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High Impact, high velocity safety glasses!



The industrial safety glass standard, ANSI Z87.1-2010 includes a test for high velocity impact.

Requirement: Spectacles shall be capable of resisting impact from a 6.35 mm (1/4 in) diameter steel ball traveling at a velocity of 45.7 mps (150 fps). For sample size of 20, no failure may occur.

All safety glasses do not have to meet the high velocity impact requirements. However, models that have been tested to this requirement shall carry a marking on the lens or in some cases on the frame. You should find the marking on the lens: E + or on the frame: E Z87+, where E is an example only of a manufacturer's mark. (Each manufacturer has selected a letter or other symbol, so that parts can be identified).

If you want to read more about the test procedures of ANSI Z87.1-2010, please click on this link.



The Military ballistic requirement, Mil Spec MIL-PRF-31013

Requirement: Spectacle shall be capable of resisting an impact from a 0.15 inch diameter steel projectile at 640-660 feet per second with no failure of lens or frame.

Several models of Elvex safety glasses have passed the Ballistic Resistance requirements of Mil Spec MIL-PRF-31013, clause3.5.1.1. This requirement is 4 times the impact velocity requirement of ANSI Z87+ for industrial safety applications. Tested models: SG-12, SG-17, SG-18, SG-20, SG-24, SG-27, SG-37 and SG-42.

Ballistic (left) and ANSI (right) projectile

See one minute video of ballistic testing of Elvex safety glasses!


Standard Impact speed Caliber/Size
ANSI Z87.1-2010   high velocity 150 feet/second

45 meters/second

0.25 inch diameter steel ball (25 caliber)

Mil-PRF-31013, Vo ballistic test 640-660 feet/second

195 meters/second

0.15 inch diameter steel projectile (15 caliber)


How strong is Polycarbonate in layman's terms? 


Polycarbonate is used in many applications, such as "bullet proof" windows, and in other applications requiring great flexibility and strength. This material can be molded in opaque or clear material. In clear form it is an excellent material for optical lens manufacturing. Most safety glass lenses are today made from Polycarbonate, or varieties of this material such as Lexan (a General Electric trade mark).

How strong is a Polycarbonate safety glass lens?  If you take a look at the illustrations above and below, you will get an idea of the strength of this material. You will see a nail that has been hammered through the lens, and it is now anchored in the lens. Notice that the lens has not shattered or cracked as we might expect. 

Elvex UniWraps™, SG-20, with nail hammered through its center

   Model SG-20C

In order to hit the nail through the lens without damaging the glasses, we held a small wood block behind the lens, when we hammered the nail through the lens.

What are the other characteristics of Polycarbonate? One might expect a material that is as strong as Polycarbonate to also be very strong in other respects, such as scratch resistance. In fact Polycarbonate gets its strength from being flexible, so that it gives a little when impacted. Consequently Polycarbonate lenses usually need to be coated with a scratch resistant coating, in order to extend their life span.

Traditional hardened safety glass that was and is still used in safety glass lenses are only one tenth as impact resistant as a safety glass made from Polycarbonate. Glass lenses do not meet the high velocity impact requirements. On the other hand lenses made from hardened glass offer much better scratch resistance, and this is the reason that they are still preferred in some environments.



Direct links to other safety glasses: | Main Safety Glass Page | Bifocal Safety Glasses | Safety Readers | Atom-RX | Sonoma RX-350 | Ranger SG-10 | Acer SG-12 | TNT SG-13 | Xenon SG-14 | TTS SG-15 | Trix SG-17 | Avion SG-18 | UniWraps SG-20 | XTS SG-24 | Challenger Small SG-23 | Challenger SG-25 | OVR-Specs | Summit SG-28 | Neutron SG-30 | Sphere-X SG-32 | Orbit SG-36 | Axiom SG-38 | Chica SG-42 | Elite SG-200 | Sonoma SG-350 | Atom SG-400 | Safety Goggles GG-25/30/35/40 | Closeout Safety Glasses | Safety Glass Accessories | Safety Glasses for Women | OSHA's Eye & Face Protection Regulation | Ballistic Vo rated safety glasses | High Impact Safety Glasses | Eye safety Videos | Lens VLT Chart | Summary ANSI Z87.1-2010 | View Order Form |

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