Plastics in the air: New material could replace stretched acrylic in airplane windows


This week's Paris Air Show was the launch pad for a new breed of plastic airplane passenger-cabin windows, with the supplier, who developed the material used and manufactured the windows, claiming it offers improved craze-resistance and performance compared to the incumbent material, stretched acrylic.

The Paris Air Show opened June 20 and runs through June 26 at the Le Bourget exhibition center. One of the exhibitors, PPG Industries, sent its aerospace transparencies group to the event, where it has announced the launch of what it terms a "craze-resistant, high-performance aerospace transparency material" using a plastic the company has developed and is marketing under the name Opticor.

PPG Aerospace is touting Opticor as the first new transparent plastic developed in more than 50 years for aerospace applications. Adds Anthony Stone, global director for new business development and innovations for transparencies at the supplier, "Opticor advanced transparency material meets the aerospace industry's needs for a lightweight transparent plastic that maintains optical clarity while offering the ability to be formed into complex shapes. We expect it to replace stretched acrylic for passenger-cabin windows because it weighs less and has better craze and fire resistance, and it will be used in cockpit windows because it is an excellent substrate for metallic and nonmetallic coatings."...
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