Transparent Nanoporous Glass-Polymer Composite for U.S. Army Applications

Report No. ARL-TR-4631
Authors: Daniel J. O'Brien; Dr. Thomas F. Juliano; Parimal J. Patel; Dr. Steven H. McKnight
Date/Pages: October 2008; 22 pages
Abstract: This report explores the manufacturing of a novel transparent polymer-glass composite. The material is created by infiltrating nanoporous glass (Vycor, Corning Inc.) with different polymers. The Vycor pores (4-6 nm) are much smaller than the wavelength of light; thus, refractive index matching with the polymer is not necessary for transparency. Close to 90% of the pore volume can be filled by soaking the porous glass in methyl methacrylate and polymerizing in situ. The resulting composite is 95% transparent with excellent clarity, extremely low haze, and an elastic modulus that is well predicted by micromechanics.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2008