Top Bulletproof Materials for Improved Workplace Safety (2023)

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 thehighest-rated bulletproof materialsstanding 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 differentbulletproof material optionsbefore you forge ahead in the improvement of your workplace safety.

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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.

Commonbulletproof materialsinclude:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Acquire Ballistic Defensive Structures for Your Peace of Mind

If you are ready to achieve true peace of mind with ballistic defensive structures, you cancontact the RRDS teamat 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.


What is the most effective bullet-proof material? ›

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.

Which material is bulletproof? ›

Kevlar is the most commonly used material as armour for protection against bullets used in hand guns because of its impact resistance, high strength and low weight. These properties make Kevlar an ideal material to be used in bullet-proof vests as compared to other materials.

What is the most flexible bulletproof material? ›

Gold Flex is a non-woven fabric manufactured by Honeywell from Kevlar, and is often used in ballistic vests and body armor. Gold Flex is lighter than woven Kevlar, Twaron and other Ballistic material.

What is the cheapest bullet-proof material? ›

Ballistic Fiberglass

It is the most cost-effective and convenient option for bulletproofing walls.

What is stronger than bullet proof glass? ›

Acrylic: This is a hard, thick piece of plastic that resembles glass and is bullet-resistant on its own, as long as it is over an inch thick. Acrylic is actually stronger, more impact resistant, and weighs less than glass, which are some of the benefits of this type of bullet resistant window.

What types of steel are bulletproof? ›

Ballistic steel, as the name suggests, is designed to protect against incoming projectiles. Under the umbrella of steel, there are multiple types of steel that can be used in applications like armor, including Hadfield steel and stainless steel.

What everyday objects are bulletproof? ›

Summary: Most household objects won't reliably stop a bullet. Bullets easily puncture most walls, doors, and floors. However, brick, concrete, and cinder blocks effectively stop most common calibers.

How does bulletproof material work? ›

Ballistic vests use layers of very strong fibers to "catch" and deform a bullet, mushrooming it into a dish shape, and spreading its force over a larger portion of the vest fiber. The vest absorbs the energy from the deforming bullet, bringing it to a stop before it can completely penetrate the textile matrix.

What is the strongest metal that can stop a bullet? ›

In the end, titanium is bulletproof for the most part against bullets fired from guns that one would likely find on the shooting range, on the street or on the hunt in the mountains. Most guns legally bought and owned by individuals will likely not penetrate titanium.

Is there a material better than Kevlar? ›

A new fiber, made by genetically engineered bacteria is stronger than steel and tougher than Kevlar. Spider silk is said to be one of the strongest, toughest materials on the Earth.

Is there a material stronger than Kevlar? ›

Darwin's bark spider, however, takes tensile strength an entirely new level. Its dragline silk – the type that forms the energy-absorbing primary spokes of the orb-web – is twice as strong as that of any other silk thus far tested, and an astonishing 10 times stronger than Kevlar.

What kind of wood can stop a bullet? ›

Some varieties of wood, such as oak and maple, are renowned for their strength.

Is there bullet proof plastic? ›

Bullet resistant polycarbonate is available in a variety of grades and strengths. While no material is truly “bulletproof”, it is a great option for added safety and protection. Bullet resistant polycarbonate meets all security requirements with regard to protection against forced entry and ballistic impact.

Is there a rubber bullet? ›

Rubber bullets are solid, blunt-tipped pellets made of rubber or rubber-coated metal. They're classified as nonlethal weapons by law enforcement. According to the Department of Defense, nonlethal weapons are designed to quickly incapacitate or stop people without causing permanent injury.

What is the strongest armor metal? ›

As mentioned above, tungsten is the strongest of any natural metal (142,000 psi). But in terms of impact strength, tungsten is weak — it's a brittle metal known to shatter on impact. On the other hand, Titanium has a tensile strength of 63,000 psi.

What is the strongest metal Armour? ›

What Are the Strongest and Hardest Metals?
  • The Strongest Natural Metal: Tungsten. As far as pure metals go, tungsten has the highest tensile strength, with an ultimate strength of 1510 megapascals. ...
  • The Strongest Alloy: Steel. ...
  • The Hardest Metal: Chromium. ...
  • The Most Useful Strong Metal: Titanium.
Jul 25, 2017

What is level 7 body armor? ›

UL 752 Level 7 Bullet-Resistant Barriers

Most commonly used as a protection barrier against multiple shots from a military assault rifle, such as the M-16, and the like, with muzzle energy of 1158-1402 foot-pounds (1570-1901J).

What glass can stop a bullet? ›

The most bullet-resistant glazing, or the closest thing to what you could call bulletproof glass, available on the market is glass-clad polycarbonate. This type of product consists of multiple layers of polycarbonate and security glass laminates sandwiched together.

Is there bulletproof plexiglass? ›

Bullet resistant plexiglass is the most commonly bought bulletproof material as it can be drilled, cut, routed, and mounted seamlessly to any structure without cracking or shattering.

What type of glass is the most resistant? ›

Hence, option (C) is the correct option. Pyrex Glass is heat resistant.

Can paper stop a bullet? ›

A 2015 story in Popular Mechanics reported on a Demolition Ranch experiment to see how much paper it would take to stop a bullet by firing . 50-caliber rounds into stacks of paper. Surprisingly enough, two sets of five reams of paper — that's 5,000 sheets in total — weren't enough to stop the a .

Can aluminum stop a bullet? ›

Aluminum armor can deflect all the same rounds from small-caliber weapons as traditional bulletproof glass. But while traditional bulletproof glass warps, fogs, or spiderwebs when shot, transparent aluminum remains largely clear. It also stops larger bullets with a significantly thinner piece of material.

What is the strongest metal? ›

With these types of strengths in mind, here are some of the strongest metals you can find:
  1. Tungsten. Tungsten, which is Swedish for "heavy stone," is the strongest metal in the world. ...
  2. Steel. Steel is the second strongest and the most widely used metal in the world. ...
  3. Chromium. ...
  4. Titanium. ...
  5. Iron. ...
  6. Vanadium. ...
  7. Lutetium.

What is the strongest metal against bullets? ›

Ultra-High Hardness (UHH) armor steel is the best performing steel alloy for protection against armor piercing (AP) bullets. Thanks to a 578 to 655 HBW hardness, UHH steel panels are able to break AP projectiles' core and provide efficient protection with reduced weight compared to High Hard (500HB) material.

Is Kevlar 100% bullet proof? ›

It's not 100 percent effective at stopping bullets from a handgun. Kevlar jackets are also not so effective with bullets fired from Assault rifles because they are traveling three times the speed of sound, way faster than those from a handgun. And that speed can help the bullet breakthrough the layers of the Kevlar.

What material can stop a 50 cal bullet? ›

50 caliber rounds as well as conventional steel armor, even though it weighs less than half as much. Researchers have demonstrated that vehicle armor using composite metal foam (CMF) can stop ball and armor-piercing . 50 caliber rounds as well as conventional steel armor, even though it weighs less than half as much.

What is most damaging to ammunition? ›

Rain, dampness and humidity can cause significant damage to ammunition and explosives in a very short time. Every effort should be made to ensure dry conditions during both storage and transportation. Good ventilation of ammunition and explosive stores helps keep them cool and prevents condensation.


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