Impact protection attachment system applied to the entrance of a building by Professional Window Tinting.

Security Films and Attachment Systems: How They Work

Professional Window TintingSafety & Security Window Film

Security Films and Impact Protection Attachment Systems

Glass is typically the weakest point of a building’s envelope. For a long time, security film has been the answer to strengthening this weak point. Films as thick as 14 mils (a mil = one-thousandth of an inch) with extremely high tear resistances bind to the glass and hold it intact so that if the glass breaks or shatters, the film holds all the pieces together. However, impact protection attachment systems are crucial to further improve the safety of windows.

Benefits of Security Film

Security films offer numerous benefits. They prevent the glass from falling to the floor in countless pieces. In the event of an exterior explosion, the film ensures the glass doesn’t fly into shards at high speeds, reducing the risk of injury and damage. Additionally, during attempted break-ins, the thick layer of film makes it significantly harder to break through the glass.

The Need for an Impact Protection Attachment System

These benefits are helpful when the goal is to protect valuables and occupants inside of a building. However, the film by itself isn’t quite enough. Window film can only be installed on the glass surface to within 1/16 of an inch of the window frame. Although this is a relatively small gap, it is still a weak point. By itself, it is safety glass. Furthermore, with enough force, the glass, even with the film, can go through the frame. This is where the  impact protection attachment system is critical.

Impact Protection Attachment Systems

An attachment system binds the film and the frame together, creating one piece with no weak points. They come in two forms and are chosen depending on the type of frame on the window.

Impact Protection Profile (IPP)

The first type of attachment is an Impact Protection Profile or IPP, a hard system which comes pre-formed from the manufacturer. It has an adhesive-backed tape that sticks to the frame and film at a 45-degree angle. It is applied with a tool made specifically for this type of system to ensure it is installed properly and sticks thoroughly. This type of system is the preferred type of installation for appearances and installers because it looks the neatest, and it is the easiest to apply. However, the downside to this system is that it requires the window to have a perpendicular metal/aluminum frame which is greater than or equal to 1 and 1/2 inches for the application to work properly. But don’t worry, if your window frame has less than 1 and 1/2 inches, there is a solution.

Wet Glaze Attachment System

Impact Protection Adhesive

The second type of system, an Impact Protection Adhesive, is a wet glaze, caulk-like material. This system requires a minimum of a 1/2 inch metal frame surface and is ideal for frames that are not perfectly perpendicular to the glass. It is particularly useful for tight spots where the IPP system cannot be easily installed. The adhesive must be applied carefully to ensure cleanliness and precise molding. Available in white or black, it takes about 4 hours for the surface to dry and 48 hours to cure completely. Although it can be messier and may result in a less uniform appearance, it is an effective solution for many applications.

Uses of an Impact Protection Attachment System

Applying an impact protection attachment system is crucial if you are concerned about protection from intruders, bomb blasts, and other threats. While security films alone can keep glass intact, the glass and film may still be pushed through the frame without an attachment system.

It is very important to know that these security films and attachment systems ARE NOT BULLETPROOF! The design is specifically used to deter entry. Their design is to deter entry, buying crucial minutes for occupants to seek cover, the building to lock down, and authorities to respond. These systems significantly delay intruders, giving everyone inside valuable time to react.

Trust Professional Window Tinting for Your Security Film and Impact Protection Attachment System Installation

Over the years, we have successfully installed security films and impact protection attachment systems for a variety of satisfied clients, including the Indian River School District, the New Castle County Government Building, and  the Baltimore Police Department building in Pikesville, MD. Our proven track record demonstrates our commitment to enhancing safety and security for a variety of different facilities. If you are interested in dramatically increasing the level of protection of the your building has, please get in touch with us. Our team is ready to help you enhance the security and resilience of your property.

Professional Window Tinting is a family-run and woman-owned business, proudly serving the MD, DE, PA, and NJ region for over 30 years. To get your free quote on commercial, residential, or automotive solar window film, give us a call at (302) 456-3456 or fill out a form online.

*This post was originally published in May of 2019