How Do Security Window Films Work?

How do security window films work? Security windows are layered on glass to protect glass shattering. Security window films are multiple layered. They range from 4 mm thick to say 30 mm thick. If you go...

Security window films are multiple layered. They range from 4 mm thick to say 30 mm thick. If you go into the international market, there are some areas where they have window films as thick as 30 mm. That is with extreme instances, but here in the US typically 4 mm to 15 mm in thickness is what we install. Security films are safety films and were designed to retain the glass inside the window frame in the event of breakage. They are helpful in an impact, somebody attempting to break in, hurricanes, storms, or even a bomb blast.


Every type of film out there has an adhesive and they typically house UV inhibitors. Depending on how the film was made; they can have dye, metal, dye-metal mix, ceramic or scratch resistant coating. Whenever you are looking at security style films, they are multiple layered and that's very important. There are films out there that are thick. One-layered film tears very easily. Some with an impact like an explosion, tear very quickly, and is not going to really hold together. It is important to have thick films that are layered to give added strength to retain the glass. We are talking about protecting people. There are a lot of properties that we have done for that purpose only.




After 9/11 there was a big influx of securing the primer of a building to protect people from flying glass. Lots of people like the idea of 4 mm. That's generally what's good for a store like a burger place, where thieves break the glass and come in. This typically will hold the glass enough to where they will get tired of trying to beat on the glass, and they just walkaway. The shop owner will just need to replace the window.

A few years ago, we helped out a JC Penney in Fort Wayne Indiana after a break in. They lost about $40,000 merchandise within a matter of 20 minutes. All the thieves did was break the front door open by breaking the glass which was tempered. Tempered glass explodes into real small pieces. So they just walked in, and they went to the jewelry cases, broke all those, and walked out with all the jewelry. I used a 10 mm window film for them. Basically, thieves would have to drive a truck through it now, because the glass won't break with just a baseball bat. Now, if somebody attempts to break in there again, all JC Penney has to do is replace the door versus all the merchandise that is missing.

As for blast resistant films, in the US, we haven't failed the field test for blast resistant films. Those films are extremely thick and they are very aggressive. Basically, what they do is they take all the energy out of the bomb blast. They allow it to go into the window frame and then into the walls versus the glass flying at you. When glass explodes near a doorway all the glass goes directly onto the walls and anything else between the windows of the walls. These films are designed to observe that impact and protect the people

Whenever the Dallas tornados came through, one of the museums up there was going through some renovation. They were putting in 4 mm window film on the windows. And when the tornado came through lot of debris broke the glass in the museum and where the film was it broke, but nothing came through. Some of the artifacts were ruined. I convinced them to go with a film that had a little bit of color to it, so that it would block a little bit of heat. That helped control the fading of the artifacts and the feedback we got from them was great. They felt much more comfortable in the office.

© High Speed Ventures 2011