Windows are often the favored point of entry for would-be robbers and thieves, but plastic sheet windows (commonly known as “bulletproof” or “bullet-resistant” glass) are increasingly foiling their attempts. Here are a few real headlines and news reports from around the country where criminals have been confronted by bullet-resistant plastic sheet windows and the windows have prevailed!
Molotov Cocktail Bounces Off Plexiglass Window
Ridgecrest, California (Feb. 2011) – Two men were arrested and charged with arson and using an explosive or destructive device in connection with an alleged firebombing at the Sierra Sands Unified School District office shortly after midnight Feb. 8, 2011, reported the Daily Independent. The two allegedly attempted to throw a Molotov cocktail through an office window, but it was made of plexiglass and bounced off, resulting in minor damage to the building.
Bungling Burglars Foiled by Bulletproof Glass
Honolulu, Hawaii (April 2011) — Two would-be robbers brought a hammer and gun to break into a jewelry display at a Hawaii store, but ended up leaving empty-handed. Footage from a surveillance camera showed the men attempting to smash and shoot their way into the display cases. However their attempts were foiled by reinforced glass which refused to shatter despite their efforts. According to The Telegraph, the men eventually fled, leaving the store without any loot.
Glass is Bulletproof, Man is Not
Lyman, Washington (August 2012) — A man found out what happens when you shoot bulletproof glass after he tried it near Lyman. Shotgun pellets ricocheted and hit him in the face, arm and stomach. Deputies and fire department medics responded to a pit where two men were shooting at the piece of ballistic glass. Skagit County sheriff’s Chief Criminal Deputy Tom Molitor told the Skagit Valley Herald that the injuries to the 21-year-old from Brier were superficial and he declined medical aid.
How Bullet-Resistant Plastic Sheet Windows Work
A plastic sheet security window (aka, bulletproof or bullet-resistant glass) is basically made up of multiple layers of ordinary glass alternated with layers of either acrylic or polycarbonate plastic sheet material. The layers are laminated together, thickening the piece of glass and giving it additional properties that are characteristic to polycarbonates.
When a high speed projectile like a bullet or a blow by an object like a hammer impacts the bullet-resistant plastic sheet window, it basically shatters the outer layer of ordinary glass and then makes contact with the tough transparent plastic. Part of the energy of the projectile is absorbed by the glass-shattering process, while much of the remaining energy is dissipated into the polycarbonate layer over a great surface area. If the energy is not completely released in the first layers, then it will be in the next layers, preventing the bullet from escaping the last layer and penetrating to the other side.
Options in Bullet-Resistant Security Glass
Glass laminated to an acrylic plastic sheet is the preferred bullet-resistant glass for many applications because of acrylic’s low cost and flexible qualities. Other security glass options include monolithic acrylic, which works well to stop shots from a 9mm, .357 Magnum, .44, or shotgun; layered polycarbonate security glass, which can stop heavier shots from an AK-47, M16 or hunting rifle; and glass-clad polycarbonate, which is composed of laminated layers of tempered glass and polycarbonate and can stop many shots from an assault rifle and even withstand hurricane-force winds.
One of the most widely-used brands of bullet-resisting laminates is MAKROLON HYGARD, which is widely used for employee protection applications, and ACRYLITE® Bullet Resistant (ACRYLITE® BR), a UL 752-Level 1 bullet-resistant material approved for indoor and outdoor use.
Send Us Your News Reports
Do you have any news from your community where bullet-resistant plastic sheet security glass has foiled a robbery or criminal activity? If so, send us your story in the comment box below so we can share it with our readers.