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What is bullet resistant glass made of?

You might be surprised to learn that most bullet resistant glass actually has little to no glass in it at all. Glass on its own has very little impact resistance — as you might have experienced the last time you dropped a glass bottle and watched it shatter into hundreds of pieces. The key to making bullet resistant glass is engineering it to provide absolute clarity without the structural shortcomings of traditional glass. 

Our Bullet-resistant glass is fabricated as a laminate or composite material comprised of multiple alternating layers of glass and plastic. Similar to our bullet resistant panels, a bullet’s energy dissipates through the layers, slowing it to a stop. This provides enhanced levels of ballistic security that regular glass cannot provide because of its inability to deform in response to localized impacts.

At Covenant Security Equipment, our windows are made with various combinations of the following materials:

Glass Clad Polycarbonate

This is a combination of materials and layers that provides one plastic side and one glass side. It is thin and lightweight, meaning it offers a higher degree of protection with less weight in comparison to laminated glass.

Laminated Glass

Scratch resistant, heavy, and thick, laminated glass is used when scratch resistance is a major concern or where the bullet resistant transparency will be facing the exterior of the building. It is a multi-ply laminated glass sheet with interlayers that de-laminate to slow down the force of a bullet. Thinner versions make for great impact resistance and are often used in making car windshields.

Acrylic

This the most common bullet resistant plastic used because of its clarity. It is used in the majority of check cashing and convenience store locations and has 17 times the impact strength of traditional glass. Clear acrylic allows for more than 90% of light to pass through it and is bullet resistant on its own as long as it is over an inch thick. 

Polycarbonate

This is the highest quality bullet resistant plastic in the industry. It absorbs the energy from bullets and catches it, preventing it from exiting the other side. It is manufactured to high tolerances without ripples or waves, and is non-ricochet. It has an incredible level of impact resistance, but It can have a slight tint of green when exposed to uv rays. It is soft, but 250x stronger than glass, and 30x stronger than acrylic.

The materials we use in our windows are designed to provide practical security solutions for any facility. The different levels of bullet resistance that we offer is not rated by just thickness alone, nor is it rated only by the weapon. The third party companies that create the standards for bullet resistance give ratings based on weapon, ammunition, and the amount of bullets shot in one area. You can check out our Ballistic Chart here.

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