Over time, bullet-resistant glass has become very popular. We have seen its application in armored cars, bulletproof windows in high-security buildings, and so on. With the increasing rate of gun violence, schools, which have been a significant target, are installing bulletproof glass windows and doors to protect the occupants.
Bulletproof glass is a security product whose market is growing at a rather impressive rate. Bullet resistant fiberglass panels have also been seen to be very useful in ballistic protection. They are made of interwoven fiberglass and resin, which opens up when struck by a bullet, hence trapping it. The primary materials used in fiberglass paneling include polymers and fiberglass.
While bullet-resistant glass windows and fiberglass panels can be used for projectile protection, they are also fire rated.
An introduction to fire-rated glass
Typically, in the event of fires, glass windows and panels are unable to withstand high temperatures, and they break, letting the fire spread quickly in a building. Fire-rated glass, however, does not work like the regular glass. It is designed to minimize the spread of fire.
Regular glass can only withstand up to 250° F. Tempered glass, on the other hand, can withstand up to 500° F. Fire-rated glass, can last up to 1,600° F. Before glass is rated, it is tested by being exposed to high temperatures and pressure for a given amount of time. The rating, therefore, becomes the amount of heat and pressure it can withstand for a given amount of time.
Resistance can be anything between 20 minutes to 4 hours. The intumescent layers between the glass panels are responsible for preventing the spread of fire. It is also worth noting that fire-rated glass prevents the spread of fire, heat, and even smoke. This is because the intumescent layer swells when exposed to heat. As a result, it repels heat.
Fire-rated glass has, as a result, been very an instrumental material in structural construction of hospitals, financial institutions, and government buildings.
How to check a fiberglass panel to see its ability to resist fire?
How do you know if a fiberglass panel is resistant to fire? To know if the fiberglass panel is resistant.
You will need two pieces of fiberglass of about 2mm: one should be treated with an intumescent layer, and the other should be untreated.
A blow torch produces about 1,500 degrees Celsius heat.
A test surface and a timer.
Set the timer and expose the untreated fiberglass sheet to the heat.
Observe how long it takes for the sheet to get ignited, the behavior of the flame, and other combustion properties such as smoke emission.
Repeat the procedure with the treated fiberglass.
The untreated fiberglass sheet will ignite after only 15 seconds, after which the flame will spread fast across the sheet. Also, a lot of smoke will be emitted in the process. In about two minutes, the test will be over as the material will be burnt.
In the case of the treated, or the fire-resistant fiberglass, no flame will be produced. Also, damage will be done to the sample. The material will glow red, and you might also note some expansion and very little smoke. As earlier mentioned, the intumescent layer expands to repel the heat. The expansion will take place about 5 minutes of exposure to the flame.
With continued exposure of up to 60 minutes, no damage or change will have taken place. The treated fiberglass sheet is resistant to fire. To check if a fiberglass panel is resistant to fire, conduct the above test. If a lot of smoke is not produced, no flame formed, and no change in structure takes place if exposed to heat for 60 minutes, then the fiberglass panel made of that material is fire resistant.
The other way you can be able to identify fire-rated glass is if it is wired and is labeled ANSIZ97.1. This is proof that the glass has been tested and is resistant to heat and pressure. However, wired glass has different ratings.
The features of bullet-resistant glass that make it fire resistant
Bullet resistant glass is capable of stopping bullets that are being fired to it. The materials used in making bullet-resistant glass are responsible for stopping bullets or trapping them, preventing damage or harm. Bullet resistant proof glass can also be fire rated. Here are some of the features that make it fire-resistant.
Multilayered tempered glass
Bullet resistant glass is made of multiple layers of tempered glass. Note that tempered glass can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also four times stronger than glass, making it less likely to succumb to heat and pressure. It will take a while before the heat gets through all the layers of the glass.
Modified toughened glass
Bulletproof glass is treated by applying a tough coat. This tough coat works by distributing the energy of a projectile and stopping it from getting through. The special coat used in making bulletproof glass also can reflect heat, preventing it from being transferred across the glass. This makes bullet proof resistant glass resistant to fire too.
Bulletproof glass made with an intumescent layer
Bullet resistant glass can be made with glass and other polymer layers. It can also be layered with an intumescent. Bullet resistant glass made with alternating layers of glass an intumescent is fire resistant. This is because the intumescent layer swells when exposed to hit. On swelling, it repels the heat and smoke.
Bulletproof glass can also be fire resistant. The construction and the materials used to make the glass determine its fire-resistant properties. A bullet-resistant glass that is fire-rated for instance, has an intumescent layer. Also, different fire rated glass have different rates of resistance. Depending on the fire-protection needs of a structure, you should get panels that can handle fire incidents. While buying panels, check the labels for information on the fire-resistance capacity of the glass.
Installing Bullet Resistant Glass without expert help
Many people believe that unless they are fighting villains in James Bond movies, they might not need bullet resistant glass. After all, it costs more than regular glass. Why would you need to invest so much if you are not under attack? Even if you do not have a secret lair like Batman, there are plenty of advantages to owning bulletproof glass. A dangerous situation can always arise at a moment’s notice. Many schools and banks are at risk of gun violence and need to be prepared even if chances are slim.
The truth behind bulletproof glass
Bullet resistant glass is very different from ordinary glass that is installed in most homes. The word “Resistant” is more accurate than “Bulletproof.” This is because no glass can entirely stop a spray of bullets, as you see in many Hollywood action movies. This type of glass consists of multiple layers called “Interlayers” using various plastics.
There is a final inner layer made of polycarbonate, which is a sturdy type of plastic. Or you might find a plastic film that prevents “Spalling.” Spalling occurs when dangerous splinters of plastic or shards of glass shatter everywhere upon impact from a bullet. This sandwiching of layers to keep you safe is called a laminate. Depending on the type of glass, bulletproof laminate can be heavy and ten times thicker than ordinary glass.
When a bullet strikes the glass, energy is spread across sideways, reverberating through the layers. This energy is divided between different pieces of plastic and glass instead of focusing on one spot. When energy is spread over a large area, it becomes easier to absorb. This slows a bullet down in a way that it does not have energy left to pierce through the glass. Then there is little damage done to the glass compared to ordinary glass that shatters when hit.
The “Shatterproof” ability of bullet resisting glass is what entices people the most. You might not have someone shoot at your window, but other things can shatter glass too. Instead of spending so much replacing broken windowpanes, why not invest in a superior product. Then you will always have protection for any scenario.
Is It Possible to Install Bullet Resistant Glass Without Expert Help?
Bullet resistant glass is delivered ready to install with a comprehensive set of instructions. After unpacking all the components, it is not challenging to fit the glass yourself. However, this depends on your experience with glass installations and how complex the project is. You might have a larger than usual order that requires professional assistance.
There are many critical dimensions to determine how to place all the pieces together during the installation process. Any reputable company that supplies this glass will also offer project managers and designers to contact. Then you have the option of making a phone call to discuss how to install and fit the glass correctly. You must seek help if the instructions are unclear or complicated to follow. Not having to reinstall or uninstall the glass to start all over will make your experience a lot better.
Keep in mind that the materials for the resistant glass and other components from door frames and windows are heavier. Tempered bullet proof glass sheets can weigh up to three times more than any other material, depending on the security level.
For example, a healthcare facility might need an 800-pound window. This requires a team of experts to deliver and install the glass. Many individuals cannot do it themselves because of the weight of the glass alone. Your window might not be as massive as a hospital lobby. However, it is always safe to ask your supplier to provide a team of two or three installers to save you from all the hassle. In many cases, the installation costs might be included in the price of the bullet resistant glass.
How Much Will It Cost?
The cost of bulletproof glass depends on the thickness, security level, and size of the sheet. The starting price can begin from $25 per square feet to over $100. Banks or hospitals with large windows of hundreds of pounds might need to spend tens of thousands of dollars. However, homeowners looking for extra protection can get a decent sheet for less than a thousand dollars.
At https://www.fabglassandmirror.com/bullet-proof-glass, customers can use an interactive system to choose the type of glass and dimensions on the website. The first step is to select the shape you want, such as square, rectangle, or oval. There are around 25 different shapes of bullet resistant glass to choose from. Then the next page gives you the option of selecting dimensions, such as the thickness and length of the glass. The smallest aspects of 5” x 5” that are already set by default are priced at $618, including the cost of delivery.
This is for the most basic bulletproof glass with flat polished edges and a thickness of 1 3/16”. As you increase the dimensions on the interactive platform and select different types of glass and edging, the price will vary accordingly.
Where to Get Help for Installing Bullet Proof Glass?
The best option is to ask your glass provided for help when it comes to installation. This is because the provider will design the sheets precisely to match the selected dimensions without leaving much room for error. They will help ensure that you do not have any issues when it comes to fitting the glass correctly. At Fab Glass and Mirror, you can always rely on dedicated customer support and free shipping.
This is essential because installing glass can be a tricky process for beginners, especially considering the fragile components. To prevent customers from damaging their glass, we provide as much information as necessary over the phone or in person.
Alternatively, you can also find many videos on the internet and how-to-guides that can outline the individual steps to install this type of glass. You might need to have a few friends and family help because the materials will be heavy. Avoid attempting to do this alone if you are not confident in dealing with glass materials and installations. You may need additional support to remove any window or door frames to fit the glass.
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