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Interlayer Material – Aircraft Windows

Interlayer materials are transparent adhesive materials used to laminate glass and plastic structural plies for aircraft applications. Current choices are limited to plasticized polyvinyl butyral (incompatible with polycarbonate), polyurethane, and silicone. The most commonly used are true thermoplastics, but some polyurethanes and all silicones contain some cross-linking.

 

(1) Interlayer materials are considered to be nonstructural because they do not directly support aircraft loads. However, glass windshields are often attached to the airframe structure through metal inserts bonded to the interlayer. For such designs the residual strength of the windshield in a condition where all glass plies have failed may be dependent upon the strength of the interlayer. In addition, the shear coupling effectiveness of the interlayer has a great influence on the stiffness of the laminate.

(2) Most interlayer materials are susceptible to moisture ingress into the laminate and are protected by compatible sealants in aircraft service.

(3) Interlayer materials, like structural plies, have a useful service life that is controlled by the surface degradation and removal of the transparency for optical reasons.

 

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