Ballistic Resistant Barriers

A proposed ASTM International standard will help define baseline performance requirements for ballistic-resistant barriers, panels, or structures that are used to protect against complete penetration of projectiles from small arms.

ASTM’s homeland security committee (E54) is developing the proposed standard (WK63319), which focuses on items such as rigid or flexible barriers, panels, or structures, either stationary or mobile.

Examples of uses for products covered by the proposed standard include cubicle partitions, security checkpoint barriers, panels installed in judge’s benches, school safe rooms, and ballistic blankets used by law enforcement.

“The proposed standard defines handgun and rifle threats to be used for testing and specific performance categories,” says ASTM International member Daniel Longhurst, RTI International. “The standard will aid purchasers and users in selecting appropriate barriers for their needs and aims to ensure that the equipment they procure offers protection against the threats they face.” 

“It’s critically important that those purchasing the equipment understand that caliber alone isn’t the only consideration but that the construction of the ammunition matters as certain materials are vulnerable to different ammunition constructions,” added Longhurst. “Just because something stops the steel core round does not mean it can defeat the lighter, faster lead core ammunition, and vice-versa.”  

In addition to purchasers, manufacturers will find the proposed standard useful in designing barriers. Test laboratories will be able to use the standard in assessing performance of barriers. 

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member of ASTM.

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