Bulletproof or Bullet-Resistant? – Why Do They Call It Bulletproof?
You have probably heard sources reporting that bulletproof glass is indestructible. There are claims that regardless of the number of bullets fired or weapons used, that bulletproof glass remains unchanged and intact. The reality is that this glass can only be bullet resistant, and not in its pure form either. It is usually called bulletproof because it can protect you and your belongings from outside attacks.
The glass can only be termed as being bullet-resistant because with some high-caliber bullets, concentrated effort, or enough time, you can get through this glass. The glass’s strength is determined by the thickness and quality of the final product.
How Much Protection Does a Bullet-Resistant Glass Give?
Your business may be one of those that are prone to more crime, whether it is because of high client turn up or money flow. Bullet-resistant glass has been an efficient barrier, for such high exposure situations. This is no wonder every retail store, bank, arena, and government buildings install it.
You may wonder with their popularity how effective this glass is. You don’t want to be in a dangerous situation, wondering whether the glass in front of you is going to protect you. To know how effective bullet-resistant glass is, you need to know how it works.
The functioning of the bulletproof glass is similar to that of bulletproof vests. It contains materials that catch any projectile sent its way. This material slows projectile down, with the ultimate goal of dispersing their energy.
Regular glass, on the other hand, gets shattered, thus allowing any object to go through almost unhesitatingly. It does not create a high level of resistance like it’s the bulletproof counterpart.
After catching these projectiles, the glass will appear punctured. However, the polycarbonate in between the glass panes keeps the glass intact, thus protecting anything or anyone behind it. Bulletproof glass also has varying degrees of effectiveness. These levels make different bulletproof glass effective against different projectiles.
1. Level 1-3
This glass is effective against three shots from 99 mm, 44 magnums, and 357 magnum firearms. You will find this kind at gas stations, government buildings, and banks.
2. Level 4-5
Glass from this level is usually used in military and government operations, for protection against 1 round from 7.62 and .30 rifles. These rifles fire military ammunition.
3. Level 6-8
This is the highest level for bulletproof glass. It will protect you against five shots from military-grade rifles, and 99mm handguns. The glass is popularly used in military and government agencies.
Types of Bullet-Resistant Glass and Where Are They Used?
Here are currently three kinds of bullet-resistant glass. They are the glass-clad polycarbonate, polycarbonate, and acrylic. They all have different layers, which have different protection capabilities.
Bullet-resistant glass made of acrylic is similar to hard plastic. One layer of acrylic plastic, which is about one inch thick, is independently bullet resistant. It is the most common kind of glass, used by various businesses. This would make the right choice for your business for multiple reasons. Apart from having higher impact resilience, acrylic is also lighter and stronger than glass. The interesting part is that it actually has no glass at all.
The solid plastic pieces can be routed, cut, altered, and drilled in different ways to suit your project’s needs. It is usually used indoors, although light goes through it smoothly. The level of bullet-resistance offered by the acrylic glass is Level 1/2. Your home can be protected against three jacketed 9mm bullets by a level 1, on the other hand, three bullets from a .375 Magnum can be blocked by level 2. This glass works by repelling the bullets.
Compared to acrylic, polycarbonate is softer. To strengthen it further, its lamination is done in layers. This lamination gives it a distinct tint. This kind of bulletproof glass allows a maximum of 80% light to pass through. Polycarbonate is also very light, making it the best to work with, when using thicker pieces.
Polycarbonate is excellent at absorbing energy from bullets due to its softness. This, therefore, means that rather than ricocheting like in the case of acrylic, bullets are gently absorbed by this glass. Because this glass is pricey compared to acrylic or regular glass, it is usually mixed with other substances to form bullet-resistant products. It is popularly used in retail stores and banks.
The extent of protection provided by polycarbonate depends on its thickness. When it is three-quarters of an inch thick, it provides level 1 effectiveness. When it is an inch thick, it provides level 2 prevention against bullets. Finally, one inch and a quarter thickness give you level 3 security. This glass is an excellent choice for windows in the exterior of your premises, because of its resistance to forceful entry.
3. Glass-clad polycarbonate
This particular glass uses several materials to form layers that result in sturdier glass. A glass layer is added onto each face of a glass sheet, then another polyurethane layer added on each of those sides. The glass is finally finished with polycarbonate.
This glass could present difficulty when being fabricated into a system. It also does not let in much light. The glass’s best trait is that it can be thickened, which results in more strength. You can use this glass to reach the maximum resistance level, which gives it the ability to stop M16 or AK-47 shots.
Glass-clad polycarbonate holds up well against weather, high traffic, explosions, hurricanes, and forced entries. It offers level 1-9 protection because it could be thickened. It is used in high-level government buildings and in military operations too.
With adequate in-depth information on bullet-resistant glass, you can now pick the best bullet-resistant glass for your particular needs.
Sometimes the terms “bulletproof” and “bullet-resistant” are used interchangeably when referring to glass. The industrial name is, however, bullet-resistant glass. It is challenging to come up with glass which possesses enough thickness to make it bulletproof, while still enabling communication and visibility.