By: Brad Campbell | March 10, 2022 | Blog
Polycarbonate glazing has become a preferred choice of building owners and security experts over the past few years. This is no wonder, considering that polycarbonate offers the perfect balance of strength, functionality, aesthetics, and cost.
Whether you want to protect your building from forced entry, vandalism, rioting and looting, burglary, storm damage, or even active threats, polycarbonate security glazing is an ideal choice that’s suitable for all types of commercial properties.
Polycarbonate is a type of thermoplastic polymer that contains carbonate groups in its chemical structure. So, you might imagine that polycarbonate glazing would obviously look and feel like plastic.
However, security glazing made from polycarbonate is designed to look and feel as close to the traditional window glass as possible. It doesn’t significantly alter the way your windows and other glass surfaces appear or feel to the touch.
Additionally, polycarbonate security glazing can be given a variety of special coatings, such as abrasion- and UV-resistant coatings, to increase its durability and longevity.
While other types of security glazing can crack and eventually break after repeated high-force blows, polycarbonate is strong enough to withstand even the most prolonged, determined attacks and forced entry attempts using heavy hand tools.
For example, a would-be intruder can use common burglary tools, like pry bars, bats, and hammers, and repeatedly strike a polycarbonate sheet all they want — it’s not going to break or noticeably diminish in strength.
Since polycarbonate doesn’t noticeably alter the appearance of your glass, it fortifies your property’s vulnerable windows and doors, without making them look fortified. This is ideal when you want to upgrade your building’s security, but not detract from its curb appeal or make it look like a jail using traditional glass protection solutions, such as bars and grates.
Polycarbonate security glazing is available in a variety of grades. The most basic level of protection is known as containment-grade glazing, which means that it is built to stop forced entry and protect against other impacts, but not rated to resist bullets.
If you require a higher level of protection, there are also various levels of ballistic-grade (bullet-resistant) polycarbonate that you can use to protect against active threat attacks.
Ballistic polycarbonate is most commonly used in schools, religious facilities, government buildings, correctional/detention centers, and other high-security facilities where active threat threats are a bigger concern.
One of the best reasons to use polycarbonate glazing to secure your property against security threats is that, in most cases, it can be retrofitted right on top of your existing glass. A retrofit security glazing solution protects your glass doors and windows from shattering, without needing to replace the surrounding framing or the glass itself.
This is ideal for large commercial projects where glass removal and replacement would just be too expensive, time-consuming, and disruptive to consider. Retrofit security glazing installation jobs can even be performed in the evenings and over weekends, so they don’t interrupt your business hours or interfere with business operations.
Whether you are securing your business against civil unrest or a hurricane, boarding up doors and windows with plywood is a traditional emergency solution. While they can be an effective solution, board-ups are also unsightly and inconvenient for many reasons.
Problems with emergency board ups:
Polycarbonate glazing avoids all of the above issues by providing 24/7 protection against forced entry, rioting and looting, vandalism, storm damage, and more. In other words, polycarbonate acts as an invisible, permanent board up for your existing windows and doors, and there’s never any need to add plywood on top of the glazing.
Absolutely! We develop, design, and manufacture the ultimate line of fenestration security products, including our flagship ArmorPlast® AP Series of polycarbonate glazing shields.
These glazing shields are available in containment-grade sheets, which are ideal for forced entry prevention and storm damage mitigation, as well as in a full range of ballistic-grade polycarbonate options, up to a UL 752 level 8 rating of ballistic resistance.
A UL 752 level 8 rating signifies that the polycarbonate is capable of withstanding a high-speed, multi-shot attack from an active threat using an AK-47 rifle with .308, 150-grain military rounds.
AP Series polycarbonate security glazing is perfect for:
Our AP Series polycarbonate infills are combined with one of our patented or patent-pending security framing systems for the highest level of impact resistance and access denial available on the market.
For example, our new Gen II security framing uses an innovative system of shock gaskets to disperse force from the point of impact out towards the edges of the glazing, thus ensuring that it does not become dislodged from the framing, even after repeated high-force blows.
AP Series glazing and the accompanying security framing is 100% retrofittable, meaning the security framing and polycarbonate infill gets securely fitted into or onto your existing framing systems.
Contact us today for more information about our AP Series polycarbonate security glazing or to schedule a free consultation for you and your property.