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  Armored Cars 1


The fact that the world has become more and more unsafe has increased the need for higher security for some groups of people. Security measures make motor vehicles heavy and expensive. The windows should guarantee a special protection. In this field, newer technologies have achieved astonishing results. Not only are projectiles, fired from a certain range, or from certain weapons, blocked, but also attacks using a welding torch or a Flex, can be withstood by the windows in the higher-security range. Thus, shop windows, e.g., which are made from bullet-proof glass, can even withstand an attack by driving a car into them.


Bullet-proof glass is made up of layers, similar to laminated glass. Indeed, instead of laying a plastic film between the glass sheets, a stable polycarbonate is used. Before the layers are adhered to each other, they must be meticulously cleaned, when it's finished, no impurities or air-bubbles should be visible in the glass-plate. The manufacturing of a perfectly clear adhesive and the composition of the glass used, are company secrets. The adhesive is fed, through small tubes, into the narrow spaces between the glass layers. In this step, all the areas must be systematically filled. The final adhesion and the combined features of a very stable and elastic synthetic, and the brittle, hard, heat repelling glass layer, brings the actual effect. Depending on the requirements, up to 20 layers are possible, e.g., in building windows. During tensile testing, at most, the first layer of glass can be lifted. It is also important, that the innermost layer also be made of polycarbonate, to prevent any glass shards, caused e.g., by shooting a high-speed projectile (up to 900 m/sec) into the interior of the building.
The deployment of bullet-proof glass is difficult in the automobile. The curvature of the windows complicates the fabrication, sometimes, windows which could previously be opened, must now remain closed forever. The construction of the window-frames is particularly important. They must remain slender and may not represent a weakness in the construction. Mostly, the bullet-proofing is installed from the inside and over the edges of the windows. Of course, special window-panes are not much help if the entire construction, including door locks and the sheet-metal of the car body, is not also taken into consideration.
The remaing parts also have to be adapted. The tyres must have an emergency running system (No-Flat), and the fuel tank must be lined with a self-healing membrane. The available accessories are also important. Thus, e.g., a smoke screen can be generated by burning anti-freeze in the exhaust sysem, making the car almost invisible for followers. Recently, in the USA, the door handles may be electrified with 110 V current, to prevent any unauthorised opening of the doors. Furthermore, with the installation of certain systems, 5 seconds after a certain button has been pressed, the doors are blown outwards, to enable the passengers to escape quickly. Should the attacker however, have sufficient time and ammunition, almost all the security measures are in vain … 07/11