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Publication numberUS3825919 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 23, 1974
Filing dateNov 16, 1972
Priority dateNov 16, 1972
Publication numberUS 3825919 A, US 3825919A, US-A-3825919, US3825919 A, US3825919A
InventorsLevin B, Nelson R
Original AssigneeSierracin Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Laminated security window
US 3825919 A
Abstract
A security window system having a transparent structure having high resistance to penetration is described. A transparent conductive layer is provided over most of the area of the window and the resistance of the layer is monitored for sensing penetration. Preferably the layer is subdivided into a number of conductive regions for substantially increasing the sensitivity of the system to minor interruptions in the layer. Temperature and stress effects can be minimized by connecting different conductive areas of the layer as arms of a resistance bridge. An alarm may be sounded when a small steady state change in resistance is sensed or when a rapid change in resistance is sensed.
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United States Patent 11 1 Levin et al.

LAMINATED SECURITY WINDOW Inventors: Berton P. Levin, Santa Monica;

Roger E. Nelson, Northridge, both of Calif.

The Sierracin Corporation, Sylmar, Calif.

Filed: Nov. 16, 1972 Appl. No.: 307,095

Assignee:

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/1958 Danford 52/171 1 1960 Boicey 4/1965 Ryan et al 161/192 Ham et al. 340/285 Littell, Jr. l09/49.S

Primary Examiner-John W. Caldwell Assistant Examiner-Glen R. Swann, lIl

Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Christie, Parker & Hale [57] ABSTRACT A security window system having a transparent structure having high resistance to penetration is described. A transparent conductive layer is provided over most of the area of the window and the resistance of the layer is monitored for sensing penetration. Preferably the layer is subdivided into a number of conductive regions for substantially increasing the sensitivity of the system to minor interruptions in the layer. Temperature and stress efiects can be minimized by connecting different conductive areas of the layer as arms of a resistance bridge. An alarm may be sounded when a smallsteady state change in resistance is sensed or when a rapid change in resistance is sensed.

1 LAMINATED SECURITY WINDOW BACKGROUND This application is related to copending US. Patent applications Ser. No. 307,096, entitled Laminated Security Window System by Roger E. Nelson, et a1; Ser. No. 307,090, entitled Impact Sensitive Security Window System by H. Gordon Laidlaw, Jr. et al; and Ser. No. 307,089, entitled Improved Security Window" by Clyde L. Lucky; each of which was filed 11/16/72 and claims subject matter disclosed herein and which is assigned to Sierracin Corporation, assignee of this application.

- In many situations it is desirable to have a transparent window that is relatively impenetratable. Such windows may be used in prisons, hospitals, museums, zoos, computer rooms, laboratories, or in store fronts where theft or vandalism may be a problem. They are useful any place where maximum natural lighting, visual access and physical security are requisite. Jewelry counters and laboratory hoods are other suitable locations. Bars can be added adjacent ordinary glass; however, this is in many cases undesirable for a variety of reasons. Thus, in a prison or hospital or similar institutions, bars may have a significantly undesirable effect on persons within the institution. Bars detract from the pleasure of visitors to zoos or museums. In stores and the like where protection is desired against entry, the presence of bars is highly undesirable because of the adverse effect on potential customers. Collapsible window grates are little better.

Windows that-are highly resistant to penetration can be formedswith thick layers of glass or preferably with laminated glass sandwiches which may include layers of tough, impact resistant plastics, such as the polycarbonate plastics. Tempered glass is desirable in some situations in case of breakage. Thus, for example, in some institutions persons may deliberately break windows to obtain slivers of glass to use as weapons or to ingest in a suicidal act. Tempered glass is desirable for such situations since it does not shatter like ordinary glass but breaks into relatively small fragments substantially free of all sharp edges.

In addition to resistance to penetration it is often highly desirable to provide sensing of efforts to penetrate so that an alarm can be sounded locally or at some remote station. Thus, for example, penetration of a prison window indicates either an escape attempt or an effort to convey contraband. Sensors in the individual prison windows can be monitored in a central location for detection of such unlawful activities. Similarly, in stores or the like, breakage of a window commonly precedes a burglary attempt. For this reason, burglar alarm systems'commonly include means for sensing breakage of the window.

A very common technique for sensing breakage of a window is to adhere a conductive tape such as thin aluminum or lead foil directly to the glass around the periphery of the window. Such strips are unsightly and are preferably avoided, particularly in store windows and the like where an attractive appearance is highly desirable. Omission of the obvious alarm strips may also be desirable in some institutional windows. The alarm strips have another disadvantage in that they are essentially a binary device that is either intact or broken.

When such a tape is broken the alarm system is inoperbreak in the tape. There is no way of resetting such an alarm from a remote location.

It is therefore desirable to provide a security window system having an alarm built into it which is sensitive to attempts to penetrate the window and which can be reset from a remote location. It is desirable to have a signal from the window that is related to the degree of penetration, which in this context can be considered to be an analog change as compared with the binary change that occursupon complete interruption of an electrical path. Preferably such a security window is substantially free of apparent visual indications of the presence of the alarm. For most uses the window is preferably resistant to penetration with the impact resistance of polycarbonate and the resistance to sawing that is characteristic of glass.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION There is, therefore, provided in practice of this invention according to a presently preferred embodiment a security window having a transparent electrically conductive layer over most of the area of the window. The layer is interrupted so as to be subdivided into a plurality of conductive areas having their edge portions connected to means for detecting a change in electrical resistance. The conductive areas are electrically connected so that a change in resistance 'of any of the conductive areas is detected. In a preferred embodiment the security window has a plurality of interruptions in an electrically conductive layer for dividing the conductive layer into various areas in electrical parallel between bus bars along opposite edges of the layer.

, DRAWINGS a security window including ofFIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is'a'schematic diagram of a sensing circuit for the window of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4is a face view of another embodiment of security window;

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a sensing circuit for the window of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a face view of another embodiment of security window;

FIG. 7 is a face view of still another embodiment of security window;

FIG. 8 is a partially cut-away section of the window of FIG. 7; i

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross section of another embodiment of security window;

FIG. 10 is'a fragmentary cross section of another embodiment of security window;

FIG. 11 is a schematic diagram of another penetration sensing system;

FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram of another resistance sensing technique; and

FIG. 13 illustrates another embodiment of security window and a schematic circuit connected thereto.

DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 is a face view of a security window and FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross section showing the laminated layers thereof. In face view the security window appears much like an ordinary transparent window except that it may appear somewhat tinted or have slightly less light transmission than an ordinary clear glass window. In addition, very narrow isolation lines 20, described in greater detail hereinafter, may be seen in the face of the-window. Ordinarily these lines are very minute andbar arrangements will be apparent to one skilled in the art, such as the external bus bars of U.S. Pat. No. 3,529,074. Typically, when the security window is used it is mounted in a frameso that the edge portions are i all hidden and the bus bars 21 are thereby hidden by the opaque frame. This is desirable so that the appearance of the security window essentially matches the appearance of an ordinary glass window.

The various laminations forming the cross section of the security window are illustrated in the fragmentary view of FIG.2. A sheet of tempered glass 23 forms one face of the window. As will be apparent hereinafter it is preferred that this face be the one from which penetration is most likely to occur. Typically the tempered glass layer is about one quarter inch thick. A transparent resilient plastic interlayer 24 is securely bonded to the glass sheet 23. This interlayer is the same as that typically employed in laminated automobile glass, for example/A layer 0.030 inch thick of polyvinyl butyral makes a suitable interlayer that is conveniently bonded to the other layers of the laminated window by conventional heat and pressure laminating techniques.

A carrier film 25 having a metal layer 26 on one face thereof is bonded to the plastic interlayer 24. It is relatively unimportant which face of the carrier film has the metallic layer thereon. The carrier film is, for example, a film of polyethylene terephthalate about-0.005 inch thick. The metal layer 26 is an extremely thin layer of a metalsuch as nickel, gold, silver, aluminum, copper or the like which can be vacuum metallized onto the carrier film. Such vacuum deposition of thin metal films is a conventional process widely used for preparing electrically heatable windows. The metal coating is deposited in a sufficiently thin layer that it is transparent and absorbs relatively minor amounts of incident light so that the overall transmission characteristics of the window are not substantially diminished. The metal layer is sufficiently continuous to have a substantial electrical conductivity.

By'employing a thin carrier film the metal layer may be vacuum deposited on the carrier film by a continuous process whereby large sheets of carrier film are coated and subsequently cut to a desired size. Relatively uniform resistance throughout the metal layer can be achiever by such a vacuum metallizing treatment. The conductive layer 26 extends over most of the area of the security window. If desired for inhibiting environmental access to the metal layer it may be deleted from the peripheral areas of the carrier film. About the only requirement is that the conductive layer extend near enough the edges of the security window to make good electrical contact with the bus bars 2l (FlG. 1) adjacent the edges of the sheet and extend over most of the area of the window where penetration may be likely to occur. Ths bus bars are imbedded in the laminate between the interlayer 24 and the carrier film 25 so as to be in electrical contact with the metal film.

Another interlayer 27 is bonded to the opposite side of the carrier film 25 from the first interlayer 24. These interlayersare substantially identical. An impact resistant plastic ply 28 is bonded to the second interlayer 27. A variety of transparent impact resistant plastics are suitable for use in such a security window. Methyl methacrylate resin may be employed, for example. It is preferred, however, to employ apolycarbonate resin for the plastic ply. This material is commercially available under the trademark Lexan from General Electric and under the trademark Merlon from Mobay Chemical Company. The polycarbonate sheet is extremely impact resistant and has a high transparency. Thus, even if the tempered glass layer 23 is broken the polycarbonate layer 28 normally resists impact penetration. Such a polycarbonate sheet, for example, may be about one quarter inch thick.

Another polyvinyl butyral layer 29 is bonded to the other side of the impact resistant ply. 28. This interlayer is substantially identical to the, first two. Finally a sec- 0nd sheet30 of tempered glass is bonded to the third interlayer 29 and forms the other face of the laminated security window. This second layer of tempered glass is also about one quarter inch. The glass and plastic layers have differing coefficients of thermal expansion and when temperature cycling is expected it is desirable to provide stress relief around the periphery of the window. A suitable edge separator technique is provided in copending U.S. Patent application Ser. No. 111,993 by Jan B. Olson, entitled Interlayer Stress Reduction in Laminated Transparencies and assigned to Sierraci n Corporation, assignee of this application. The polycarbonate layer may be subject to attack by plasticizers in the polyvinyl butyral layer-and it is usually desirable to employ a polycarbonate sheet with a barrier layer on its faces. Such a coated polycarbonate material is available from General Electric under their trade designation MR-4000. Any of a variety of conventional transparent melamine, phenoxy or'urethane resins form suitable barrier layers.

The security window illustrated in FIG. 1 is highly resistant to penetration since the tempered glass has substantial impact resistance. Even if the glass layer is broken by scratching or sharp impact the polycarbonate layer has much higher strength and ordinarily has sufficient impact resistance to prevent penetration. Tempered glass breaks into a large number of relatively small particles and these particles remain bonded to the interlayer. The presence of such a mass of glass fragments on the surface of the window does a great deal to inhibit sawing or other cutting of the polycarbonate plastic.

There are substantial advantages to having a security window formed with a glass face layer and a polycarbonate plastic layer laminated together in combination with an alarm as herein described. It will be noted that the carrier film where the conductive layer forming the analog sensor of the alarm circuit is located is separated from the glass and polycarbonate layers by a relatively soft and flexible polyvinyl butyral interlayer. If the frangible glass layer is broken, as by a sharp localized blow or a deep scratch which may trigger fracture of tempered glass, the glass fragments are largely held in place by adhesion to the interlayer. The cracks from the glass seldom penetrate the resilient interlayer and hence do not interrupt the thin metal film. Thus the mere fact that the glass is broken does not necessarily trigger an alarm. The same is not true of a system wherein the alarm sensor comprises a lead tape around the periphery of the window or an electrically conductive film applied directly to the glass. In such a system a crack-propagating to the edge of the window normally results in breaking of the lead tape or conductive film and triggering of an alarm.

The resistance sensor extending over most of the area of the window therefore serves to detect penetration of the window. ,When a hole is made in the window of a sufficient size to interrupt a portion of the conductive layer, the alarm will be triggered. Mere cracking of the window or surface damage will not ordinarily trigger the alarm. Detection of penetration is, what is sought and this is provided by the composite laminated window with a conductive layer embedded therein.

Referring again to FIG. 1, the conductive layer is in electrical contact with the bus bars 21 along opposite edges of the window. A resistive connection is thereby provided between the two bus bars. The isolation lines are actually extremely fine scribe lines made in the face of the carrier film on which the conductive layer is deposited. Since this conductive layeris extremely thin a scribe linethat is nearly invisible to the naked eye is sufficient for interrupting the electrical continuity of the film. Ascribe line can be made with a shallow sharp groovethat extends into the carrier film a tiny distance, but not even this is needed. The metal layer is so thin that almost any abrasion is enough to interrupt it without marring the carrier film.

If an effort is made to penetrate the security window the electrically conductive layer must also be penetrated. Any interruption of the conductive layer having a component in a direction parallel to the bus bars will cause an increase in the resistance of the conductive layer. As pointed out hereinafter the resistance between the two bus bars 21- can be monitored and any significant change in resistance employed for triggering an alarm. Any such sensing system has a predetermined sensitivity. If the sensitivity threshold for triggering an alarm is too small, a significant number of false alarms may be sounded. On the other hand if the threshold of sensitivity for triggering the alarm is too high, a rather large penetration of the window may occur before an alarm is sounded. It has been found that a sensitivity threshold in the area of about one to two percent change in resistance is suitable for triggering an alarm, although higher or lower changes are also suitable thresholds.

It a security window is made with a continuous conductive layer overmost of the area of the window without any electrical isolation lines subdividing it into a plurality of conductive areas, the change in resistance as a function of the magnitude of the interruption of the conductive layer may be unduly low. When the entire window between the two bus bars constitutes a continuous conductive layer, each point on each bus bar is in direct electrical contact with every point on the other bus bar. Current flow between the two bus bars can therefore occur over a substantial area and destruction of a minor portion of the conductive layer may have a relatively minor affect on the total resistance. Thus, for example, in one test wherein the distance between the bus bars was 1.67 times the width of the conductive layer in a direction parallel to the bus bars, a straight line cut was made through the conductive layer in a direction parallel to the bus bars. A cut extending more than 20 percent of the way between the side edges of the conductive layer increased the resistance less than 1.1 percent. A circular interruption in the conductive layer having a diameter of about 17 percent of the width of the conductive layer caused an increase in resistance of only about 2.6 percent.

When isolation lines are scribed through the conductive layer in a direction extending between the bus bars the conductive film is divided into a plurality of conductive areas that are electrically in parallel with each other. Then when a sufficient cut is made parallel to the bus bars to completely sever one of such-parallel conductive areas a jump in resistance occurs. Thus, for example, a conductive layer was subdivided into six conductive areas by fivev scribed isolation lines. As a straight line cut proceeded across one of the parallel conductive areas a nominal gradual 'change in resistance occurred. When one of the six, parallel conductive areas was completely severed between adjacent isolation lines, an increase in resistance of about 20 percent was observed. Since a similar length cut in a film without isolation lines would produce a resistance change of less than about 1 percent thevalueof the parallel conductive areas can be readily seen. In addition to increasing the sensitivity of the security window to relatively small penetration, the sensitivity of the circuit for detecting a change in resistance canbe readily correlated with the resistance change that may occur when one conductive area of a selected width is severed;

Since the isolation lines are aubstantially invisible the.

security window may have itsconductivezlayer'subdivided into any desired width of conductive area for pre determined sensitivity. In a typical window 30 inches wide the conductive layer is divided into four segments, each 7 /2 inches wide. Addition of only two more isolation lines cuts the width of each areato only 5 inches for very high sensitivity to penetration. If desired a large number of electrical isolation lines can be extended between the bus bars so that the conductive layer is divided into a number of narrow parallel conductors. A penetration of the window interrupts a number of such narrow conductors and the resistance change is the usual change due to deleting some of the resistors in a parallel array of resistors.

The array of resistorsin electrical parallel is considered to extend over most of the area of the window since penetration at any point will interrupt one or more resistors. This may be trueeven when the resistors become narrower than the electrical isolation lines between them. Thus, if desired, one could form narrow strips of conductive material on the carrier'film with clear areas between the strips and have a structure differing only in scale from the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 1, for example.

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of a system for detecting penetration of the security window. Very broadly the penetration of the conductive layer causes an analog change in the resistance of the window which is a function of the extent of penetration, and the magnitude of this change may be used for triggering an alarm. The resistance of the conductive layer 26 is represented by the resistor 26 in the schematic illustration of FIG. 3. This resistance is connected to the detecting circuit by electrical leads 33 including the window bus bars and whatever additional leads may be desired for conveying signals. to a remote location. The thin filmresistor 26' is connected in a bridge with a resistor 34 as an adjacent arm of the bridge. A power supply 36 applies an electrical signal to the resistances 26 and 34. The electrical signal is also applied to a fixed resistor 37 and a variable resistor 38 connected in series with a tapped resistor or potentiometer 39. These additional resistors 37, 38and 39 form the other two arms of a bridge. The variable resistor 38 may be employed for a coarse adjustment of the bridge balance. Resistor 37 can be adjustable for bridge balance, too, or both resistors 37 and 38 may be coupled for coarse bridge balance.

An amplifier 41 is connected between the adjacent bridge arms 26' and 34 and is also connected to the tap on the potentiometer 39. Adjustment of the tap can serve as a fine adjustment of the bridge balance.

The bridge excitation provided by the power supply 36 can be either a voltage or current arrangement. Similarly the power supply can be either AC or DC as may be desired ina particular application. Similarly the signal applied'by the bridge to the amplifier 41 can be either a differential signal, that is, with neither bridge tap grounded or connected to a circuit common, or it may be a single ended signal with either of the bridge connections grounded or connected to'a circuit common. Many variations in the bridge excitation and unbalance detection will be apparent to one skilled in the art.

The output of the amplifier 41 is applied to a conven-.

tional threshold detector 42 which senses when the null balance of the bridge is outside of a predetermined limit. A wide variety of threshold detectors may be suitable, depending on the signal selected from the amplifier in a particular embodiment. When the threshold detector notes that the bridge is out of balance beyond the preset limit an alarm 43 is triggered. Any desired alarm may be used such as a bell, klaxon, light or the like. The alarm can beadjacent the window or remotely located. One can even dispense with the threshold detector and apply the amplifier output directly to an audio alarm, such as, for example, a loudspeaker. When the sound of the loudspeaker reaches some arbitrary level as noted by an individual in the vicinity this can also serve as an alarm.

Once an alarm has sounded, and it has been determined that the signal is erroneous or one decides to presently ignore the unbalance, the bridge can be readjusted by means of the resistors 38 and 39 to bring it back into balance. This is quite feasible since the signal output from the bridge is analog. A change in the resistance of the conductive layer modifies the electrical signal in an analog manner. The alarm system can therefore be reset by rebalancing the bridge, all of which can be done from a remote location if desired. Such'is infeasible in a window fitted with conventional lead tapes or with a conductive layer directly on the glass since rupture of the tape or layer on glass is a binary output and the circuit cannot be restored without access to the window and repair of the tape.

Some changes in the resistance of the conductive layer may occur gradually even when penetration of the window is not attempted, thus for example, temperature changes. in the window may cause resistance changes in the conductive layer of a sufficient magnitude to unbalance the bridge. One can therefore provide an automatic balance reset 44 which senses an un-' balance and brings the bridge back to null by adjusting the potentiometer 39. The fact of resetting of the bridge or the magnitude of the resetting may be recorded with a conventional recorder 45. The cumulative change in r.esistance recorded by the. recorder 45 could be used to trigger an alarm if desired. It. will be apparent, of course, that the balance reset 44 may be operated by the amplified null balance signal from the amplifier 41 so as to operate in a more analog fashion and accommodate slow drifts in the resistance balance of the bridge. Similarly, if desired the balance reset or bridge adjustment may simply control operation of the amplifier 41 to remain below the threshold signal. Electrical balance of the amplifier can substitute for actual bridge resistance balancing for alarm actuation as well.

The automatic reset 44 and recorder 45 are not essential to the functioning of the system.

It will also be apparent that a high degree of sophistication'may also be incorporated in the balance detection system so that, for example, a single transient of resistance can be ignored and a more permanent change employed for triggering the alarm. Means may also be provided for triggering the alarm in case the bridge leads are shorted or cut, or if the power is cut off, or if any of a variety of techniques are employed for circumventing the alarm system.

As mentioned above, the resistance of the conductive layer in the window may vary with temperature and cause an unbalance of the bridge. Although this can be readily accounted for with an automatic balance resetting system, it is also quite easy to simply compensate for the temperature change by making the fixed resistor 34 in the adjacent arm of the bridge to the resistor 26' also be a conductive layer in a window. If the temperatu're pattern in the two resistors is'similar, any changes in resistance will be equivalent and the balance of the bridge will not be upset. The second conductive layer in a window may be in a separate window located in a position subject to similar temperature conditions or it may simply be another portion of the same window in which the layer resistor 26' is located.

FIG. 13 illustrates in face view another embodiment of security window having a conductive layer extending over most of the area of the window. In this embodiment, there is a bus bar 102 extending along one side edge of the window for making electrical contact with one entire edge of the conductive layer in the window. An electrical isolation-line 103 extends across the window transverse to the bus bar 102 and divides the conductive area of the window into two conductive regions 104 and 106. A bus bar 107 extends part way along the side edge of the window opposite from the full length bus bar 102 and makes electrical contact with the conductive layer of the first region 104. A second similar bus bar 108 extends the balance of the way across the window and makes electrical contact with the conductive layer in the second conductive region 106. Each of the bus bars extends beyond the edge of the window for making electrical contact with an external circuit.

FIG. 13 also illustrates schematically a typical external circuit connected to the bus bars of the window. A power supply 109 is connected to the two similar bus bars 107 and 108. Resistors 111 and 112 are also connectedto the power supply. A first tap 113 is connected between the resistors 111 and 112 and a second tap 114 is connected to the bus bar 102 that makes electrical contact with both conductive regions 104 and 106. The taps 113 and 114 may be connected to any conventional null balance detection circuitry as desired for triggering an alarm in response to unbalance of resistance. It will be noted that the window and external circuit illustrated in FIG. 13 are connected as a conventional bridge with the two conductive regions of the window as adjacent arms of the bridge. Either or both of the resistors 111 or 112 can be variable for balancing the bridge, or balancing can be achieved in the additional circuits (not shown) to which the window may be connected. The two conductive regions of the window will both be subjected to similar temperature conditions and any changes in resistance in the two regions will be similar. Being in adjacent bridge arms, the resistance drift due to temperature change balances out and no bridge unbalance results. It will be apparent that if desired the conductive layer in each of the conductive regions 104 and 106 can be subdivided by isolation lines extending between the bus bars to any desired extent for enhancing sensitivity of the window to penetration.

FIG. 4 illustrates in face view another embodiment of security window having an electrically conductive layer over most of the area 'of the window. In this embodiment,'the conductive layer is subdivided into four conductive areas 46, 47, 48 and 49 by isolation lines 50. A first bus bar 51 is in electrical contact along an edge of the first conductive area 46. A similar short bus bar 52 is in electrical contact with an edge of the other outside conductive area 49. A third bus bar 53 is in electrical contact with the edges of both of the remaining two conductive areas 47 and 48 spanning one of the isolation lines 50. Along the opposite edge. of the security window from the first three bus bars is a fourth bus bar 54 in electrical contact with the edges of the two conductive areas 46 and 47. Another bus bar 55 on this same edge of the window is in electrical contact with the edges of the remaining two conductive areas 48 and 49. Suitable conductive tabs 56 extend from the bus bars'to and beyond the edges of the window for making electrical contact to external circuits. .If desired, the conductive areas between the isolation lines 50 can also be subdivided into parallel resistive areas in the same manner as the window of FIG. 1 for enhanced sensitivity.

FIG. illustrates schematically the interconnection of the conductive areas. The bus bars and conductive areas of FIG. 4 are represented schematically with the same reference numerals bearing a prime in FIG. 5. The two bus bars 51 and'52 are externally interconnected at a point 51', 52'. This same point is connected to a suitable power supply 57 which is in turn connected to the center bus bar 53 at a point 53' in the schematic illustration of FIG. 5. Electrical connection is made to the opposite bus bars 54 and 55 at the points 54' and 55' leading to a detector 58 of changes in the electrical resistance. The detector 58 can be connected for triggering an alarm 59 when a predetermined liminal change in electrical resistance occurs in the bridge ductive layer within the security window changes resis tance somewhat with changing temperature. Similarly, stresses on the conductive layer which may be generated by bending of the window, for example, may

change resistance. When the conductive areas are interconnected as arms of a bridge such thermal or stress changes in resistance do not cause false alarms. It will be apparent to one skilled in the art that if desired more than one window may be interconnected as arms of a resistance bridge and the conductive areas may sufficiently balance to compensate for thermal changes and the like. This is generally less' desirable since the thermal changes or changes in stress between two windows is usually of much greater magnitude than similar changes within two different areas of the same window. It will also be apparent that theresistance change detector 58 should be adjustable for resetting the alarm system in case of a permanent change in the resistance balance between the arms of the bridge.

FIG. 6 illustrates in face view another embodiment of security window. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the conductive areas were electrically connected in parallel. In

the embodiment of FIG. 6, the conductive areas are.

connected in series. Thus, as illustrated in this embodiment, a plurality of isolation lines 61 extend between opposite edges of the security window and subdivide the area into a plurality of conductive areas 62. Electrical contact is made along a side edge of one of the outside conductive areas by a bus bar 63.'A tab 64 permits electrical connection of this bus bar to an external circuit. At the opposite end of the first conductive area from the bus bar 63 is a second bus bar 65 which makes electrical contact along the side edge of the first conductive area and also along the side edge of the second conductive area adjacent the first. That is, the second bus bar 65 spans the isolation line 61 between the two adjacent conductive areas. Another busv bar 66 electrically connects the opposite side edge of the second conductive area with the side edge of the third conductive area. These additional bus bars 65 and 66 do not have an external tab for electrical connection to circuits outside the window.

A similar series of additional bus bars connect adjacent conductive areas clear across the window. In the final conductive area a bus bar 68 makes electrical connection to both the edge of the conductive area and a tab 69 permitting electrical connection to an external circuit. Thus, all of the conductive areas within the window are electrically connected together in series. Clearly a penetration that extends through the full extent of one of the conductive areas will interrupt the continuous circuit and provide a substantially infinite increase in resistance. Such an electrical connection is not resettable from a remote location.

If desired a tab 70 may be provided on a central bus bar for making contact to an external circuit thereby permitting half of the conductive areas to be in one arm of a bridge and the other half in another arm of a bridge for temperature and stress compensation. Such a series connected security window is very sensitive to small penetrations. The same effect can be obtained without the large number of bus bars by simply ending alternate isolation lines a substantial distance from each of the opposite edges of the window respectively. A'pattern of isolation lines for a series-parallel connection of conductive areas can also be used.

As mentioned hereinabove the security window is highly sensitive to penetrations that have a component extending in a direction parallel to the bus bars. If the interruption in the conductive layer is primarily in a direction between the bus bars, that is, for example, parallel to the isolation lines, little if any change in resistance is observed. Thus, for example, if the object of penetration'of the security window is the passage of contraband, a narrow slit extending between the bus bars may be sufficient for the unlawful purpose without causing a sufficient change in resistance to trigger the alarm. Thispossibility is effectively forestalled with a security window of the type illustrated in FIG. 7.

As illustratedin this embodiment at least the central portion of the security window has two spaced apart conductive layers extending over most of the area of the window. A first pair of bus bars 72 are provided along the opposite side edges of the security window in.

electrical contact with the edges of one of the conductive layers. Orthogonal to'this first set of bus bars is a second pair of bus bars 73 in electrical contact with the edges of the second conductive layer within the window. The isolation lines in the conductive layers between the opposed bus-bars have been deleted from FIG. 7 for enhancing clarity of the drawing lt will be readily apparent that no penetration of the window can be made that does not have a component parallel to oneor the other of the two pairs of bus bars. It is therefore substantially impossible to penetrate such a window with any reasonable size hole without triggering an alarm.

The arrangement of bus bars in the window illustrated in FIG. 7 is as simple as possible and, if desired, arrangements such as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 6 may be employed. The two conductive layers can be employed as a pair of arms in a bridge, or portions of the two conductive layers may be used as the four arms of a bridge. There is a possibility, although remote, that penetration of both layers could cause compensating resistance changes in the two layers when they are used as adjacent arms of a bridge. The two layers can be used as opposite arms of the bridge so that penetration of both layers causes an increase in sensitivity.

FIG. 8 illustrates in fragmentary cross section a laminate security window having two conductive layers therein. In this illustration successive layers are cut away to best show the location of the bus bars. In this particular example the arrangement of successive layers is symmetrical from the center of the laminate, however, it will be apparent that asymmetrical arrangements are also suitable.

Each face of the laminated security window comprises a glass ply 75. A plastic interlayer 76 about 0.03 inch thick is bonded to each of the glass plys 75. A carrier film 77 of polyethylene terephthalate about 0.005 inch thick and having a thin conductive metal coating 78 thereon is bonded to each of the interlayers 76. Centrally located in the laminate is a third interlayer 79 which bonds the two carrier films together. One of the bus bars 72 is imbedded in one of the plastic interlayers 76 so as to be in electrical contact with one of the conductive layers 78. The bus bar 72 is illustrated schematically rather than show the corrugations of the preferred bus bar hereinabove mentioned. The other bus bar 73 is imbedded in the opposite interlayer 76 so as to be in electrical contact with the other conductive layer 78. During fabrication of such a laminated window initially flat sheets of polyvinyl butyral. for the interlayers are assembled in a sandwich and during the heat and pressure cycle of lamination this relatively soft material deforms so that the respective bus bar imbeds therein. The effect of plural-layers for detecting penetration can also be obtained by depositing thin metal films on both faces of the carrier film and laminating that carrier in a window with bus bars in contact with both metal layers.

FIG. 9 illustrates in fragmentary crosssection another embodiment of security window suitable for use in locations where customaryaccess is almost entirely on one side of the window. This laminated structure has a glass ply, 81 on one face, such as, for example, one quarter inchtempered' glass. A polyvinyl butyral interlayer 82 is bonded to the glass. A carrier film 83 having a thin conductive metal layer (not shown) thereon is bonded to the plastic interlayer 82. A second interlayer 84 bonds the carrier film 83 to a relatively. thick ply of transparent polycarbonate plastic 86. The exposed face of the plastic ply 86 is coated with a protective layer 87 such as chemically depositedsilica, titania or the like, which affords a substantial degree of abrasion resistance and protectionagainst chemical attack on plastic.

Such an asymmetrical laminated security window may be used, for example, in an institution wherein the glass layer 8l'is used on the insidewhere the inhabitants have access to the window. The plastic layer would be used on the outside where there is no regular day-today contact. Similarly in a store window or the like theglass layer may be employed on the outside with the plastic layer 87 on the inside where only store personnel may have access to it. This is desirable sincethe plastic ply is softer than the glass and can be scratched.

FIG. vl0 illustrates a security window such as might be used for temporary purposes. In thisembodiment a pair of carrier films 89 havingthin conductive metal layers 90 thereon are bonded together with a plastic layer 91 which may be a polyvinyl butyral interlayer as hereinabove described or may be other suitable adhesive bonding. The relatively thick interlayer is not generally needed in such a situation since its ability to conform to the rigid glass and polycarbonate plys of the other embodients is not a requirement. Care must be taken, of course, to insulate the two metal layers 90 from each other if both are used in active alarm circuits. Similarly the bus bars (not shown) making contact to the conductive layers 90 must be insulated. It will also be apparent that if desired a carrier film having a metal coating thereoncan be adhesively bonded to a similar film which serves to protect the delicate metal layer from damage and a security window suitable for temporary use may be very inexpensively provided. Bus bars are needed to make contact with the metal layer. Such a security window made with thin plastic films has considerable flexibility and is light in weight making it quite suitable for temporary use. Such a lamination of plastic films with a conductive layer therein can be bonded on a window and connected to suitable detection and alarm circuits for forming a security window. Preferably the conductive layer in such a security window is scribed with electrical isolation lines and electrically connected in a bridge circuit in one of the manners hereinabove described.

There is a distinct advantage in the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 2 wherein the conductive layer 26 is separated from the tempered glass ply 23 by at least the interlayer 24 and, if desired, the carrier film 25. The plastic isolates the conductive film from the glass layer so that if the glass is merely broken most, if not all, of the conductive layer remains intact. It is a characteristic of tempered glass that a break propagates over the entire extent of the glass breaking it into a very large number of small fragments. If the conductive layer were on the glass or closely coupled thereto such breakage of the glass would completely rupture the delicate metal layer and it' would appear that penetration was being attempted. With the metal layer decoupled from the glass by a relatively soft resilient intervening plastic layer mere breakage of the glass does not disrupt the conductive film tomore than a minor extent. Even if an alarm might be sounded when the tempered glass is broken the alarm'system can be reset to indicate when an attempt is made to penetrate the window.

The resistance of the thin metal film embedded in the laminated security window is also sensitive to strain. That is, as the film is strained, the resistance changes. Thus, for example, when the conductive layer is located off of a neutral axis of the cross section of the laminated window, a bending of the window will induce strain in the conductive layer and change its resistance.- This discovery gives one an opportunity to employ the deformation of the window prior to penetration for providing an alarm signal. More particularly a transient change in resistance can be detected with a pulse or rate of change greater than some predetermined magnitude.

FIG. 11 illustrates in block diagram a system for utilizing the strain sensitive properties of the conductive film in a laminated window for providing a security alarm. A power supply 93 applies power to the conductive metal layer in a security window 94. The excitation applied to the window by the power supply may be AC or DC, and may be either current or voltage as desired. The window 94 is also connected to an AC amplifier 96 with gain control 97. The AC amplifier may also have a band width control, if desired, for limiting the AC range amplified. The output of the AC amplifier is applied to a threshold detector 98 which applies an outof-limits signal to an alarm 99.

If someone should commence striking or otherwise deforming the window in order to effect penetration, the resultant time varying signal is amplified. When the signal is within the frequency band of the AC amplifier and beyond the present threshold, an alarm will sound.

Such a system is also responsive to the rate of change of penetration through a window as represented by the changing resistance. In an impact sensitive system one can use the magnitude of the pulse of changing resistance to detect a penetration or attempt at penetration. If desired the rate of change or rise time of the pulse or pulse width can be selected for triggering an alarm. The circuitry for detecting anysuch characteristic of changing resistance is conventional.

The sensitivity of the threshold detector 98 can be set so that the strain required to activate the alarm 99 is a large fraction of the strain that would occur in the window before breakage. Gain control 97 may effect this function. Thus, relatively minor blows on a window which are far short of causing breakage can be ignored and a pulse representing a sufficient blow to be quite near breakage of the window can be detected. One can monitor strain amplitude and detect pressures that are a large fraction of the force required to break the window. With AC amplification in the system a blow that is sufficient to raise the strain level to breakage will activate the alarm and indicate penetration. It has been noted in penetration tests of a window having a thin metal conductive film that during the penetration event very high excursions in resistance occur and thereafter the resistance settles to an equilibrium value characteristic of the response to severance of the film. Thus, for example, penetration of the security window by a high speed projectile will cause a large change in resistance as penetration occurs which can be detected by the AC amplification system. Thus the penetration can be detected by the rapid pulse of resistance change, even though the steady state resistance .maynot be significantly different from the original resistance.

It may be desirable to employ a strain sensitive detection system'as set forth in FIG. 11 with a penetration sensing system as illustrated in FIG. 3. In such an arrangement the input to the AC amplifier 96 may be either the output of the null balance bridge of FIG. 3 or the output of a DC amplifier 41 which may reduce the gain requirements of the AC amplifier 96.

If desired, a continuous surveillance monitor 101 may be connected to the output of the AC amplifier 96. This continuous surveillance monitor may have a visual or aural output so that an attendant can perceive signal changes, such as, forexample, due to someone pounding on a security window. The continuous surveillance monitor can also be some means for recording the output signal for review at a latertime.

A resistance bridge is of course not the only way of detecting a change in the resistance of the conductive layer. A simple and inexpensive technique is-illustrated in FIG. 12. As illustrated in this arrangement a voltage 2, is applied to a resistor 1 02 connected to an input of an operational amplifier 103. A second resistor 104 is connected across the amplifier. The output voltage e is proportional to the input voltage and the ratio of the resistance of resistor 104 to the resistance of resistor 102. The output voltage is thus quite sensitive to any change in the relative values of the two resistors. A conductive layer in a security window can be used for either of the two resistors in this schematic diagram, or if desired two conductive areas in a window could be used as both resistors 102 and 104 for temperature compensation. The operational amplifier can be either a single input amplifier, or can be a differential amplifier with two inputs.

One can also use ohmmeter circuits or a variety of current or voltage comparison circuits for noting a change in resistance due to window penetration. It will also be noted that the resistance values can be digitized at any point in the electrical circuit and digital techniques used for balancing, comparing and the like. If

the resistance of a conductive layer is digitized it can be compared to a digital reference number and the balance can be maintained by changing the reference number. As much or as little sophistication as desired can be achieved with digital techniques for comtampering with the system. Many other arrangements will be apparent to one skilled in the art for detecting a variation in resistance of the security window. 7

Although limited embodiments of security window and alarm systems associated therewith have been described and illustrated herein, many modifications and variations will be apparent to one skilled in the art. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

What is claimed is:

1. A laminated security window comprising:

an electrically conductive layer within the laminated window extending over most of the area of the window;

a plurality of interruptions in the conductive layer for dividing the conductive layer into a pluralityof conductive areas;

means for making electrical contact with a pair of edge portions of each of the conductive areas;

circuit means for detecting a change in electrical resistance; and

means for electrically connecting all of the conductive areas with the circuit means so that the circuit means can detect a change in resistance in any one of the conductive areas.

2. Ase curity window as defined in claim 1 wherein some of the conductive areas are electrically connected in parallel.

3. A security window as defined in claim 2 wherein all of the conductive areas are electrically connected in parallel.

4. A security window as defined in claim 3 wherein the means for making electrical contact comprises:

a first bus bar in electrical contact with an edge portion of each of the conductive areas; and a second bus bar in electrical contact with the opposite edge portion of each of the conductive areas.

5. A security window as defined in claim 2 wherein at least some of the conductive areas are electrically connected in series.

6. A security window as defined in claim 1 wherein at least some of the conductive areas are electrically connected in series.

7. A laminated security window as defined in claim 1 further comprising:

a frangible ply; and

a transparent resilient interlayer between the frangible ply and the electrically conductive layer for inhibiting crack propagation therebetween.

8. A laminated security window as defined in claim 7 wherein the frangible ply comprises a surface glass ply, the conductive layer comprises a metal film deposited on a transparent plastic carrier film, and wherein the resilient plastic interlayer is interposed between the glass ply and the carrier film.

9. A laminated security window comprising:

a first tempered glass ply on one face of the window;

a first transparent plastic interlayer bonded to the first glass ply;

a transparent plastic carrier film bonded to the first interlayer;

a second transparent plastic interlayer bonded to the carrier film;

a rigid, impact resistant transparent plastic ply bonded to the second interlayer; a third transparent plastic interlayer bonded to the rigid plastic ply; a second tempered glass ply on the other face of the window; a transparent electrically conductive layer on the carrier film and substantially coextensive therewith; bus bar means for making electrical contact with opposite edge portions of the conductive layer; and a plurality of interruptions in the conductive layer extending in a direction transverse to the opposite edge portions for dividing the conductive layer into a plurality of conductive areas, each of which is in electrical contact with the bus bar means.

10. A laminated security window as defined in claim 9 wherein the means for making electrical contact 11. A security window comprising:

a transparent electrically conductive layer extending over most of the area of the window;

a first bus bar in electrical contact with an edge portion of the conductive layer;

a second bus bar in electrical contact with the opposite edge portion of the conductive layer;

a plurality of interruptions in the conductive layer extending in a direction transverse to the first and second bus bars for dividing the conductive layer into a plurality of conductive areas extending in electrical parallel betweenthe first and second bus bars.

12. In a laminated security window having a transparent electrically conductive layer within the .laminated window and means for making electrical contact with the conductive layer for measuring resistance changes therein, the improvement comprising:

a plurality of interruptions in the conductive layer for dividing the conductive layer into a plurality of conductive areas in electrical parallel with each other.

13. A laminated security window comprising:

a transparent electrically conductive layer within the laminated window and extending over most of the area of the window;

a plurality of interruptions in the conductive layer for dividing it into a plurality of conductive areas;

contact means for making electrical contact along a first edge portion of each of the conductive areas;

a first bus bar .in electrical contact with second edge portions opposite the contact means for making electrical contact with a plurality of the conductive areas; and

a second bus bar in electrical contact with second edge portions opposite the contact means for making electrical contact with another plurality of conductive areas.

14. A security window as defined in claim 13 wherein the means for making electrical contact comprises a third bus bar in electrical contact with the first edge portion of all of the conductive areas.

15. A security window as defined in claim 14 wherein the third bus bar is within the laminated window and further comprising means for making electrical contact with the third bus baroutside the window.

16. A security window as defined in claim 13 wherein the means for making electrical contact comprises:

a third bus bar in electrical contact with a first edge portion of a pair of the conductive areas, one of said pair being in electrical contact with the first bus bar and the other of said pair being in electrical contact with the second bus bar;

a fourth bus bar in electrical contact with a first edge portion of another conductive area having its second edge portion in electrical contact with the first bus bar; and

a fifth bus bar in electrical contact with'a first edge portion of another conductive area having its second edge portion in electrical contact with the second bus bar.

17. A laminated security window comprising:

a tempered glass ply on one face of the window;

a first transparent plastic interlayer bonded to the glass ply;

a transparent plastic carrier film bonded to the first interlayer;

a second transparent plastic interlayer bonded to the carrier film;

a rigid impact resistant transparent plastic ply bonded to the second interlayer;

a transparent electrically conductive layer on the carrier film and substantially coextensive therewith;

bus bar means for making electrical contact with opposite edge portions of the conductive layer; and

a plurality of interruptions in the conductive layer extending in a direction transverse to the edge portions for dividing the conductive layer into a plurality of conductive areas, each of which is in electrical contact with the bus bar means.

18. A laminated security window as defined in claim 17 wherein the means for making electrical contact comprises:

a first bus, bar in contact with one edge portion of each of the conductive areas; and

a second bus bar in electrical contact with the opposite edge portion of each of the conductive areas.

second bus bar in electrical contact with a second group of the conductive areas.

20. A laminated security window as defined in claim 19 wherein the'means for making electrical contact also includes a third bus bar in electrical contact with an edge portion of a third group of conductive areas,

, said third group including at least one conductive area from each of the first and second groups of conductive areas.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4598274 *Aug 10, 1984Jul 1, 1986Romag Holdings Ltd.Security and protection panel
US4692744 *Jan 2, 1986Sep 8, 1987Hickman James A AGlazing unit alarm systems
US4855711 *Jun 29, 1987Aug 8, 1989Sensor ScienceImpact detection apparatus
US5778629 *Dec 11, 1996Jul 14, 1998Howes; Stephen E.Impact resistant window
US5937611 *Jul 28, 1997Aug 17, 1999Howes; Stephen E.Method of making an impact resistant window
US6101783 *Oct 7, 1998Aug 15, 2000Howes; Stephen E.Impact resistant window
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/550, 109/21, 52/306, 109/42, 52/786.11
International ClassificationG08B13/04, G08B13/02
Cooperative ClassificationG08B13/04
European ClassificationG08B13/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 1, 1995ASAssignment
Owner name: SHAWMUT CAPITAL CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BARCLAYS BUSINESS CREDIT, INC.;REEL/FRAME:007338/0050
Effective date: 19950131
Feb 1, 1995AS06Security interest
Owner name: BARCLAYS BUSINESS CREDIT, INC.
Effective date: 19950131
Owner name: SHAWMUT CAPITAL CORPORATION 15260 VENTURA BLVD., S
May 7, 1990AS06Security interest
Owner name: CALIFORNIA FEDERAL BANK
Effective date: 19900309
Owner name: SIERRACIN CORPORATION, A DE CORP.
May 7, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: CALIFORNIA FEDERAL BANK, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SIERRACIN CORPORATION, A DE CORP.;REEL/FRAME:005315/0871
Effective date: 19900309