Skip to content

Why Use Plastic In Security Applications

Why Plastic Over Glass for Security?

Plastics make an ideal solution for a large number of security applications. In addition, plastic can offer considerable peace of mind, whether it’s for protection against vandalism, weather, or other physical risks to businesses, offices, houses, schools, and sporting facilities.

Why plastics? Many performance-level plastics are impact-resistant, transparent, and long-lasting. They can also be made to fit your specifications and come in various sizes and thicknesses. In addition, some plastics—such as polycarbonate—can withstand high stress and impact, and serve as effective shielding against bullets or other fast, high-impact scenarios.

Here are some specific ways high-performance plastics can serve your security needs:

Impact Resistance

Plastics are known for their superior Impact resistance from different types of projectiles. As a result, dangers from bullet fire, high-wind debris, and sports—such as golf balls or hockey pucks—are significantly reduced by using high-performance plastics for shielding. For instance, many ballistics have less impact thanks to bulletproof polycarbonate’s ability to reduce and distribute kinetic energy.

Superior Strength/Weight Ratio

Plexiglass acrylic sheet weighs considerably less than regular glass, making it simpler to carry and install. In addition, polycarbonate sheet are even stronger. Despite being less dense than safety glass, polycarbonate sheet is 250 times stronger and can withstand considerable bending without cracking or breaking.

Resistance To Heat

Many types of plastic sheet can withstand high temperatures because they are naturally heat-resistant. This characteristic can often be enhanced further with certain heat-reducing additives. This makes plastics ideal for engineering and construction projects where safety and flammability are issues. This is likewise a benefit for any security applications where similar problems occur.


Plastics such as polycarbonate, acrylic, and PETG come in transparent forms, making them perfect for applications where protection and visibility are essential. This covers a wide range of consumer needs, such as retail kiosks, security checkpoints, riot equipment, sportswear, and hockey rinks.

UV Protection

Transparent plastics offer excellent protection from ultraviolet rays with no negative impact on clarity or light transmission. In addition to obvious security applications, transparent plastics can be used for various sun protection purposes.

Where To Use Clear Plastic Sheet

Transparent plastic sheet may be known chiefly for its strength and durability, but it’s also an incredibly versatile material suitable for numerous purposes—many of which have security and safety applications.

  • Barriers – Using simple frames or other support structures, lightweight clear plastic panels can be easily constructed into barriers protecting viewers from possible risks of injury. They can also help direct traffic along security checkpoints and be used in medical settings to protect against disease spread.
  • Impact-resistant Windows – Sometimes called bulletproof glass, bullet-resistant polycarbonate can disperse kinetic energy from bullets and other projectiles upon impact. These types of windows are often used in banks, court buildings, jewelry stores, and 24-hour gas station kiosks. They’re also usually found in cars, ambulances, trains, and aircraft and are a popular choice for machine guards in the manufacturing sector.
  • Safety Shields – The strength of plastic sheets provides extra impact resistance to simple barriers like sneeze guards and sign-in points in a restaurant, business, and school settings. It is also a standard component of police riot shields due to plastic’s lightweight and toughness.
  • Protective eyewear – Transparent plastics make popular materials for safety glasses and goggles due to their optical clarity, low weight, and durability. They are less fragile than glass, more lightweight, and can be tinted to block out specific light sources or be more resistant to sunlight.

Plastics Over Glass

Where laminated glass fractures and obscures visibility when cracked or broken, plastics like acrylic and polycarbonate are much harder to break and, should they do so, not “spiderweb” and obscure views. And where safety glass breaks into pieces that won’t cut or injure anyone, they also don’t prevent anyone from breaking in after the glass is broken. And it’s much heavier.

Transparent plastics take a lot of punishment, are lighter, and are easy to install and shape into nearly any desired shape.

Purchasing Clear Plastic Sheet at Piedmont

Transparent materials, such as acrylic and polycarbonate sheet, are our area of expertise at Piedmont Plastics. Our team of plastics experts is fully prepared to provide solutions for any production need.

Piedmont Plastics has provided services to a variety of industries for more than 50 years, including security, aerospace, petrochemical, food production and packaging, marine, industrial, automobile manufacturing, signage, graphics, and more. In addition, Piedmont Plastics is in the ideal position to assist with any production solution thanks to its more than 50 distribution facilities spread across North America. Call now for more information.