Heavy Plexiglass for glazing..

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Does anybody have any experience with using heavy plexiglass for glazing (i.e. in place of glass in windows)? I'm thinking that it would be a good idea for security for lower level windows - harder to break in and less shattering if struck by rapidly flying objects of one sort or another. Anybody out there with practical experience in the matter?


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), December 19, 1998


I think Plexiglass is DuPont or G.E.'s trade name for clear acrylic. It's what those plastic water pistols were molded from that lasted about a week during summer before breaking when you a kid. Not very impact resistant but a polymer next to glass for see through clarity. Special techniques have to be used to prevent fracturing and crazing if drilled or machined.

Bullet resistant 'glass' is usually made from clear polycarbonate made by G.E. under the trade name Lexan. I know Mobay also makes it, but I've never seen it in sheet form, only granular for plastic injection molders. Polycarbonate's ultraviolet light exposure resistance, however, is only fair. Prolonged direct exposure to sunlight tends to yellow it over time with a moderate degradation to strength. Drive up bank teller windows usually have some kind of awning above them to shield from direct sunlight for this reason.

3/4" sheet is thickest I've come across and understand these sheets can be solvent laminated for higher impact resistance if your local plastics supplier has that capabiltiy.

No gurantees to the above info though, act only after your own due diligence.

-- Mike T. (anita_martini@hotmail.com), December 20, 1998.

My bank branch recently installed counter-to-ceiling Lexan. This stuff is more than one full inch thick. (You notice these things while you're waiting in line...) I concur about its UV shortcomings.

Sounds expensive for home use.

-- Elbow Grease (Elbow_Grease@AutoShop.com), December 20, 1998.

Check with your local glazier/glass supplier. My local one does Plexiglas, and I also seem to recall hearing about some kind of window glass layered thing that was a heavy plastic sheet (not Plex, but something flexible) sandwiched between two layers of glass.

-- Karen Cook (browsercat@hotmail.com), December 20, 1998.

If you don't need to see through it, look up a product called KalWall or Calwall. Looks kind of like chopper gunned fiberglass, is virtually vandal proof, passes a LOt of light but is not transparent.

If you want to use Plex, get it in the 1/4 inch thickness and be aware that it is VERY flexible, when compared to glass, as my college found when they replaced the glass with plex. It also MELTS at the temps generated by Bic lighters. Rather spectacularly!!


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 20, 1998.

It does come in sheets. Must use carbon blade on saw and carbon bit

on any drilling. Otherwise it stars and splits. It is flexible,it wil

yellow, and it is expesive. It is also heavy.

-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), December 20, 1998.

Kevlar window shades? ;-)

-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), December 21, 1998.

Arlin, I live in Florida and because of Hurricanes we use a 3M product named Scotchshield film it attaches to the window like window tint. It also comes tinted . phone number for it here is 813-971-3636 . I do not indorse this company,but for someone to look for a product that will,or might help you try this... The product does prevent objects from coming thru the windows during a Hurricane, so ...... Hope this helps... Furie...

-- Furie (furieart@gte.net), December 22, 1998.

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