Autoclave processing is used to combine similar or dissimilar, rigid materials by melting flexible adhesive interlayers under pressure to create a composite structure. For example, to produce impact resistant transparencies, the rigid and adhesive layers of optical aliphatic polyurethane, known as the lay-up, are stacked. Air is removed between layers via vacuum or pressure nipping, and the lay-up is placed in an autoclave. The lay-up is subjected to carefully managed temperature and pressure profiles, including the specific ramp-up, hold, and ramp-down periods, 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.
Dureflex® aliphatic polyurethane sheet serves as the flexible, durable adhesive that absorbs the stresses created during the cooling of dissimilar materials, reducing the potential for shattering of glass or warping of other components. In addition, the adhesive enhances the mechanical and physical shock absorbing properties of the transparency.
Applications where Dureflex® film may undergo autoclave processing include: impact, ballistic, blast, and / or hurricane resistant transparencies for military, government, police, correctional facilities; financial institutions; armored vehicles; aerospace.
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