When businesses and schools begin looking at beefing up security, they immediately think of reinforcing their doors and windows. But they rarely think about their walls. It’s pretty obvious that a glass window or hollow-core door isn’t going to stop a bullet, but will a pressboard countertop or sheet of drywall do much better? Probably not.
The solution: using rigid DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber sheets to backstop exposed walls and countertops in the threat area. This layer of opaque armor is invisible to casual observers, but prevents stray bullets from penetrating countertops or drywall and injuring workers (or even people in adjacent rooms).
Kevlar Sheet Basics
Kevlar sheets are plain white fiberglass panels. These are made in a variety of dimensions by layering resin-soaked Kevlar matrices, forming them into flat panels in heated dies, and baking them until they are cured.
Kevlar sheet thickness guidelines for backstop walls and countertops:
- Level 1 System: Designed to stop at least three shots from a 9mm pistol; uses 1/4″-thick Kevlar sheets.
- Level 2 System: Designed to stop three shots from a .357 Magnum; uses 3/8″-thick Kevlar sheets.
- Level 3 System: Designed to stop three shots from any pistol up to a .44 Magnum; uses 1/2″-thick Kevlar sheets.
For the high-security demands of government and military installations, there are also special Level 4 and higher Kevlar sheets. These are more than twice as thick as those mentioned above, and must be specially cut and fabricated in Total Security Solutions’ Fowlerville facility.
Kevlar Sheets and Your Bullet Proof Project
Total Security Solutions CEO Jim Richards notes: “Some bullet proof designers don’t include Kevlar sheets in their design. We recommend considering it, unless the walls are brick, block, or poured concrete–materials that offer good bullet resistance on their own.”
Kevlar sheets are a very straightforward element to integrate into a bullet proof installation project, particularly for Level 1 through 3 projects (the most common security levels needed in retail, banking, municipal, and school security barriers). As Jim explains, “Kevlar sheets are a lot easier to work with than steel, which was really the only option they had years ago.” While steel is heavy and must be precision cut prior to shipping, conventional Kevlar sheets are easy to scribe, cut, drill, and mount on-site with standard hand tools.
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