VehicleGARD® Window Protection Film: Protecting Soldiers and Everyday Citizens From Deadly Shards of Glass

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VehicleGARD® Window Protection Film: Protecting Soldiers and Everyday Citizens From Deadly Shards of Glass

Under extreme circumstances, seemingly innocuous objects can prove to be perilous. Take, for instance, the glass windows of armored vehicles. In 1996, the Oklahoma State Department of Health conducted a study on the aftermath of the devastating bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building on April 19, 1995. The study revealed that the most common cause of death and injury was the result of multiple injuries caused by flying glass and debris. This phenomenon is not unfamiliar to our brave Soldiers stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and various other parts of the world, where military vehicles are a necessity and enemy attacks pose a constant threat. How can we minimize the risk of injuries from shattered windows and deadly debris, particularly in scenarios involving enemy explosive devices?

Soldiers stationed in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan, who ride in over 5,000 military vehicles, believe they have found a solution in ShatterGARD’s flagship product, VehicleGARD®—a highly durable film that can be applied to the windows of heavily armored military vehicles and Humvees, effectively preventing injuries from broken glass during combat situations. 

Jordan Frankel, the Vice President of ShatterGARD, asserts that VehicleGARD® is providing immediate and tangible benefits to our men and women in combat who risk their lives on a daily basis. VehicleGARD® is a transparent, mylar film that is applied to the interior side of vehicle glass. In the event of an explosion, the film holds the glass together, preventing it from shattering into countless fragments. Frankel aptly compares the effect to a spider web.

The concept behind VehicleGARD® is ingeniously simple, yet highly effective. By keeping the broken glass fragments intact and in place, the film significantly reduces the risk of injuries during bomb blasts. The VehicleGARD® film can be tailored to fit any window and is conveniently shipped to troops as “peel and stick” kits, accompanied by instructional videos and installation tools for self-installation.

Frankel emphasizes that VehicleGARD® glass protection film employs a non-toxic, pressure-sensitive adhesive that exhibits remarkable strength and requires special chemicals to be removed from the glass. The film is optically clear, free from distortion, and filters up to 98% of harmful UV radiation, safeguarding both vehicle interiors and sensitive equipment. Tinted versions of the film also offer the added benefits of glare reduction and heat insulation of up to 45%. Furthermore, the product is highly resistant to scratches and does not deteriorate or discolor over time.

When designing the VehicleGARD® window security film, the team at ShatterGARD adhered strictly to military specifications. Frankel shares that they received numerous requests from the military for pre-cut window guards that could be easily applied by untrained personnel. 

Surprisingly, VehicleGARD® was initially developed for civilians, celebrities, and law enforcement vehicles, primarily in situations where attempted break-ins or crude explosive devices were a concern. Its popularity then extended to the military, and installations of VehicleGARD® window protection film became widespread, reaching up to 2,000 vehicles in a mere seven-day period.

Is there a disparity between the military and civilian versions of VehicleGARD® window protection film? According to Frankel, there is indeed a notable difference. “The military product possesses significantly greater strength,” he explains. “We enhanced the adhesive’s potency and introduced multiple layers that adhere to one another.” This elevated standard initially designed for the military has now been implemented for all VehicleGARD® users.

When confronted with an improvised explosive device (IED) or airborne shrapnel, VehicleGARD® disperses the energy across the film, preventing immediate glass breakage. Frankel highlights the importance of considering not only the concussive force but also the potential impact of shrapnel on the glass. “The film is specifically engineered to address both aspects. If struck by shrapnel, the glass will implode.”

It is crucial to note that VehicleGARD® does not render a vehicle invincible. “In instances where an explosion is powerful enough to obliterate or completely destroy the vehicle, VehicleGARD® cannot withstand the impact,” clarifies Frankel.

Nevertheless, VehicleGARD® has demonstrated its effectiveness among soldiers deployed in the field. Frankel affirms that they frequently receive feedback from soldiers attesting to how the film has saved lives and prevented severe injuries in combat zones.

Captain Kathleen Jacobson from the U.S. Army’s Transportation Battalion can provide specific instances where an IED detonated near a military vehicle, yet the occupants remained unharmed. “I have firsthand knowledge that ShatterGARD’s window film is saving lives. Winning a war requires more than just an army, and ShatterGARD contributes to the fight on a daily basis,” she states.

ShatterGARD proudly holds memberships in both the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals. In addition to their renowned VehicleGARD® product, ShatterGARD offers a solution called BlastGARD®, specifically developed to mitigate glass fragmentation in buildings in the event of a terrorist attack. This innovative solution has already been successfully installed at over 50 U.S. military bases across the globe.