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Safety and Security Glass: What are the differences?

Safety and Security glass comes in many different varieties and are specifically designed for a range of purposes. Let’s look at the types available.

Architectural tempered (toughened) safety glass

Architectural tempered or toughened glass is one of the most standard forms of safety glass available. Its qualities make the material a strong and secure building feature capable of forming anything from fundamental building structure to internal applications like spiral staircases.

Tempered glass has been toughened through a specific heating and rapid cooling down process. This gives it a few key qualities:

  • Tempered glass is around four-five times stronger than normal or annealed glass.
  • It is designed so that if it were to break it does so in small harmless fragments rather than sharp jagged pieces.

There is almost no limit as to how tempered glass can be used and it regularly appears in a great variety of projects such as:

  • Sweeping shop front displays
  • Distinctive entrances
  • Structural components of modern building design
  • Curved glass cabinets
  • Spiral staircases

Security Screen glass

Security screen glass such as BanditSheild or BanditSheild Ultra products by Glasshape, are designed to create a secure environment, resistant to thieves or damage. This type of glass is a high-grade polyacrylic combined with layers of annealed or toughened glass and ranges in thickness from 7.9mm to 18mm. This composition can resist attack with common hand tools such as hammers, pliers, axes, bricks and screw drivers for between 60 and 120 seconds.

Security screen glass has a number of standout features which make it a highly desirable glass product:

  • Unlike normal laminated glass, security screens will not fall away once broken but will continue to provide a protective screen that is difficult to pass through.
  • As a material it is thin, lightweight and creates negligible distortion making it ideal for displays and windows.
  • It is also easy-to-clean making it hygienic and appropriate for food display.
  • The surface is very easy to maintain and highly resistant to scratching and marking.

This type of glass is perfectly suited to retailers, galleries or homeowners looking to protect objects or buildings from smash and grab type theft or unintentional damage. Common uses are for:

  • Jewellery Stores
  • Airport security areas
  • High end luxury homes
  • Liquor stores
  • Low security detention centres
  • Pharmacies

ArmourShield armoured security glass

ArmourShield glass goes a step beyond security glass and is designed to withstand deliberate and sustained attack while still maintaining the appearance of normal glass. The material itself is a polycomposite-glass laminate with varying thicknesses depending on the level of threat.

ArmourShield security glass has a number of key qualities:

  • It is strong enough that attack weapons simply bounce off the armoured glass.
  • In the event the window glass surface is compromised, the tough inner-core of the polycomposite remains un-penetrated protecting individuals and property inside
  • It can provide protection from physical attack for five to thirty minutes.

The nature of armoured glass means that it is typically installed in:

  • Prisons
  • Detention centres
  • Court houses
  • Police cells
  • Government offices

Bullet Resistant Security Glass

They key differentiator of bullet resistant glass is apparent in its name. Bullet resistant glass is designed to capture exceedingly high velocity projectiles without allowing penetration through the armoured panel. This makes it ideal for use in areas of high risk or where the threat of firearms is prevalent.

Glasshape’s AmmoShield bullet resistant glass is a polycomposite-glass laminate and is custom-constructed to meet clients’ specified protection levels. It can be fitted to protect critical operational areas of buildings, houses land vehicles and even marine vessels. However it must be installed in an approved ballistic framing system.

Glasshape’s bullet resistant glass has the following features:

  • In addition to protection from ballistics, this glass also provides up to 60 minutes resistance under sustained attack from an intruder with simple hand weapons.
  • It holds a poly-composite spall panel on the inside to prevent glass fragments from being thrown from the back of the panel in the event of attack.
  • The material is lightweight and has the appearance of a normal glass facade.
  • Glasshape’s product covers all the requirements of AS/NZS2343:1997 and NIJ0108.01:1985. We can also test customised glass make-ups to other applicable standards if required.

Given its key protective features, bullet resistant glass is typically used in:

  • Embassies
  • Court houses
  • Banks
  • Armoured vehicles
  • VIP housing
  • Panic rooms

Cyclone Glass solutions

Cyclone glass includes a range of products designed to protect buildings, contents and people from destructive weather events. Cyclones, hurricanes, severe storm conditions and excessive wind speeds all pose a severe threat to buildings and human safety. In these conditions cyclone proof glass or StormSheild (Glasshape’s solution) provides total protection.

StormSheild uses a specially formulated ultrahigh grade laminate in the manufacturing process.

Glasshape’s StormSheild product has the following key features:

  • It can expand and contract up to five times its normal rate before breaking, providing maximum protection from wind borne debris.
  • In the event the cyclone glass is damaged by flying storm debris, StormShield remains weather-tight without tearing or breaching,
  • If shattered the glass will remain within the laminate preventing glass shards from flying through the room.

It you need a strengthened glass solution for your next building project, get in touch with the team at Glasshape.