You never know where danger and destruction will come from: sometimes nature, other times people. Safety window films can add a layer of protection, increasing the strength of the glass and making it much more difficult to break. It also can hold glass together in case of an accident or weather event.
When unprotected glass breaks, shards can be sent flying, causing severe injuries to people and major damage to property. Window film helps hold all those shards of glass together, protecting what's behind the glass. However, there are times when the window film itself is not enough. A window film attachment system can help hold the glass in place to maintain the integrity of the home or building. In many instances, it keeps out wind and rain and can help keep flying glass from harming inhabitants.
Window film attachment systems also help you deter street crime by protecting against forced entry. Because these attachment systems help hold the shattered glass in place, criminals don’t have the quick access they need to successfully smash and grab valuables. Often, this delay slows them down to such a degree that they flee. Great for retail stores and homeowners.
However, these systems are only as strong as the professional who install the systems and recommend them. Not all glazing systems are candidates for attachment systems; some glazing frames and window frames just simply won’t work with attachment systems.
The basic idea behind window film attachment systems is to secure the safety window film to the window frame itself, providing a strong bond to the surface of the window. Together, the film and the window frame will create a strong layer of protection. (See the below diagram)
There are several attachment systems designed for many kinds of window frame types. There is not one solution that will work everywhere. Each application has to be carefully examined to ensure the proper solution is selected.
Mechanical attachment systems feature a flexible gasket-style attachment that bonds the filmed window and frame by incorporating strong adhesive tape. The most common adhesive tape used is 3M’s VHB™ Tape. It adapts easily to most window frames and can often be installed without cutting existing gaskets. A mechanical attachment system can also be retrofitted to existing safety film applications for increased protection. Plus, it offers a clean, factory-finished appearance to the window.
A wet glaze or an adhesive attachment is the most commonly used attachment system. This system is the most versatile and the strongest. Please note: there are only specific adhesive products that can be classified and used for this purpose. We have seen many counterfeits used that will not meet the needed strength requirements. Two commonly used products are Dow Corning 995 and 3M Impact Protection Adhesive.
The most important thing when considering and researching window film attachment systems is to make sure you are getting what you pay for and that the installation is done correctly; otherwise, the system will fail.
We will consider in upcoming articles what specifics you need to know when looking for professional installation of window film attachment systems. You can read it here. Have questions? Call us at 707.755.7337.
Common Window Film Attachment Products
3M Impact Protection Adhesive
3M Impact Protection Profile
Pentagon Protection Attachment