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Safety and Security Window Film



Letting the facts speak for themselves…

Purpose of Safety & Security Film

  • Protect people

– Retain shards of glass to reduce the number and severity of injuries

  • Protect property

– Blast/Storms: maintain building envelope, further isolate interior from elements
– Theft: time deterrent = prevent or slows entry

When Solar/Security Film . . .

  • All the benefits of both types of films

– Reduce energy consumption
– Slow fading process
– Improve aesthetics
– Increase privacy

“Nothing Happens Until the Glass Breaks!”

  • Film will not appreciably strengthen the glass
  • Film will keep the glass together when it breaks
  • It will hold it in the frame up to a wind load of 75 MPH
    • Unanchored 4 mil film on tempered glass

How Does Safety/Security film Work?

  • Tough polyester film(s)

– High tensile
– Good elasticity
– Superior optics

  • Acrylic mounting adhesive

– High molecular weight, chemically crosslinked
– Impact absorbing; optimized peel, shear and tack

How is it made?

  • Inside Surface of Glass
  • UV Absorbing Mounting Adhesive
  • 7 Mil Clear Polyester Film
  • Special Laminating Adhesive
  • 2 Mil Clear Polyester Film
  • Special Laminating Adhesive
  • 1 Mil Metallized Polyester Film
  • Protective Scratch Resistant Surface


  • Glass shards remain attached to safety film; minimizing personal injury and building damage
  • Post-glass breakage performance
  • “Membrane Action” of film/glass composite (anchored)
  • Maintain building envelope; wind, water, looting . . .

How Do We Know It Works?

  • Over 25 years of proven field performance
  • Worldwide utilization & acceptance
  • Dozens of independent tests including:

– American National Standards Institute; ANSI Z97.1
– Code of Federal Regulations Title 16 Consumer Product Safety Commission Part 1201 Category and II (CFR Title 16 CPSC Part 1201)
– ASTM F-1642 / GSA criteria for air-blast loading
– British, South African, Australian, New Zealand, Japanese, German, and Canadian safety standards

Oklahoma Case Study

  • A. P. Murrah Federal Building
  • ANFO bomb exploded

– killing 169 people
– 19 of those were children

  • T. McVeigh later stated “targeted the building… amount of glass.”
  • 258 buildings broken glass
  • Broken windows 10 blocks away

US Subcommittee Report

Conducted by John Culbertson

The Murrah building lacked a simple security measure, safety window film…This film acts like a barrier between an explosion and a victim…it contains the glass — holding it together…you don’t have the sharp-edge projectiles that caused massive loss of life. Measures like this would have saved countless lives.”

Types of Installation

  • Hazard level dependent
  • Safety / Security film

– Typically 4 to 14 mil (1 mil = 0.001″)

  • Daylight
  • Attachment Systems

– Mechanical
– Wet Glaze

Daylight Installation

  • Most common retrofit
  • Installed to inside surface of window

– viewing area only
– max. 1/8″ edge

  • Most economical method
  • Effective for low level risk

 Daylight = Flexibility

Patterns of Breakage

Broken Tempered Glass Leaves Little for Film to Grip After Breakage

  • Annealed or HS
  • Tempered
  • Tempered after Breakage

Attachment Systems

  • Film Is installed on inside of glass, then “attached” to the window frame.
  • Especially useful with tempered glass and in high risk environments.

Two Types of Attachments

  • Mechanical or “Batten Bar”

– Safety film Installed with overlapping ‘tails’
– Aluminum bar placed over ‘tails’ and screwed into existing window frame

  • Chemical or “Wet Glazed”


– Daylight safety film installation
– Structural silicons bead connects film to frame

Mechanical Attachment

  • Film installed to overlap the frame up to 1″
  • Metal affixed to window frame
  • Film Sandwiched

Wet-glaze Attachment

  • Film installed as a daylight application
  • Secures the film to the frame with structural sealant

Types of Impact for Glazing

  • Human Impact
  • Missile Impact (Hurricane)
  • Airblast (Bomb)


  • Responsible for developing the test methods
    • ASTWI

– American Society for Testing Material

  • Where Federai Reguiations are stored
    • CFR

– Code of Federal Regulation

  • The testing organizations that a film manufacturer has to interact with for the type of testing we do are many.
  • Each one of thee organizations has developed standard test procedures that we or an independent third part must follow meticulously.

Setting/Enforcement Organizations



  • Responsible for regulations and enforcement
    • ANSI
      – American National Standards Institute
    • CPSC
      – Consumers Product Safety Commission
    • SFBC
      – South Florida Building Code
    • SBCCI
      -Southern Building Code Congress International
    • Dade County
  • The testing organizations that a film manufacturer has to interact with for the type of testing we do are many.
  • Each one of thee organizations has developed standard test procedures that we or an independent third part must follow meticulously.

Human Impact

  • Ensuring the “Break-Safe” characteristics of glass
  • Tempered glass is break-safe

Insuring Impact Standards

  • Requires:

– Standardized testing methods
– Groups who develop the standard of performance the product must meet
– Enforcement of the standards

Human Impact Standards

  • Developed in the late ’60’s early ’70’s to address sliding glass doors
  • Address the break safe characteristics of glass

– Tempered glass passes
– Annealed or heat-treated glass must have film to pass


Human Impact Standards

  • ANSI Z 97.1

– American National Standards Institute

  • CFR1201

– Code of Federal Regulations, Consumer Product Safety Commission

  • ANSI Z 97.1 and CFR 1201 differ in the force of the impact

Impact Test Structure

  • ANSI Z 97.1 and CFR 1201 use the same test structure
  • Difference is the drop height of the impactor
  • Height determines the foot pounds of force hitting the glass

How The Tests Are Used

  • ANSI Z97.1

– Generally residential
– 100 lb impactor, at 1 ft. drop height
– Develops 400 ft. lb. Impact
– Annealed glass with 4- mil passes

  • CPSC, CFR1201, category II

– Generally commercial
– 100 lb impactor, at 4 ft. drop height
– Develops 400 ft. lb. impact
– Annealed glass with 7- mil or greater passes

Missile Impact

  • Impact resistance of glass to flying debris
  • Addresses keeping a building “tight” in weather related incidents

Why use Armorcoat?

  • Protect life and property
  • Reduce Liability
  • Reduce further damage caused by wind and rain entering through broken windows

Origin of the  codes?

  •  Based and Australian standards  written following cyclone trycy in the ‘70’s

– Greatest devastation not from single-gust but -sustained, turbulent winds carrying debris
– Building must resist the breaching of the building envelope from debris.
– Glass is the weakest link in the building envelope

 Did you know?

  •  The majority of insurance claim after Hurricane Andrew were from damage caused by wind and rain that  damaged the contents of a dwelling…not the dwelling

It Isn’t Just Florida Issue

  • Areas affected by glass breakage from natural disasters

 How the Confusion Started?

  • Dade and broward counties developed adopted and enforced the first U.S.
  • Lacking alternative the “Dade County” code began mean approved devices for impact glazing
  • This was overkill for most other areas impacted by hurricanes

The Response the Overkill

  • Other code organization look at test more appropriate for the southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions

– History said the reason did not receive the same wind speed

  • Test were developed for slower wind speeds

– Lower speed also means smaller debris

Hurricane Standards

  • Effective only new construction

– Covrer the southest

  • FBC

– Florida Building code
– Cover State of Florida

  • Dade County

– Effects Dade and Broward Counties
– Most Stringent of the impact glazing codes

Hurricane Standards

  • Each code/enforcement body sets different standards

– SBCCI — latest severe
– FBC — Middle Ground
– Dade County — most Severe

  • Standard determine the impact the glazing must withstand
  • NONE of these address retrofit, they are system requirements for new construction

System Requirements. .  .

  • For “product approval” test must be done on

– Entire assembled unit, frame,and anchorage as supplied for installation
– Fastener for mounting, identical, to what what use in field.

  • Film as a retrofit application, has not control over the unit as assembled

Test protocol

  • Think of it as a six part test
    • Missiles and cycling and adding
Test Name Effects Building Missiles used and Used Cycling Agling
Small Missile 30’ft  and up Ball bearing Positive and Negative Exposure to


Large Missile Ground to 30” 2”.4 Positive and Negative Exposure to



The Missile

  • Large

– 2″×4″ stud to simulate ground level debris up to 30 fit
– Speed and size varies by code

  •  Small

– Steel balls to simulate roof gravel above 30 ft.
– Speed varies by code

 Why is Cycling so crucial?

  • It is likely something impact the windows and possible break the glass.
  • Window pushes broken glass out of the frame allowing weather intrusion
  • Cycling simulate the wind and shows how film can protect your home through the remaining wind and driving rain of the storm

Dade County

  • The toughest tested protocol of all
  • Large missile

– 9 lb. 2”×4” @ 50 ft. per second (fps), (hits at 35 mph)

  • Small missile

– 10 ball bearings at @ 130 fps, (hit at almost 90 mph)

  • Cycling

– 80 fps (simulates 175 mph sustained wind)


  • Other protocols less stringent than Dade

– Large missiles are smaller and slower
– Small missile are slower
– Cycling uses lower pressures

Small Missile Impact

  • 8 mil attached (PA210, PA203, SSTD, 12-99)
  • 3/16 temp glass with 8 mil clear attached to frame

Large Missile Impact –

  • (8Mil Attached SSTD 12-99: 4lb 90-100 MB)
  • 3/16 temp glass with 8 mil clear attached to s/d frame


  • (Post glass breakage performance)
  • 4,700 Cycles each direction
  • 3/16″ temp. glass with 8 mil clear attached to frame

Post Glass Breakage Performance

  • No Film – Tempered glass
  • With film – Tempered glass

Alternative in Storm Protection

  • Options for new construction

– Laminated glass
– Plexiglass or Lexan
– Rolling shutters
– Shutter panels

  • For retrofit, all of these are available but the cost of installation can be prohibitive
  • Consider window film – the best protection for the money. 

Advantages Over Other Options – Cost

Option $ Cost/ sq. ft
4 mil, daylight $4 to 6
8 mil, daylight $ 8 to 9
8 mil, wet glazed $ 8 to 9
8 mil, attached $ 9 to 10
14 mil, attached $ 12 to 16
Laminated glass $ 28 to 32
Hurricane Shutters $28 to 40
Blast Glass ($800  frame) $ 20 to 60


Safety Film

  • Strong barrier of passive of protection
  • Insurance discounts may be available
  • Most cost effective alternative
  • Unobtrusive installation
  • Any common household cleaner can be used
  • Very little loss of film strength or optical quality over time
  • Strong Manufacturer’s warranty

4-mil Safety film

  • Will retain broken glass
  • May stay in window frame when subjected to lower wind speeds up to 85 mph*

8-mil Safety Film

  • Will retain broken glass
  • May stay in window frame when subjected to lower wind speeds, up to 110mph*
  • Stronger film, more resident to debris penetration

8-mil Wet-glazed Safety Film

  • Will retain broken glass
  • May stay in window frame when subject to higher wind speeds
  • Stronger film, more resistant to debris penetrating
  • Passed both the large and small missile impact tests and cycling for 100mph wind zone

Bomb Blast Resistance Blast Mitigation  

  • To ensure the the protection of people from flying glass of in a blast incident.
  • Air blast loading

– GSA – ISC Safety Criteria
– ASTM 1642-96 (Modified)

Blast Overview

  • Incident Pressure
  • Reflected Pressure

Blast Damage and Distance            

Damage Category Percent damage  Damage Description  distance   in feet  for   charge    weight (lbs)
Severe 6.10 Frame collapse and destruction 37 60 65 100 158
Heavey 40.60 Large deformation of structure 66 108 133 180 285
Moderate 40-20 Some Deformation of structure 88 145 176 280 443
Minor 10-20 Little or low damage to structure 100% of window broken Glass fragments travels  at 90ft/sec 103 169 213 280 443
Minimal 0-10 Windows damage 60% of window broken, glass travelling at 19ft/sec 147 241 295 400 633


Domestic Air-Blast (explosive) Testing

  • Result of damage assessments of the Murrah bombing
  • ASTM-F1642 “Standard Test Method for Glazing and Glazing  System Subject to Airblast Loading
    • level C nominal  (∼600 ANFO /500# TNT @ 188 feet)
    • 4 psi, 14 ms, 28 psi/ms
    • Level D Nominal

– 10 psi, 18 ms, 89 psi/ms

Advantage Over Option – Flexibility

  • Flexibility

– Historic windows
– Odd shapes
– Energy options

Advantages Over Options – Time

  • Time to protect
  • Access to tight spaces
  • Concave Glass surface


Architectural Safety  Glazing 

Objective :

  • Retain Flying glass and human impact load / penetration  resistance


– 4-mil or greater
– Daylight installation

Violent  Weather

Objective :

  • Penetrations resistance, maintain building envelope


– 8 mil or greater
– 4 side attachment preferred
– multi-layer



  • Protect people from falling glass


– 4 mil or greater
– Daylight
– Top-side attachment preferred

  • FEMA funds schools districts for this protection

Theft / Smash & Grab Crime

Objective :

  • Prevent entry ,provide time ,deterrent ,penetration resistance


– 8 mil or greater
– 2-side attachment minimum



















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