Shattered "Bullet proof" glass

You’ve probably heard the term “bullet proof glass” before. If you design or construct buildings, you’ve maybe even considered purchasing bullet proof glass solutions to provide extra protection for those structures; however, there are some misconceptions about what exactly bullet proof glass is and how it works. In fact, the term itself can be a bit misleading. Here’s what you should know about bullet resistant glass and what type of protection it provides.

Why No Glass Is Actually Bullet Proof

The term ‘bullet proof’ suggests that glass or other materials are completely impervious or unaffected by ballistic impact; however, there is no glass currently available on the market that does not show any signs of impact after being struck by a bullet.


A more accurate term for the type of bullet proof glass that’s currently available is bullet resistant.

This glass material does provide protection against ballistics, which can be incredibly important in public safety buildings, government facilities, financial institutions, and other types of high-profile businesses and structures.

What Is Bullet Resistant Glass?

To understand bullet resistant glass, you should first understand a bit about the science behind impact. When an object is struck with a fast moving object, it either absorbs the blow by catching that moving force gradually to spread out the energy from the impact, or it cracks under the stress of that force. Glass doesn’t have any give that would allow it to absorb an impact, so it falls into the latter category. This means that when a bullet strikes a normal pane of glass, it simply shatters and allows the bullet to pass through without even really slowing it down.

Bullet resistant glass, on the other hand, is made of multiple layers laminated together, typically with a thin layer of polycarbonate or another glazing material. That laminating process holds the layers of glass together even when there’s an impact that causes fracturing, like that from a bullet.


So the glass can still crack, but it doesn’t break apart fully. This means that the bullet cannot penetrate the surface as effectively.

How Bullet Resistant Glass Works

Scientifically, bullet resistant glass that is made up of multiple layers is able to absorb the energy from a ballistic impact. The energy spreads out sideways through the different layers rather than shattering the entire pane upon impact. The bullet can still technically get through the surface of the glass, but since all of that energy is absorbed by the glass, the bullet slows down significantly and is not able to cause nearly as much damage as it would otherwise.

There are also different types of ballistic impact ratings. So certain types of bullet resistant glass are made to absorb the amount of energy from specific bullets or firearms. This allows the material to work as effectively as possible at slowing down those ballistic rounds that are most likely to threaten the building or structure.

If you’re interested in learning more about bullet proof or bullet resistant glass solutions, contact us today. We offer a wide array of different security solutions, including bullet resistant windows, doors, and other ballistic protection systems. Our team of experts can help you find the custom solution that works best for your building project or business.


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