IAPD

October 2009 | Focus: Safety and Security

Laminated polycarbonate sheet provides high level security
REPRINTED FROM THE IAPD MAGAZINE

For proven resistance to physical and ballistic attack, security installations such as detention and correctional centers use MAKROLON® HYGARD® from Sheffield Plastics Inc., A Bayer MaterialScience LLC Business. While no material can withstand physical attack indefinitely, MAKROLON HYGARD laminates can possibly offer sufficient time in riot situations to protect employees while rescue operations are underway.

Ensuring optimum clarity performance, laminated polycarbonate sheet offers protection from ballistic and physical attack in bullet-resisting and containment glazing applications.

A new generation of laminates, featuring a hard-coat technology, assures exceptional resistance to physical attack, abrasion and UV degradation. With its unique multilayer construction, the polycarbonate laminates can withstand both physical attack and gunfire from high-powered hand guns. Multiple levels of protection are provided ranging from certified containment glazing to UL 752 Level 3 bullet-resistant material. The laminates will not “spider web” or spall. This allows for complete vision, which can be critical for appropriate response in the event of an attack.

Ever increasing violent crime, and the ease of securing weapons, have created a need for higher performance security glazing materials. Polycarbonate laminates are being used increasingly for employee protection in a variety of applications Polycarbonate laminates are also manufactured to demanding specifications for long-lasting performance when the glazing materials are exposed to graffiti, vandalism and chemical attack. The material can withstand punishing abuse as it maintains superior clarity and protection when subjected to repeated contact from cyclical cleaning and vandalism. Read more.

This article was written by Sheffield Plastics Inc., A Bayer MaterialScience LLC Business.


Selecting plastic materials for machine guards and safety shielding
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With its exceptional clarity and edge color, Eastman Chemical Company’s SPECTAR Clear copolyester material creates a safe, unobstructed view around a work environment, as pictured here.

Key consideration for any engineer and machine designer must be the safety of the machine operator, as innovative form meets function and safety. While a machine or device may perform perfectly in its mechanical function, its design will fail to fulfill its most vital criterion if it operates at the expense of user safety.

Shielding and guards also create a protective barrier, preventing product or process contamination, pilferage, tampering, alteration and/or interruption. A shield can vary from the simplest sneeze guard to an extremely critical protective biological or radiological containment barrier. Historically, designing engineers relied on expensive and bulky fabricated metal and glass guards to prevent human contact with harmful and, often, lethal materials or environments. These include hot surfaces, moving devices, noise sources and harmful dusts, liquids and gases in industrial environments.

While metal shields and guards perform well, they are expensive to fabricate and are often very heavy. Metal guards also obstruct the observer’s view of an ongoing process or product flow by restricting one’s view of what is behind the guard or shield.

Safety and reinforced glass affords observation of a product or process, yet the hefty price and weight of glass are difficult to incorporate into a structural design plan. Glass also maintains a typically limited scope to flat glazing applications. Safety or reinforced glass may perform well initially; however, it will likely require replacement once it is penetrated, chipped, over-stressed, or impacted and subsequently damaged. Read more.

This article was written by Eastman Chemical Company.


When used as part of a steel-composite wall, this thermoset composite material by Norplex-Micarta meets stringent standards for ballistic and forced-entry protection despite its very light weight.

New steel-composite wall sets standard in safe room security
REPRINTED FROM THE IAPD MAGAZINE

In American embassies around the world, safe rooms securely store classified information and protect embassy personnel threatened by foreign attackers. Safe room walls normally include double layers of ballistic steel to protect against bullets and attack. However, these heavy steel wall layers are difficult to move during installation. Also, the weight of the walls makes it all but impossible to relocate a safe room without first tearing it down.

These weighty issues were on the minds of people at the U.S. State Department (DOS) when they tested a new wall design that weighs less than half as much as some conventional safe room walls. A combination of steel and a special high-strength composite material, the new wall aced the same tests passed by double-layer steel walls, repelling bullets and attackers wielding a variety of metal implements. As a result, the DOS certified that all safe rooms constructed with this new wall design met the same standards for ballistic resistance and forced-entry protection as those constructed with double-layer steel wall designs.

Conventional safe room walls include 1/2'' steel outer and inner layers with insulation between. The key to slashing safe room weight was finding a way to significantly reduce the amount of steel in the walls. Read more.

This article was written by Norplex-Micarta.


Test Your Knowledge

What do you know about plastics in safety and security applications? (Answers are at www.iapd.org/popquiz.html.)

1. Which of the following materials meet the WMFL (Walter-McGough-Foltz & Lyerla) 45-minute containment specification?
            a. .500" monolithic PC
            b. 1.00" acrylic
            c. .375" PETG
            d. .500" laminated P

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The IAPD Magazine

In this issue

Laminated polycarbonate sheet provides high level security
Protection from ballistic and physical attack in bullet-resisting and containment glazing applications

Selecting plastic materials for machine guards and safety shielding
Considerations for designers to create the most safe work environment

New steel-composite wall sets standard in safe room security
Providing top-notch protection in a variety of applications in both the public and private sectors

Test your knowledge
What do you know about plastic materials used in safety and security applications?

About IAPD
The International Association of Plastics Distribution, founded in 1956, is an international trade association comprised of companies engaged in the distribution and manufacture of plastics materials.

Members include plastics distributors, processors, manufacturers, resin manufacturers, manufacturers’ representatives and associated products and services, all of whom are dedicated to the distribution channel. Visit www.iapd.org for more information.
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Designing with Plastics is published by the International Association of Plastics Distribution. While every effort has been made for accuracy, IAPD encourages you to verify information with a plastics distributor to ensure you select the correct plastic products to meet your needs.
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