Top Bulletproof Materials for Improved Workplace Safety

It’s an unfortunate truth, but active shooter situations are becoming more common in schools and workplaces. When an active shooter situation arises, you will only want the highest-rated bulletproof materials standing between you and the individual threatening your safety. You have many different types of bulletproof material to consider in your search for the best ballistic defensive structures.

The best type of material to use will depend on your unique application and desired level of protection. Read on to learn about the different bulletproof material options before you forge ahead in the improvement of your workplace safety.

Types of Bulletproof Material

Custom tailored bullet-resistant panels and other protective structures are made from materials designed to stop bullets and shrapnel from penetrating its surface. These materials can effectively absorb the bullets’ energy, preventing the rounds from reaching their target.

Common bulletproof materials include:


Steel bulletproof materials are heavy duty, yet at just a few millimeters thick, extremely effective in stopping modern firearm rounds. The steel deforms under the stresses from the bullet’s energy but prevents the rounds from reaching their intended targets.


As a material made from clay heated to extremely high temperatures, ceramic sits just below diamonds on the hardness scale, far above the metal used for bullet making. When layered with Kevlar, ceramic can effectively dissipate the energy from rounds of all sizes. When impacted, the ceramic layers disintegrate into a powder under the bullets’ forces.


When at the appropriate thickness, fiberglass can easily deflect bullets by absorbing the energy through its layers. When placed between steel plates, this ultra-lightweight material effectively distorts the rounds and delaminates to capture the bullets within the structure.


By increasing the density of wood threefold, seemingly ordinary lumber has the potential to halt a bullet in its tracks. In addition to the strength improvements, the density also increases the durability of the wood to keep it from deforming under the stress of the bullets’ forces.


Perhaps one of the better-known bulletproof materials, Kevlar is a synthetic fiber that’s heat resistant and incredibly strong. It’s also lightweight, making it a popular choice for wearable bulletproof items. Kevlar is used in both military and civilian applications.


Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (say that ten times fast) is a plastic that can be found in Tupperware. The ballistic material is remarkably reliable and affordable. Some reports even show that this inexpensive plastic is better than Kevlar at stopping certain bullets because it’s impervious to moisture.


The final bulletproof material on our list is Polycarbonate, a strong, transparent material that is used to make glass ballistic resistant.

Material Testing for Ballistic Defensive Structures

Each material undergoes strict ASTM testing to determine its UL Rating, or NIJ level, which directly relates to its ability to stop certain types of ammunition. UL Level one rated ballistic materials may stop 9mm bullets, for example, while UL level eight structures can bring 7.76mm rounds to a halt. You can speak to our defense system experts to determine your ideal level of protection and the materials that will help you achieve your security goals.

Acquire Ballistic Defensive Structures for Your Peace of Mind

If you are ready to achieve true peace of mind with ballistic defensive structures, you can contact the RRDS team at 949-482-6200 to learn about how we can help. We pride ourselves on our ability to outfit our clients’ workplaces with the most effective bullet resistant panels in the industry. Using our knowledge and expertise, we will customize the panels to meet your unique workplace security needs. Contact us today to get started.

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