Perhaps you have never given a lot of thought to bulletproof materials beyond their applications for law enforcement and armoured bank vehicles. When you think about bulletproof materials, your thoughts likely center on bullet resistant doors, bulletproof glass, bulletproof vests, or armoured cars hauling away money. In fact, there are several materials that are used for bulletproofing, and many uses for them, even in private homes and businesses.
Bulletproof, or more accurately, bullet resistant, refers to materials designed to stop bullets, propelled objects or debris moving at a high velocity. The simplest of bulletproof materials are strong metals such as steel and titanium. With the many technological advances in recent decades, bulletproof materials are made from very complex composites as well. Kevlar and Lexan are commonly recognised names; carbon fibre composites and acrylics are bulletproof options as well. Different materials offer different qualities in regards to transparency, effectiveness, flexibility, and versatility.
There are strict industry standards which apply to bulletproof materials of any kind. The National Institute of Justice and Underwriter’s Laboratories are two American classifiers of bulletproof materials. Other similar organisations exist worldwide. In Australia, standards established for bullet-resistant panels which are used in bullet resistant doors is found in AS/NSZ 2343:1997 published by Standards Austrlia. The purpose of these institutions is to apply an industry standard to the various bulletproof materials, essentially creating a measuring stick as a means of comparing one bulletproof material against another. The types and classifications are vast and complex, but a reputable professional wholesaler or retailer of bulletproof materials will be able to decipher the code that is the industry’s standard. Classifications center on what type of object will be repelled and at what speed relative to the distance fired and repetition of the firing.
Beyond military applications and law enforcement, bulletproofing is used in a variety of homes and businesses. Bulletproof composites may be used as store or business front materials or bullet proof doors not only to protect those inside, but as a theft deterrent from break-ins. It is much more difficult for a criminal to break into a building when they cannot simply smash their way in. Bulletproof package receivers ensure that volatile materials are contained. Bulletproof windows and counters keep employees safe with a fast hiding place in the event of a robbery or similar crime.
Additionally, bulletproof composites are used in the building and manufacture of safes, containers, family and business safe-rooms and much more. Bulletproof materials are sought after for more than just protecting people from a gun blast. Bulletproof materials are accurately referred to as shatter-resistant, fragment-resistant, blast-resistant or blast-proof. These materials can defend against any propelled objects for which an individual product is rated. This means that safe rooms, doors and walls can effectively stop hurled rocks and building debris in the event of a bomb blast or natural disaster such as a tornado or hurricane (again, dependent upon a specific material ratings and specifications).
Individuals and business owners interested in the safety bulletproof materials can provide against a crime or attack, either natural or man-made, should consult qualified dealers and contractors educated and skilled in selling and installing bullet resistant doors and bulletproof materials. Figuring out the complex rating system and understanding the protection afforded by a specific product is complicated and requires professional translation. What’s more, bulletproof materials must be properly installed to afford the promised protection, and that requires a skilled builder installing products to appropriate standards. Bulletproof materials are worth consideration by any business or private citizen concerned with protecting themselves, their valuables, employees, and families from tragedy.