Autoclave processing: Bonding rigid layers into strong composites
Autoclave processing combines similar or dissimilar rigid materials to create strong composites such as impact- and blast-resistant glass. This is achieved by melting flexible adhesive interlayers of our Dureflex® or Platilon® aliphatic polyurethane films between the rigid layers under pressure.
The manufacture of impact-resistant transparencies serves as a good example of the autoclave process. First, the rigid and adhesive layers of optical aliphatic polyurethane, known as the lay-up, are stacked. The air between the layers is removed via vacuum or pressure nipping, and the lay-up is placed in an autoclave. It is then subjected to carefully managed temperature and pressure profiles, including specific ramp-up, hold, and ramp-down periods, which are collectively referred to as the autoclave cycle. This process creates a composite transparency that, after cooling, has impact-resistant properties much greater than those of any individual layer.
Applications where our Dureflex® and Platilon® films may undergo autoclave processing include impact-, ballistic-, blast-, and/or hurricane-resistant transparencies for military, government, police, and correctional facilities; financial institutions; armored vehicles; and aerospace.