Other Transparent Technologies
There are a number of Other Transparent Materials: Glass – Silica – Sio2 – Silicon Dioxide The material that provides highest optical clarity and is most resistant to the detrimental effects of chemicals, weather and abrasion is glass. Glass can withstand sustained high temperatures, can be formed and strengthened, and is the most durable material for carrying enhanced performance coatings and films. Silica based glass is an almost perfectly elastic material, when loads are applied to glass it will not be permanently deformed and will always return to its original position regardless of the number of times it is deformed. Silica based glass is theoretically very strong but has many flaws that lead to unpredictable mechanical failure.
Plastic Transparencies Polycarbonate – Polycarbonate is used widely in because of its high impact resistance and high strength-to-weight ratio. It offers good dimensional stability, mechanical properties and light weight. However, it has poor abrasion resistance, low thermal stability e and is susceptible to attack from solvents, ultraviolet radiation and humidity. Alchemie Technology has successfully developed polycarbonate liners and SiTx™ facing for polycarbonate that isolates the polycarbonate from the outside environment, thus taking advantage of the resistant capabilities of the polycarbonate combined with the high strength and hardness of SiTx™. Acrylic – Alchemie Technology produces transparencies with cast acrylic and stretched acrylic, which have similar properties to polycarbonate.
Cast acrylic weighs about half as much as tempered glass and is fairly resistant to abrasion. Ceramic Transparencies Aluminium Oxide (sapphire) based ceramics are transparent, very hard, very thermally resilient and have an excellent transparency in the infra-red spectrum. The fabrication of transparent ceramics is very expensive and their fracture resistance is very low.