Which Level Ballistic Glass Do You Need?

By January 7, 2017Blog

Every initial call with a client involves a detailed needs assessment to determine, among other things, the anticipated threat level the client wishes to protect against. In most cases, defense against high powered rifles is the first priority.

Our ballistic solutions are rated by Underwriter’s Laboratories, which will typically assign a rating level from 1-8, depending on the material’s bullet resistance in a laboratory test. It is logical to want the most protection you can get, but the costs associated with a higher rated system can be surprising to many clients. To put this in perspective, most private businesses end up with a UL752 Level 1 material, which is fairly thin, lightweight, and affordable.

Generally speaking, the higher the rating, the thicker and heavier the material. Many municipalities, courthouses, police departments, and other government agencies will opt for – and have the budget for – higher rated systems.

Depending on the window opening size, the weight can add up to significantly more than the architect originally intended, so structural reinforcement of the building envelope’s superstructure may be necessary to accommodate the material.

Riot Glass offers a multitude of materials ranging from laminated glass, acrylic, polycarbonate, and glass clad polycarbonate. Each has its pros and cons, and we will help you decide based on many factors indicated in your needs assessment.

Our goal has always been to offer the highest quality and affordability, so we are always testing new solutions and combinations of materials that achieve the highest rating, lowest implementation cost, the highest level of scratch resistance and durability, and the lightest weight.

In the video below, we are field testing a Level 7 solution for a client that has high-level protection needs, but with weight restrictions. A field test does not guarantee the material will pass the UL752 test in the actual lab, but this is a starting place for determining whether the material is likely to pass or not.

This particular material passed the field test by stopping 5 rounds fired from an AR15 rifle. Ammunition used: Federal American Eagle 5.56 NATO 55 Grain full metal jacketed lead core rounds (FMJ LC) with a velocity of 3240 fps.
Now it is off to the lab for official testing and certification.

For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please fill out the form in the sidebar or call us at 800-580-2303.