Security protection from ballistic (bullet) attack

Standard float glass provides little to no protection against ballistic attack. But when configured with multiple layers of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) film, it can serve as bullet-resistant security glass. That’s because the interlayers in ballistic-resistant laminated glass help keep the mass of the glass configuration together.  Interlayers also help keep shards on the impact side of the attack from flying and causing further injury.   

With Saflex® PVB interlayers, architects can specify tailored security glass that may help impede or stop a bullet from penetrating glazing. In fact, laminated security glass can be designed and tested to provide protection against specific weapons or ballistic projectiles. (Actual performance of glazing in-situ may vary in attacks from unforeseen weapon systems).   

Ballistic-resistant security glass is often found in:

  • Banks

  • Post Offices

  • Prisons

  • Embassies

  • Courthouses

  • Government facilities

  • Police departments

  • Convenience stores

  • Office buildings

  • Educational facilities


Most Saflex interlayer products can be successfully incorporated into a bullet-resistant construction. Interlayer adhesion, thickness, and type, bring different attributes to the performance of a ballistic-resisting system. It is common for a very-high-adhesion thin interlayer to be used between the witness facing glass and the rest of the construction. Some security glazing uses such an interlayer throughout, while other constructions use a mix of conventional and composite materials. The design of ballistic-resistant construction is considered proprietary in the glazing industry. 


Protection against different weapons (rifle, hand gun, and shot gun, for example) and rounds (e.g., armor piercing, hollow point) require different glazing constructions. But in all cases, multi-ply laminated compositions that combine different glass thickness and multiple PVB interlayers are required.

Security protection against vandalism and burglary

Standard float glass offers limited protection against attacks and acts of vandalism. When broken, it provides a way in—and out—of a building, putting people and property at risk.

When used in laminated glass, Saflex® polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer helps create security glass that can deter vandalism. Because they tend to keep glass shards in place, PVB interlayers help resist penetration. They also help maintain the integrity of broken glass units, retaining barriers that prevent entry, exit, harm, and theft.

This makes laminated glass made with Saflex a more secure choice for:

  • Private homes
  • Stores
  • Office buildings
  • Institutions
  • Buildings like banks, post offices and museums

When designed and installed properly, conventional Saflex interlayers in laminated glass help protect against vandalism, forced entry, and burglary (depending on the level of aggression). Saflex Clear, Saflex Acoustic, Saflex Solar, Saflex Storm, Vanceva® Earth Tones collection and Vanceva Colors interlayers also perform well against forced entry, forced exit, and burglaries because they can withstand multiple impacts and attempts of penetration. Saflex Cover Plus, a composite interlayer of PVB and film, provides increased resistance to tears and may be appropriate for applications that require an even higher degree of security. By varying glass and interlayer types and thicknesses, architects and designers can tailor the level of protection provided by laminated glass. In high-risk applications, multiple laminated compositions may be needed.

Security protection from bomb blast (explosion)

Because of the nature of their business, some facilities require security glass as further protection against blasts—whether caused by nefarious sources or by the industrial production of combustible materials.   
Saflex® PVB interlayers can be designed to perform well when faced with the sudden overpressure and subsequent negative pressures of a blast event.  Interlayers retain glass shards during the blast event as well as absorb a large amount of energy from the blast without excessive transfer of loads to the frame and building structure.  This has been proven in actual events as well as significant testing to be beneficial to the protection of building occupants and property.   Glass shard retention, ability to stay glazed in a frame based on various overpressures and impulse durations are specified in global and national standards.


Safety laminated glass is often specified for blast resistance in:

  • Embassies

  • Courthouses

  • Military bases

  • Government facilities

  • Airports

  • Office buildings

When designed and installed properly, Saflex Clear, our conventional Saflex interlayers in laminated glass help protect against explosion. Saflex Acoustic, Saflex Solar, Saflex Storm and Vanceva® Earth Tones and Colors will all perform well in blast resistant applications as they contain glass shards, absorb energy from the impact and stay glazed in the window frame.


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