Written By: Brad Campbell | February 25, 2023
Security concerns resulting from active shootings, civil unrest, and burglary, among other things, have caused most commercial building owners to increasingly move away from standard glass windows.
There is an ever-growing need for stronger glass to keep attackers and would-be intruders at bay to protect your property and the lives of those inside it.
Security glass products like laminated safety glass are highly effective at delaying and preventing forced entry and protecting against armed attacks targeting all types of commercial properties.
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Unlike the standard glass for windows and doors, this one is made of two glass layers and an interlayer. The two layers of glass are hardened, mainly through heat strengthening. They are then bonded by the interlayer, usually a vinyl material, to keep the two layers intact.
The construction of safety laminated glass is what makes it different from the standard window and door glass. This construction helps prevent forced entry and keeps the glass intact when faced with various types of impacts, which is what makes the glass “safety glass.”
When impacted, this safety glass does not shatter and fall off the window or door frame; the vinyl interlayer holds the glass fragments. As such, it does not pose an injury threat to building occupants, which often result from flying glass pieces in the case of a standard window and door glass.
Therefore, laminated glass effectively blocks the entry of attackers and intruders to stores or classrooms, since it remains in place even after an attempt to shatter it. This feature gives building occupants time to react as well as security officers time to arrive.
While some people may mistake laminated glass for bulletproof glass, it is important to note that it falls into the category of non-ballistic glazing products. This means it doesn’t stop a bullet from penetrating, but it will maintain its structure after a bullet impact.
Laminated glass does not, therefore, keep bullets away but still holds together upon bullet penetration. This is important as it delays the attacker and buys occupants precious time to find cover and authorities to arrive at the place. Unlike standard glass, it provides a safety barrier against flying glass pieces that may injure room occupants.
Laminated glass does a great job of keeping you away from intruders and attackers while maintaining crystal clear views of the surroundings. In laminated glass design, the interlayer has minimal effect on the view, and building occupants can still enjoy clear views of their surroundings.
The common type of material used as the interlayer makes laminated safety glass panels virtually invisible. This makes it useful for schools and particularly retail stores, as it makes it possible for potential customers to window-shop while maintaining the safety of the valuables inside.
Laminated glass is categorized as a containment-grade glazing material, which means it is reinforced with a more robust interlayer. The strength of this safety glass comes down to the number of glass layers used. These layers go through a hardening process where heat is used to make the glass sturdier.
The thickness of the glass is used to determine its protection level. The thickness can vary from 0.60 to 0.90+ mm, depending on the glazing pocket or user preference. The use of stronger interlayer materials, other than the standard polyvinyl butyral (PVB), makes laminated glass stronger and stiffer compared to standard glass and other types of safety glass.
Glass companies have long used laminated glass for windows and doors in new buildings. Jewelry store owners also prefer installing laminated glass for the door and windows to safeguard their valuables.
This glass can also be retrofitted into almost any existing door and window system. The existing standard glass is removed and replaced with the laminated glass. It can even be retrofitted into most existing frames, apart from old and damaged framing or framing that can’t support its weight.
While typical applications of this glass include exterior glass doors and windows, it also comes in handy as a second layer of defense. It can be fitted into interior locations like conference rooms, skylights, and office doors.
Laminated glass can also be used for entry doors from a vestibule into a building’s main area. However, for this application, this glass should not be fitted into weak framings or old-school framings like casement frames.
It is specially manufactured for bolstering security and preventing forced entry. Therefore, laminated safety glass cost is higher than other glass types used for door and window systems, including the standard and tempered glass types. Whenever you plan to install or retrofit your doors and windows with this glass, be ready to dig a little deeper into your pocket.
While this may not be the primary reason for the invention and use of laminated glass, it is well worth noting. The vinyl interlayer used in the manufacture of laminated glass can absorb sound up to some level, preventing noise into interior rooms such as conference rooms.
This property of the glass may not be obvious, mainly because laminated glass does not distort views of the surrounding. Depending on the glass and interlayer material’s thickness, the amount of UV light that penetrates the glass may vary. Because of this, laminated glass does a lot to provide UV resistance
Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that holds together when it gets broken. Rather than shattering inwards, the shattered glass is held in place by a thermoplastic interlayer. Laminated safety glass is much tougher than tempered safety glass, making it a better choice for retail applications when safety and security are a concern. Tempered safety glass can easily be shattered into millions of tiny pieces to gain entry to your retail store, whereas laminated security glass can delay entry from anywhere between 4 minutes to complete non-entry
Riot Glass offers our RG9 laminated glass in a low-iron version for retail that is far superior to regular laminated glass in both strength and appearance.
Why is low-iron glass beneficial for retailers, you ask?
When we make our Riot Glass products using this type of glass, you get increased visibility while still receiving the dramatically increased strength of Riot Glass.
Riot Glass laminated security glass is even tougher and stiffer than other types of laminated safety glass on the market—up to 100 times stiffer and five times stronger. RG9 is the top-of-the-line forced entry laminated security glass product offered by Riot Glass. It is specifically designed to resist forced entry attempts. It can stop would-be intruders dead in their tracks, making it an ideal choice for retailers who want to fortify their storefront glass with the highest performance laminated glass.
Retail stores, especially high-end, luxury retailers, constantly have to worry about burglary, smash-and-grab theft, and rioting and looting, among other things. This is why laminated security glass is one of the best ways for retailers to achieve peace of mind and know that their property and merchandise are protected against these threats.
Riot Glass RG9 laminated security glass can hold your glass in place against blows from bats, hammers, crowbars, bricks, and even ballistic impacts.
Imagine getting a call from the police in the middle of the night and finding out that your retail store has been broken into and thousands of dollars of merchandise is gone. When you reinforce your windows and doors with laminate window glass, it can delay entry completely or at least long enough to deter criminals and give the police time to arrive.
Maintaining clarity and visibility through your windows and glass display cases is important when it comes to retail. If potential customers can’t clearly see your merchandise, they are much less likely to go into your store and make a purchase.
So, how do you balance visibility and security? This is where low-iron custom laminated window glass comes in.
Low-iron glass is a type of glass made with silica sand with a low iron particle count compared to other glass types. This eliminates the greenish-blue tint that you see in standard window glass applications.
When you use low-iron laminated safety glass, you get all the benefits of increased security without sacrificing any visibility. In fact, visibility through your glass will be even better than before.
This type of low-iron security glass can be extremely beneficial for high-end retail stores like jewelry stores, designer clothing retailers, art galleries, and electronics stores. Retailers that stock high-value goods are much more likely to be burglary victims, but locking up all the expensive merchandise out of sight at night can be time-consuming and impractical.
With low-iron laminated security glass, you can feel more at ease, leaving expensive items on display in your shop’s windows overnight and get the added benefit of higher visibility.
High-clarity retail storefront glass is especially important if your store is located in an area with high foot traffic levels, making it so passersby can clearly see what you’re selling. The green-blue optical distortion that occurs in regular window glass can make it difficult for someone to see the items you’ve chosen to put on display facing the street, but low-iron glass makes everything on display crystal clear.
Low-iron security glass can also be used for indoor displays, such as jewelry display cases when you want a perfectly transparent glass with a high strength level.
Glass office buildings are another example of architecture types that can benefit from low-iron laminated security glass. Office buildings face many of the same security concerns as retailers when it comes to protecting expensive computers and other equipment against burglary, but you might also not want to compromise the view out of your office windows.
Laminated low-iron security glass can be used to increase the security and safety of a commercial building while preserving and even enhancing your views. With low-iron glass, there are none of the optical color distortions that you experience when looking through regular window glass.
Conventional clear glass and other types of laminated safety glass simply can’t match Riot Glass low-iron RG9 laminated security glass’s performance and clarity.
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