Difference Between Ballistic Glass and Tempered Glass [Check Points]


    There are multiple types of high-strength and toughened glass options available for better safety & security. Ballistic or bulletproof glass and tempered glass are two of the most common glass types used where there’s a need for improved safety. Both these glass types are considered as high-strength glasses, yet there are numerous differences between the two.

    The contemporary ballistic glass is not a conventional glass and is rather a high-strength plastic having high-end translucency. The transparency, clarity, and glass-like appearance of this bulletproof acrylic accounts for the word glass in its name.

    Difference Between Ballistic Glass and Tempered Glass

    A Few Points of Difference Between Ballistic Glass and Tempered Glass

    There are multiple levels & types of bulletproof glass and every type is uniquely designed. The basic ballistic glass is solely made of acrylic while higher strength types are made with laminated polycarbonate or a combination of polycarbonate and polyurethane. Glass-clad polycarbonate is the strongest ballistic glass and is made up of multiple layers of polycarbonate, glass, & Poly Vinyl Butyral (PVB).

    Then tempered is an ordinary glass strengthened by undergoing a process of heating & cooling. This gives it four times greater strength and improved shatter resistance. This type of glass is also the most common safety glass as it doesn’t shatter into sharp and dangerous shards of glass. On the contrary, this glass type breaks into small spherical pieces that aren’t harmful and impose any health hazard.

    Level of Strength

    Tempered or toughened glass is approximately four to five times stronger than the normal annealed glass and has numerous applications in the commercial & residential sector. The level of strength of this glass type is adequate to sustain the wear & tear of everyday life and it is a durable alternative to fragile conventional glass. It is certainly stronger than the normal glass but is not bulletproof or bullet-resistant.

    Ballistic glass is the real deal when it comes to safety and security and is bullet and even bomb-resistant. There are eight levels of strength in bulletproof glass, one being the weakest and eighth being the strongest. Yet still, a level 1 bulletproof glass is strong enough to sustain bullet damage from a handgun and is the type commonly used to reinforce security in shops. While level 4 and higher are designed to withstand rifle shots & blast and are used in military & government offices.

    Impact of Speedy Stone or Bullet

    Tempered glass can sustain the impacts of flying debris or stones as it is a toughened glass type. That’s the reason why it is commonly used in home and commercial windows, tables, and other applications around the house.

    This improved strength doesn’t come at the cost of compromised clarity or translucency and this glass type is also economical and cost-friendly as it is more durable. On the contrary, a single layer of tempered or toughened glass can never provide adequate protection against a speedy bullet. However, it is still a safer option as when it does break it shatters into small granular & spherical chunks.

    On the other hand, ballistic or bulletproof glass made with multiple layers of tempered or toughened glass with intermediate PVB layers can certainly sustain the bullet impact. As discussed above, there are different levels of bulletproof glass classified based on bullet speed and impact velocity? Hence, depending on the type of glass and the speed of a bullet, bullet proof glass can certainly sustain bullet impact without damage.

    Shattering Behavior

    Tempered glass may not be the best security glass but it is certainly the safest glass type due to its incredible shattering behavior. (Click here to know if glass is genuinely tempered or not.) That’s the reason why it is commonly used around the home as there’s minimal risk of damage associated with the breakage of this glass type. The glass disintegrates into several small nuggets or cubes, unlike sharp shards of glass. This glass type may not be strong enough to prevent a bank robbery but is safe enough to protect your home from accidents & damages caused by shattered glass.

    While ballistic or bulletproof glass is incredibly hard to shatter as it is designed to resist the impact of speedy bullets. The conventional bulletproof glass made with multiple layers of toughened glass kills and absorbs the bullet velocity without shattering. While newer types of ballistic acrylic glasses absorb the bullet impact by turning speed into heat energy.

    Uses & Maintenance

    There are myriads of uses & applications of tempered or toughened glass around the home or commercial office space. This economical and low-cost safety glass is four to five times stronger than normal glass and this accounts for its augmented durability.

    Homeowners don’t have to frequently replace their home window glass or tabletops made with this type of toughened glass. Besides this, it is also easy to maintain and there are tons of effective homemade cleaning solutions to maintain the sparkle and shine of a toughened glass.

    On the other hand, ballistic or bulletproof glass is solely designed for security purposes and is used in shops, banks, schools, and government & military buildings. Maintaining & cleaning bulletproof glass is also similar to the tempered or normal glass. Alternatively, polishing wax can also be used to maintain the shine of the acrylic ballistic glass.

    Cost of Installation

    The cost is another major Points of Difference Between Ballistic Glass and Tempered Glass. Being stronger and securer, ballistic glass is relatively more expensive than the tempered or toughened glass. The cost of the ballistic glass depends on the level of strength required and the price goes up with the increase in level. Yet still, even the level 1 bulletproof glass is significantly more expensive than toughened glass.

    While tempered glass sheets are designed with safety in mind and are made for residential and commercial use. That’s the reason why it is relatively cheaper as it doesn’t offer optimum security but certainly augments the degree of safety. Toughened glass is still more expensive than the normal annealed glass.

    However, its higher initial cost is balanced out by its augmented durability and longer life span. The price of toughened glass also depends on the degree of thickness and strength required.  Looking to buy tempered glass near your area? We recommend you to go with glass genius for the premium quality original tempered glass.

    About the Author Antonio Meltzer

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