Transparent plastic from PPG Aerospace promises a clear view

  • 18-Aug-2011 10:46 EDT
PPG Aerospace Opticor material.jpg

What PPG Industries calls “aviation’s largest passenger-cabin window” gets finishing touches from Jimmy Black at the company’s Huntsville, AL, Aerospace Transparencies plant.

A window featuring craze-resistant, high-performance transparency material from PPG Industries’ Aerospace Transparencies Group was on display at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget in June.

PPG’s Opticor advanced transparency material is the first new transparent plastic developed in more than 50 years for aerospace applications, according to Anthony Stone, Global Director for New Business Development and Innovations for Transparencies.

“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,” Stone said. “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.”

Stone said that PPG plans to install equipment for manufacturing Opticor advanced transparency material at its Sylmar, CA, aerospace transparencies facility and will fabricate windows from it there and at facilities in Huntsville, AL, and Casaletto Vaprio, Italy, near Milan.

“As both the window fabricator and the manufacturer of the plastic with which the windows are made, we will be better able to control quality as well as supply,” Stone said.

Opticor advanced transparency material has been selected by Gulfstream for the outboard surface of the passenger-cabin windows in the new G650 business jet, Stone said. The proprietary PPG plastic is laminated to stretched acrylic for increased stiffness and assembled with an inboard coated glass panel that can be heated for antifogging.

The material has successfully met the requirements of FAA qualification testing in support of the aircraft type certificate.

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