‘The only system of its kind’: Universal City company demonstrates bullet-resistant film for glass windows

A1 Glass company hopes to work with more local school districts to install film on glass windows

Since the tragic Uvalde school shooting, a local company has a product that can help protect students and staff while they're at school. The company showed KSAT's RJ Marquez what it calls "bullet-resistant film" and how it works.

SAN ANTONIO – Many school administrators are looking for different ways or options to keep students and staff safe after the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.

A1 Glass Coating is a company based in Universal City that is working with area districts in an effort to make glass windows and doors more secure.

The company demonstrated its bullet-resistant film on Wednesday in Converse, a product the company believes keeps kids safer in classrooms.

“It’s the only system of its kind like that will stop bullets,” said Michael Wanke, A1 Glass owner. “This will stop most handguns, 9 millimeters, the most common handgun.”

Wanke explained that a thin layer of film is lined inside a glass window or glass on a door. Wanke said the solution on the lining then soaks into the glass.

“The real secret to the system is a product called C-bond and it is a nanotechnology solution that actually soaks into the glass because glass is porous at a microscopic level. The glass effectively heals and makes it 150% stronger than it normally would be,” said Wanke. “The film acts as a backstop and basically catches, holds everything together.”

Wanke said what also makes this product different is it allows a person inside to fire at a potential shooter who is outside.

“It would allow someone from the inside to shoot out. There are no other systems like that. If you use polycarbonate or ballistic glazing, it’s two-way,” said Wanke.

The demonstration was held in front of a group of people, including representatives from local school districts.

“The aspect of shooting out versus in was very interesting,” said Tim Sotore, chief estimator at Guido Construction services.

Sotore was at the demonstration because his construction company was contacted by a school in Uvalde after the mass shooting there. The school is not affiliated with Uvalde CISD.

“If your glass is applicable to receive the film, it can also go on some existing systems, so it’s very versatile and that’s why we’re looking at this particular product,” said Sotore.

Sotore said he wanted to see the product and test it before going back to the school with his recommendation.

“If there’s a chance to present something, prevent something from happening to children, that’s first and foremost in their mind,” said Sotore. “And you can tell it in their heart when they’re talking to me.”

Wanke said the company started installing the product five years ago at school districts, including Northeast and San Antonio ISDs.

An NEISD spokesperson told KSAT that the glass is used at many campuses in the district and was part of NEISD’s 2015 bond when the district installed secure entry vestibules.

SAISD would not confirm the district uses that specific product but told KSAT the district would be using bulletproof products in upcoming bond projects.

“We’ve done over 100 schools here in Texas, and again it’s a very effective system, said Wanke.

About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.