Unbreakable glass windows are a confusing product type in the window industry. There’s a great deal of misbelief and misconception around unbreakable glass and whether certain products deliver on such promises.
This because there are many catch-all terms and labels that are tossed around as “unbreakable glass,” when in reality, most security products on the market can indeed be penetrated with enough force and willpower.
Despite its ambiguity, there are in fact unbreakable glass options on the market. Buyers must understand the various types of products and how they differ in terms of strength and un-breakability.
What Is Unbreakable Glass?
Unbreakable glass can be classified into two primary types:
- Laminated glass windows: A specialized type of security window designed with a thin piece of transparent film that’s sandwiched between two panes of normal glass, also known as shatterproof glass.
- Polycarbonate window panels: Flexible and high-strength panels that look just like regular window glass, but they are actually made of a combination of acrylics, polycarbonate, and other plastic.
Both of these widely-known types of “unbreakable glass” are far more durable and lightweight than normal glass windows, but they’re not created equally. Below we go into greater detail behind each of these solutions and which option might be best for you.
Laminated Glass (aka “Shatterproof Glass”)
In the window industry, unbreakable laminated glass is often tossed around as “shatterproof glass.” This has become a catch-all term that vaguely defines a certain variety of laminated security glass products. However, this term can be a bit misleading because most shatterproof laminated security glass is not 100% unbreakable.
Rather, it’s designed to be very shatter-resistant. When this type of laminated security glass does break, it holds glass shards in place to prevent the glass from shattering dangerously inwards. So while this solution might help protect against natural disasters and storm threats, it might not be enough to protect against a bomb blast or a determined intruder.
Laminated security glass can delay entry by a few minutes to total non-entry, depending on the thickness of the glass and the determination and tools of the individual trying to gain access. It can be a sufficient deterrent for vulnerable locations.
For instance, laminated glass can be a sound solution for retailers who wish to better protect their storefront and merchandise against smash-and-grab theft, burglary, rioting, and looting. It can also be installed on glass windows and doors of homes and residential complexes to help deter intruders and threats.
As an alternative to laminated glass upgrades, safety and security window film can offer similar advantages and features. Security window film is often far less expensive to install and can also offer added benefits, like energy savings, sun control, and UV protection.
If you’re interested in unbreakable glass that truly lives up to its name, polycarbonate panels are the type you want. Polycarbonate panels are significantly more difficult to break than both standard glass windows and laminated glass mentioned above. Compared to these latter options, polycarbonate panels deliver superior protection against forced entry attempts, burglaries, and weather-related disasters.
Although these panels look and function like glass windows, they are made of a combination of polycarbonate, acrylics, and other plastic resins. The combined strength and durability of its material composition makes polycarbonate panels a truly unbreakable and impenetrable solution.
While a laminated glass or shatterproof windows can effectively delay forced entry attempts, a polycarbonate window will always maintain its integrity against the most relentless and aggressive of attacks, including bomb blasts. Some polycarbonate panels have been engineered for ballistic protection, which provides protection against firearm threats.
One of the best examples on the market is DefenseLite polycarbonate security panels. DefenseLite is 250 times stronger than glass and nearly invisible once installed. It’s been test across a wide range of blunt force objects and weapons and is proven effective as an unbreakable glass solution for the most demanding applications. It’s also easily mounted to existing glazing frames using a custom vented aluminum extrusion that creates a stand-off from the primary window and door glass.
DefenseLite also produces BulletShield, polycarbonate shields that offer UL 752 ballistic protection at a fraction of the cost of alternative products. RIghtfully acclaimed the body armor for windows, BulletShield is a bullet-resistant option that’s been tested with a wide range of firearms. You can learn more about this ballistic unbreakable glass solution here.
At Window Film Depot, we specialize in many different types of protective glass solutions. Whether you need a security deterrent to prevent burglaries and looting, or a full-on ballistic solution to stop armed intruders dead in their tracks, we can help you determine the optimal solution to fit your needs. Get in touch with one of our professionals by contacting us online or call 866-933-3456 for more information.