Innovative Approaches For Light Weight Optically Transparent Energy Dispersing Composite Structural Windscreens

Period of Performance: 08/13/2007 - 06/13/2008


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road Array
Austin, TX 78733
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469
Institution POC


A new aircraft transparency material is needed to improve impact resistance while reducing the weight of current transparencies, including windscreens, canopies, and windows. TRI/Austin proposes to develop an optically clear laminate system applicable to numerous NAVAIR platforms. Investigations of optical reinforcements will focus on the successful implementation of nanoscale polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS) and glass ribbons into commercially available transparent resin systems such as polycarbonate, PMMA, and transparent epolxy. These materials will be compounded and optimized to develop an effective dissipater of impact, such as bird strikes. TRI/Austin will explore the benefits of these reinforcements including increased impact toughness, mechanical properties, and glass transition temperature. A reduction in bulk density is expected with the POSS reinforcements. Structural windscreen supports may be reduced or eliminated due to the advantages realized with new transparency materials. Phase I testing will confirm the improved critical properties and provide the basis for further qualification and implementation onto airframe prototype structures in Phase II.