Skip to content

Bulletproof Polycarbonate Plastic Explained

Information on Bulletproof Polycarbonate

Piedmont Plastics provides polycarbonate sheeting that is resistant to bullets and is custom-made to match a range of ballistic protection needs. The bullet-resistant polycarbonate will reliably endure powerful impacts and thwart forced entrances due to its remarkable durability and break resistance.

If you’re seeking more safety and defense options, bullet-resistant polycarbonate is an excellent choice, and it comes in several grades and strengths.

Characteristics of Bullet-Resistant Polycarbonate Sheet

The same benefits polycarbonate offers for general use are also features of bullet-resistant polycarbonate, but with increased safety characteristics. Due to its exceptional strength, impact resistance, and toughness, bullet-resistant polycarbonate is a unique and valuable material.

Polycarbonate has the advantages of being optically transparent, lightweight, and shatterproof. Additionally, it has strong dielectric strength, low moisture absorption, and excellent UV protection. These characteristics make this unique polycarbonate sheet one of the best materials for resisting both physical assaults and multiple-shot ballistic assaults.

How Does Bullet-Resistant Polycarbonate Sheet Work?

Multiple layers of polycarbonate are laminated together to create a bullet-resistant system using a polyurethane interlayer protective glazing material. This is intended to increase the material’s strength and durability.

Systems made of laminated polycarbonate can achieve UL Level 1 bullet resistance in as little as three-quarters of an inch. As a result, it is relatively lightweight and simple to construct, cut, shape, notch, drill, and fix into position. These features mean it’s easy to produce and install, making it a straightforward and reasonably priced solution for many security and manufacturing needs.

In addition, compared to other bullet-resistant materials, polycarbonate is soft in addition to being strong and light. Therefore, its softness can catch a bullet inside the sheet. By doing so, neither the material nor the bullet will break into potentially harmful fragments or ricochet throughout the room, potentially causing more harm or damage.

How Is Bullet-Resistant Polycarbonate Used?

Bullet-resistant polycarbonate comes in a range of grades and strengths. Although no material is absolutely “bulletproof,” it is a practical choice for additional safety and defense measures.

Bullet-resistant polycarbonate comes in 8 distinct levels of protection.

Level 1

Able to withstand rounds from small caliber handguns, frequently employed in armed robberies, most small businesses such as gas stations, pharmacies, and retail stores employ Level 1 bulletproof glass to deter crime. It’s also a useful material in manufacturing facilities for machine guards and is often used for secured display cases.

Level 2

This grade is designed for buildings with higher security requirements and can withstand attacks from handguns with a bigger caliber. It’s commonly used at banks, financial institutions, jewelry stores, and other businesses with increased security concerns. Level 2 grade bullet-resistant polycarbonate can also be found in riot shields, helmets, and similar law enforcement or military equipment.

Level 3

This level is more appropriate for buildings or environments with potentially more serious threat levels and greater occupant endangerment risks. For example, typical buildings using Level 3 would be police stations, prisons, detention centers, government facilities, and some schools. You would also see this level (and above) used for armored vehicles.

Levels 4 through 8

The higher grade levels are designed to withstand automatic weapons and assault rifles. Usually, these higher grades are used on military bases, embassies, and high-security government buildings.

Materials rated for Levels 4 through 8 are specially produced and can be cost-prohibitive for applications that don’t require such extreme protective measures.

How Does Bullet-Resistant Polycarbonate Compare to Bulletproof Glass?

Believe it or not, bulletproof glass isn’t really a thing. Ballistic glass, also known as bullet-resistant glass, is designed to stop one or more high-impact bullets from striking it, but after the initial hit, its efficiency quickly declines. Regardless of its classification, the ballistic glass will eventually break when shot at frequently. Hollywood depictions are highly misleading.

Ballistic glass is made by reinforcing layers of glass with polycarbonate adhesive interlayers. As a result, its strength comes less from the glass and more from the transparent polycarbonate layers.

All things considered, bullet-resistant polycarbonate makes an excellent substitute for bulletproof or ballistic glass. While the properties of both materials are comparable, polycarbonate is half as heavy as glass and has a favorable price-to-performance ratio.

Bullet-Resistant Polycarbonate at Piedmont Plastics

Choose from a variety of standard thicknesses, widths, and lengths when shopping our range of bullet-resistant polycarbonate sheet. For most materials, we provide cut-to-size services at our 50+ locations across North America.

Piedmont Plastics specializes in transparent materials like polycarbonate and bullet-resistant polycarbonate, and our team of plastics specialists is perfectly equipped to answer all your questions about what materials will best serve your manufacturing needs.

Contact us today for more info.