Security glazing

Modern glass architecture creates opportunities for beautiful and dynamic design, but this trend has also increased the need for laminated glass safety and security specifications. Saflex™ or Vanceva™ color PVB interlayers for laminated glass have been used as safety glazing for years and are now configured for additional security applications.

Security-enhanced glass tends to resist penetration better than basic laminated safety glass and can range in performance from simple impact to multi-assault resistant glazing. Injury and loss must be considered for interior and exterior glazing, which can be broken by accidental or natural causes or manufactured physical threats like ballistics, blast events, forced entry and forced exit.

While no single product offers complete protection from intentional attacks, Saflex and Vanceva color PVB interlayers for laminated glass interlayers work as a critical line of defense. These strong, protective interlayers deter or delay penetration while protecting people and property from injury or damage. Interest in advanced interlayers for safety has continued to grow rapidly in recent years, especially for educational, industrial, government and commercial buildings.

Eastman tested many Saflex interlayer and glass combinations in accordance with various standards. These tests have been performed typically on glass only in a frame, which is specified in the standard or in a neutral frame system.

Security protection from ballistic (bullet) attack

Standard float glass provides little to no protection against ballistic attack. But when configured with multiple layers of PVB film, it can serve as bullet-resistant security glass. The interlayers in bullet-resistant glazing help keep the mass of the glass configuration together, providing bulk against multiple shots. Interlayers also help prevent shards from flying or spalling off and causing further injury. 
With Saflex or Vanceva color 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 interlayers may vary in attacks from unforeseen weapon systems.
Most Saflex interlayers can be successfully incorporated into a bullet-resistant construction. Interlayer adhesion, thickness and type bring different attributes to the performance of a ballistic-resistant system. 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 (e.g., rifle, handgun and shotgun) and rounds (armor-piercing or hollow-point ammunition) requires different glazing constructions, but multi-ply laminated compositions of different glass thickness and multiple PVB interlayers are required in all cases.
Ballistic-resistant security glass is often found in:

  • Banks
  • Post offices
  • Prisons
  • Embassies
  • Courthouses
  • Government facilities
  • Police departments
  • Convenience stores
  • Office buildings
  • Educational facilities

Saflex can also protect against forced entry attempted as a result of an active shooter attack. An assailant can use bullets to “break away” or “shoot out” the glass to gain entry or cause additional harm. Interlayers increase the protection, as the attempt weakens the glazing, and such incursions typically require using direct impacts on the pre-weakened glass to gain entry to the building. Saflex Clear and Saflex Storm PVB interlayers have been tested in various combinations to meet multiple forced-entry testing standards.

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.
Saflex and Vanceva architectural advanced interlayers help create security glass that can deter vandalism. Tending to keep glass shards in place, PVB interlayers strengthen penetration resistance and therefore may maintain the integrity of the barrier that helps prevent entry, exit, harm and theft.
Laminated glass structures made with Saflex and Vanceva PVB interlayers are a more secure choice for:

  • Private homes
  • Stores
  • Schools (K-12) and universities
  • Office buildings
  • 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 and Vanceva color PVB interlayers also perform well against forced entry, forced exit and burglaries because they can withstand multiple impacts and attempts to penetrate. Saflex Storm (VS02), a composite interlayer of PVB and film, increased resistance to tears and may be appropriate for applications that require an even higher degree of security. By varying glass and interlayer configurations, 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 and Vanceva PVB security interlayers can be designed to perform well when faced with the sudden overpressure and subsequent negative pressures of a blast event. Interlayers tend to 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 through significant testing under controlled conditions. Glass shard retention, which is the ability to stay glazed in a frame based on various overpressures and impulse durations, is specified in global and national standards.
When designed and installed properly, Saflex and Vanceva interlayers in laminated glass help protect against the damage from an explosive blast wave and potential debris. Saflex Acoustic, Saflex FlySafe, Saflex Solar, Saflex Storm and Vanceva color and Earth Tones all have been demonstrated or modeled to perform well in blast resistant applications, as they are capable of containing glass shards, absorbing energy from the impact and staying glazed in the frame.

Security glass interlayers are often specified for blast resistance in:

  • Embassies
  • Courthouses
  • Military bases
  • Government facilities
  • Industrial production facilities
  • Airports
  • Office buildings


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