What about the Glass?
Although most thieves prefer the quite approach to a break-in, there are many burglars who will enter homes in a blood and guts fashion by simply breaking glass. For this reason alone, it's important to understand the type of glass you have installed in your home and come to grips with it's strength.
Make sure your home's vulnerable points, like hidden glass doors or windows are secured with strong glass. Here are some types of glass which are not on a burglar's preference list simply because they attract too much attention. After all the bad guys' don't want to make too much noise when attempting to gain entry.
Tempered Glass has a typical breaking stress of 24,000 psi (pounds per square inch) compared to regular annealed float glass (non safety glass) which has a breaking stress of 6,000 psi making it four times as strong as annealed float glass.
This glass is made by placing a piece of regular glass in an oven, bringing it almost to a melting point. The glass is then chilled very rapidly causing a skin to form around the glass.
Laminated Glass is useful when applications require transparent panels for viewing purposes. At the same time the application may require the glass to provide protection against a burglar or even a bullet.
What makes this glass strong is the fact it is made of a vinyl or plastic interlayer sandwiched between two layers of glass. For a crook to gain entry, he or she would have to strike the glass repeatedly in the same spot in order make a small hole.
The strength of the glass is determined by the thickness of the interlayer. For example, a burglar resistant grade may use a thickness as low as 6.38mm while a bullet proof glass will range in thickness of 24mm to 53mm. The thickness is determined by the layers of glass each separated by a polymeric interlayer.
Wired Glass is a product in which a wire mesh has been inserted between the glass during production. A steel wire is sandwiched between two separate ribbons of semi-molten glass and then passed through a pair of metal rollers which squeeze the glass and wire together.
Amazingly it's impact resistance is similar to that of float glass, however when challenged, the mesh retains the pieces of glass. Wired glass has a great visual intimidation quality to it because it gives the impression it is stronger than it is.
Plastic material is basically divided into two types, polycarbonate and acrylic. The acrylic, which is commonly known as Plexiglas is rated more than ten times stronger than regular glass of the same thickness.
Polycarbonate sheets are 250 times more impact resistant than safety glass and 20 times more resistant than other transparent plastics. Polycarbonate offers excellent security for your windows, however stay away from abrasive cleaners as they will definitely scratch the viewing surface.
Upload date: March 14, 2006 4:46 PM