Busting the Myth of Bulletproof Film for Glass

By March 11, 2024 April 26th, 2024 Uncategorized

One of the biggest misconceptions about security window film is that it somehow makes windows bulletproof. This is, simply, a myth!

To be clear, there is no such thing as bulletproof film for glass — it’s impossible for any type of glazing material that’s only a few millimeters thick to stop bullets of any caliber.

How Did the Myth of Bulletproof Film for Glass Come About?

One of the most likely reasons why the myth of bulletproof window film may have developed is that certain types of security window film are sometimes applied to different types of bulletproof glass to help reinforce it against spalling.

When a bullet impacts a bullet-resistant piece of glazing, depending on what its exact composition is, it may spall, or begin to splinter and crack. This results in reduced visibility, and small fragments of glass can start to fly off of the glass, potentially causing injury to anyone nearby.

Security window film helps hold fragmented glass in place, thereby reducing the risks of spalling and helping the bullet-resistant window or door glass retain its optical clarity and integrity.

In addition to the thermoplastic interlayers often used in bullet-resistant security glass, an extra layer of security film on the glass makes it harder for it to fragment inwards, even after repeated ballistic or non-ballistic impacts.

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What Does Security Window Film Do?

While security window film is sometimes added to ballistic-grade security glass to reduce spalling, that’s not the primary intended purpose of security film.

Security window film is principally designed to improve human safety wherever there is a risk of glass breaking that could potentially result in injury.

For example, security window film can be applied to commercial glass doors and windows to prevent the glass from flying dangerously inwards in the unfortunate event of a forced entry attempt, vandalism, or even an impact from a flying piece of storm debris or a nearby blast.

Security window film won’t stop the glass it’s applied to from breaking, but it will help hold any broken shards of glass in place, reducing the risk of injury to anyone inside.

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Because security film holds broken glass in place, it can also serve to delay forced entry, making it harder for an attacker to instantly shatter a window to gain unauthorized access to a facility.

However, it’s important to remember that security window film won’t prevent a determined intruder from gaining entry — for that you need forced entry-resistant security glazing.

If Bulletproof Film for Glass Doesn’t Exist, What Can You Use for Ballistic Protection?

If protection against ballistic attacks is your primary goal, there are various types of bullet-resistant security glazing available that can be used to replace or can be retrofitted right on top of existing glass surfaces.

There’s no such thing as 100% bulletproof glass, but different types of ballistic-grade doors and windows are capable of stopping certain types of bullets from specific firearms.

Even if a piece of ballistic-grade security glazing is penetrated during a ballistic attack, it won’t give way or allow an attacker to pass any part of their body through, so they won’t be able to reach in and open a door from the inside or step right in.

At Campbell, we offer a full range of commercial window security solutions. Contact us today for a free consultation.