Are Bullet-Proof Windows in Your Home’s Future?

Sep 23, 2011 No Comments by

Unless you’re planning on moving into the White House (and at this point, what sane person wants to?), chances are you won’t be shopping for bullet-proof windows any time soon. However, it is interesting to note how these White House trappings differ from the replacement windows you might consider for your own home.

Bullet-proof windows don’t look all that different than their lower class relatives, but their glass is much thicker than that on traditional windows and won’t shatter when a bullet hits them. They are also much more costly than ordinary windows—a 36 x 36 inch window can set you back $1,500-$2,000,–and on top of that, bullet-resistant windows do not even open.

Bullet-proof windows are basically made through a process called lamination, in which a sheet of polycarbonate material is placed between pieces of regular glass. This manufacturing process produces a glass-like material that is much thicker than ordinary glass. Polycarbonate is like plastic on steroids—transparent and tough and known by brand names such as Cyrolon and Lexan that are more reminiscent of Superman’s birth planet, Krypton, than anything here on earth.

Depending on what type of gun it is protecting against, bullet-proof glass can be anywhere between 7 millimeters and 75 millimeters thick. When someone shoots a bullet at a bullet-resistant window, the projectile will speed through the inner layer of the glass, and then get trapped in the middle layer of polycarbonate material before it can travel through the outer layer of glass.

Bullet-proof windows can also come with a one-way option, meaning it will stop all incoming bullets, but allow you to fire back at an assailant through them. This kind of bullet-proof glass is created by laminating a sheet of material which is brittle with a more flexible material.

So just think, if you ever get to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, you will have a chance to revel in this new window option. On second thought, it’s better to stick with a traditional wood casement window and stay away from the White House.

Home Improvement, Home Services, Installation, Windows

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