Does your company need the strongest bullet resistant glass available today? We can get it if you truly need it! But we’ll also help you understand what type of protection you need based on the most likely threat of gun attacks your facilities may face. The design of protective products and the materials used are for specific levels or grades of protection, each calibrated to stop a specific type of bullet fired from a particular type of gun. In other words, a bullet fired from a handgun versus a bullet fired from a hunting rifle require different types of bulletproof glass.
At Creative Industries, we’ve been helping businesses and organizations across a wide range of industries and applications in the U.S. achieve the benefit of greater protection and security with customized bullet resistant glass products since the 1980s. Every standard product we offer can also be customized as needed for each customer with specific needs and requirements. And we can also design and make totally unique products as needed. Give us a call toll-free at 888-991-9264 to get the conversation started about what you need and how we can help, including installation guidance for the products we make!
Making Bullet Resistant Glass: The Sandwich Effect
How are materials such as glass or acrylic transformed into a transparent protective barrier that is resistant to a bullet fired from a gun? Making bulletproof glass involves a relatively simple manufacturing process once you have the needed materials. Bullet-resistant glass is a form of laminated glass with a plastic coating that can be effective at stopping bullets. The starting point begins with sheets of glass or acrylic as the base material. Then you make a sandwich where the “bread” is the base material and the “filling” is a type of super-strong plastic film.
The plastic comes in a variety of forms made from different resins, including polycarbonate and polyvinyl butyral, or thermoplastic materials called ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) or polyethylene-vinyl-acetate (PEVA). The layers of plastic between the base material are heated to a super-high temperature in an autoclave (a sort of giant pressure cooker), causing them to melt and become the adhesive that fuses all the layers together and also provides control of shattering and slows the progress of bullets. The more layers of bread and filling you add to the sandwich, the stronger and more protective the final product—and the higher the cost, obviously. The weight also increases with each layer and may require special considerations during installation to support the increased weight.
If you’re interested in the details of how bulletproof glass was actually made around the turn of the Millennium in the U.S., check out this Hands on History video from 2003 on YouTube. There are also a surprising number of videos out there about making bulletproof glass yourself at home, but if you want real protection, please let the experts be the ones to make bullet-resistant glass!
More Layers = Greater Ballistic Protection
Stopping a standard 9mm bullet takes three layers of polycarbonate layered between four sheets of the base material (glass or acrylic). The larger the caliber of the bullet, the more layers you’re going to need for your sandwich. Each layer added of the base material and plastic causes the weight of the bulletproof window you’re making to become heavier and heavier.
In this sense, you can add as many layers as you want, but eventually you end up with something that’s so thick and heavy it’s impractical to move or use. To answer the original question that inspired this article, the strongest bulletproof glass available today is glass-clad polycarbonate, and the thicker the final product (meaning the number of layers in the sandwich), the greater the ballistic protection it offers!
The different levels or grades of protection offered in the U.S. are determined by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and can be described as follows:
- Level 1: While this is the lowest of the levels of protection, it happens to be the most needed of the protection grades. Why? Because in the crimes that involve a gun, the 9mm handgun is the most used weapon in the U.S. This makes Level 1 products a good choice for gas stations, retail outlets, convenience stores, and pharmacies.
- Level 2: This is the next most needed of the levels of protection and includes products effective against a larger caliber handgun such as a .357 magnum handgun. This level of protection is a good choice for a bank or a variety of financial institutions, as well as high-end jewelry stores.
- Level 3: If the threat to your business is likely to come from any number of super-powered handguns, then products with a design offering level 3 protection are effective against .44 magnum handguns. These products are for high-risk and high-occupancy public buildings, including school and government buildings as well as police stations and other public facilities.
- Levels 4–8: The remaining grades of protection (levels 4–8) offer a design that protects against high-powered rifle ammunition and automatic weapons. These are most often used only in military applications and vehicles as well as at embassies and high-level government buildings.
For more information on the protective capacity of bullet-resistant glass products, you can visit the following pages on our website: Understanding Penetration Levels by Bullet Caliber and The Different Types of Bullet Resistant Glass Windows. These pages detail how bulletproof glass handles the energy of a bullet fired at high velocity from a gun and keeps it from fully penetrating the protective barrier product.
Better Security and Protection from Creative Industries Products
In our decades of experience, we find most customers in certain industries can meet their need for greater security and protection against the threat of gun violence with an array of quality product lines we offer across the following categories:
- Bullet Resistant Windows: We offer more than a dozen different configurations for a range of applications that involve employees interacting with customers.
- Deal Trays: There are 13 different deal tray products in our catalog to protect workers when interactions with customers require passing small items back and forth.
- Drawers: The 9 different styles of drawer products we offer are like the ones you’ve no doubt seen and used at bank drive-ups. The employee inside extends and retracts the drawer to exchange items in a transaction.
- Pass Thrus: We have 11 different products in this category that serve the same function as drawers but are configured to handle packages of various sizes.
- Talk Thrus: There are 7 different kinds of talk-thrus that can be added to a bullet-resistant transparent barrier to facilitate dialog between employees and customers.
Explore our website for more information about the quality products we make here at Creative Industries, and know we are always willing to discuss your unique needs and find a way to meet them. Drop us a line through the contact page of our website or call us toll-free at 888-991-9264. We’re here to help your company and your employees achieve the greatest benefit of all offered by our products, which is greater peace of mind!