The Truth About "Ballistic SIPs"

I noticed in passing over another website the other day a company hyping their "proprietary" or "unique" ballistic sips, or structural insulated panels.  As you may or may not know, a "sip" is a building panel that contains the properties of being both a STRUCTURAL (certified as being significantly load bearing) and an INSULATED building panel, used in both commercial and residential construction.  A sip commonly consists of two siding materials that sandwich an insulating foam core.  However some sip systems require a third component, a vertical spline member - commonly a wooden or steel stud - to acheive a structural rating.  This is common among polystyrene (EPS) foam core sips.

Now the fact is that virtually anybody can glue a couple of siding materials to a cheap slab of foam and call it a "sip", but far fewer groups can do this in a well controlled manner on a volume basis and actually understand the science and physical properties behind both the product and the structure that the product is going into.

With that said, what many companies are doing is identifying ballistic rated materials and simply bonding them to a foam core in an attempt to appeal to the military or even the "prepper" market.  And there they have it - their "ballistic sip".  Has it been independently certified to ASTM E-72 or E-1803 or similar structural standards?  I'm guessing not, because as this would be a non-standard application most people are looking for the contract before they go to the expense of outside testing.  So be careful - just because a siding material can stop a bullet does not mean it can handle the structural load of a building.  Products that are strong in the "z" dimension and ballistically rated may be brittle in the "y" or "x" dimension (materials can be funny that way).

Eco-Panels does not "glue" anything in our manufacturing process.  Instead we are INJECTING a polyurethane foam into a hollow cavity under great pressure.  The foam expands into every nook & crevice of the wall, roof or floor panel and the foam itself is the bonding agent - there is no extra glue involved in the process (so less opportunity for error in manufacturing).  We will GUARANTEE that our foam will NEVER delaminate from our siding materials (absent someone or thing trying with tools or equipment or harsh chemicals to pull them apart with great force).

We have experience with ballistic panels, and instead of simply putting our panels in a field and shooting them and posting the video we have worked with parters to have independent labs test the panels to NIJ ballistic standards.  The key is in finding the proper siding material to suit your purpose - both ballistic and structural.  We do not profess to know them all - they are being developed all the time.  But I do know that to our knowledge no other company has made custom sips with a wider variety of siding materials for commercial purposes than we have (we're over 20+ now).  And we also have sophisticated and proprietary structural modeling programs that allow us to simulate the structural properties of a potential panel based on the input variables of different siding materials.

And what Eco-Panels can further bring to the table is our knowledge base.  You see a ballistic event will exercise mainly the panel skin, but a BLAST event will exercise the entire panel and structure as a whole.  We know that the military has already extensively tested urethane products in blast test environments.  The tensile strength (the strength of a product trying to prevent it from being pulled apart) of our polyurethane foam injected at 2.5 lbs/cuft density is SIGNIFICANTLY stronger than EPS or polystyrene foam.  A blast event will all at the same time apply compressive, shear and tensile forces to a structure and its panels.  Don't be fooled by someone trying a blast test on a single panel - that's just silly - I mean who lives in a single panel?  We live in ASSEMBLIES OF PANELS.  How do they join together?  How strong is the entire assembly?

And one other thing.  One of the weakest parts of a structure is where two walls come together.  By virtue of our patented and patent pending single piece corner panel we can ELIMINATE this weak joint entirely - creating a significantly stronger structure than other panel systems or traditional methods of construction. Whether you are looking for a safer home or a portable safe room, our unique technology is for you.

So read through our website, watch our videos, and ask questions.  We'd love to hear from you.