Security glass is glass that has been enhanced in terms of its composition in order to make it less likely to break or less prone to vandalism or threat. These additional safety features were introduced due to our affinity for glass in the modern day age. Some designs that have reached the mainstream include tempered glass, wired glass and laminated glass. All the above classes of glass can be combined to create hybrid glass that is unmatched in terms of providing a secure environment to the persons enclosed.
The most common types in our world at the moment are tempered and laminated glass. Tempered (used as a component in bulletproof glass) has many benefits due to its manufacturing process which is achieved through controlled chemical/thermal treatments in order to increase strength, the best example being Gorilla Glass (used as the glass protecting many of our electronic devices with touch screens).
Even after increasing the strength, the structure is enhanced to ensure when breakage occurs, it crumbles into granular chunks of similar shape in order to reduce chances of injury. Over the years it has seen even the US sanctioning the use of this glass within doors and various enclosures. Laminated, just as the name suggests, is composed of layers of glass, plastic and polyvinyl butyral (PVB). The PVB holds the glass and holds the glass even when it is broken; this is a characteristic that causes some glass panels to have spider web patterns, apparent in windshields.
Due to the numerous benefits of the above glasses, they are used widely in certain areas, including:
- Protection from firearms – Ballistic glass is manufactured using many layers of laminated glass hence, the more and thicker (between 18 & 90 mm) the merrier, but with more glass comes the issue of weight. The perfect balance must be struck in order to see the effectiveness of this. The plastic in the glass is used to protect against blunt and sharp object assaults, while the glass, being harder, flattens the bullet as the plastic deforms and absorbs the energy, preventing penetration.
- Sound reduction – Due to the PVB interlayer providing for higher sound insulation, it causes a dampening effect that is used in areas where sound insulation is necessary like in studios and offices.
- Protection from forced entry.
- Protection from vandalism – Since when laminated glass is broken the glass adheres to the interlayer, it serves as a hindrance to those trying to vandalize a store, and this buys the appropriate authorities some time to arrive at the scene. This is mostly in store fronts where their merchandise is displayed.
- Small scale explosive blast protection – This is through the use of special lamination technology that offers better interlayer and glass bonding that mitigates the dangerous spall deployed when standard laminated glass is subjected to a blast scenario. Tecdur® BlastGlass is a perfect example.
- Earthquake resistance – This is mostly in regions with long skyscrapers and that need enhanced protection against earthquakes. This is because laminated glass is flexible to a certain extent, hence when an earthquake does occur, the glass is able to shift and move against the force in order to counter it. Even when the magnitude is high and the devastation imminent, the ability of the PVB to hold the broken pieces of glass together is vital in terms of safety of the occupants.
Safety glass is definitely an important security feature you should consider. It may have some disadvantages, but its overall benefits can make a huge difference, and may be a matter of life or death. Try to shop around and see the various benefits of each class…