats. There are also options for combining fiberglass and steel for the best of both worlds. One of the doors Covenant Security Equipment offers is a hollow steel door filled with a fiberglass panel, and it’s not just a popular option, it’s also the toughest door on the market!
Both steel and fiberglass panels have the ability to create protection, but they aren’t interchangeable for every project. When you are deciding what materials you will use as a line of defense, think about what you are protecting, the size of your project, and your budget. If you need help deciding if fiberglass panels are a good fit for you or want to get a quote for your project, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to work with you.