What kind of glass coating does machines in space use?

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False Prophet
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What kind of glass coating does machines in space use?

Post by False Prophet » Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:42 am

So I listened to a podcast which they mentioned in passing about glasses in sci-fi. So basically glasses use in shuttes have to be extremely strong and have a high melting temprature to withstand the differences in heat and pressure of atmospheric entry. That is why they make these glasses from quariz.

But then it leaves me with this question: Surely they must have had some other special things going on with these glasses, right? There is the matter of exposure to light and electromagnetic radiation in space. What about the formation of frost? etc. etc. So I wonder if they have any kind of coating that they apply to the glasses on space machines and space suits? Like what kind of things they put on the cockpit of a Core Fighter or Saberfish?

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MythSearcher
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Re: What kind of glass coating does machines in space use?

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Dec 07, 2020 11:47 am

False Prophet wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:42 am
So I listened to a podcast which they mentioned in passing about glasses in sci-fi. So basically glasses use in shuttes have to be extremely strong and have a high melting temprature to withstand the differences in heat and pressure of atmospheric entry. That is why they make these glasses from quariz.

But then it leaves me with this question: Surely they must have had some other special things going on with these glasses, right? There is the matter of exposure to light and electromagnetic radiation in space. What about the formation of frost? etc. etc. So I wonder if they have any kind of coating that they apply to the glasses on space machines and space suits? Like what kind of things they put on the cockpit of a Core Fighter or Saberfish?
Space Suit Helmet's glass has a gold coating.
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducat ... it_nf.html
(You have to go pass the mid point to the helmet section)

And for other related things: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/a-window-to-space
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/resea ... glass.html
https://www.cmog.org/article/glass-and-space-orbiter
https://www.corning.com/au/en/products/ ... nding.html

Yes, Corning is very proud of their space glass, but NASA is turning to use more of non-glass material.

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Seto Kaiba
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Re: What kind of glass coating does machines in space use?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:36 pm

False Prophet wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:42 am
Like what kind of things they put on the cockpit of a Core Fighter or Saberfish?
Spacecraft in sci-fi tend to skip realistic design and just make canopies, windows, and helmet visors out of a super-alloy or advanced composite that is transparent and usually far stronger than any modern equivalent. Protection from radiation is usually either an intrinsic property of the material or provided by supplemental energy shielding, depending on the setting.

In Star Trek, it's alloys of transparent aluminum. In Star Wars, it's transparisteel. In Macross, it's a composite called herculite. I'm not aware of Gundam ever specifically identifying the material used for things like the polarized camera covers of Mobile Suits, pilot suit visors, or spacecraft viewports.
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MythSearcher
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Re: What kind of glass coating does machines in space use?

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:54 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:36 pm
Spacecraft in sci-fi tend to skip realistic design and just make canopies, windows, and helmet visors out of a super-alloy or advanced composite that is transparent and usually far stronger than any modern equivalent.
The only difference I can think of is, modern glass used in places requiring protection and/or stronger to withstand abuse usually do not shatter when breaking, but in most fictional shows, they tend to crack and shatter into sharp pieces spectacularly.(the build up forces would make the pieces like bullets considering the forces needed to break them)

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Re: What kind of glass coating does machines in space use?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:46 am

MythSearcher wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:54 pm
The only difference I can think of is, modern glass used in places requiring protection and/or stronger to withstand abuse usually do not shatter when breaking, but in most fictional shows, they tend to crack and shatter into sharp pieces spectacularly.(the build up forces would make the pieces like bullets considering the forces needed to break them)
Rule of drama, for the most part.

Depending on the application, real world safety glass is either:
  • Transparent thermoplastic, and therefore not actually glass at all.
  • Tempered by thermal or chemical processes, so that it shatters into tiny pebble-like shards. (Arguably as bad or worse at high speeds than the big shards, since it means you get cut by more pieces of high-velocity frag glass, as revealed in tests conducted by the MythBusters.)
  • Laminated, actually being multiple layers of glass joined by layers of transparent plastic.
  • Internally reinforced, with metal wire mesh.
If it's a surface that's likely to sustain impact, it's almost always either laminated glass (e.g. automotive windshields) or thermoplastic (e.g. aircraft windshields, bulletproof glass).

The various forms of superalloy window in fiction tend to be just a single solid piece of material of indeterminate thickness that can only be shattered by incredible force that would otherwise have gone straight through armored surfaces.

Though, interestingly, one thing to notice WRT a specific subset of those fictional windows is that the ones that're mounted on spacecraft tend not to shatter at all... they tend to get holed, like a laminated glass sheet would if a sufficiently fast projectile hit it. Presumably because if you're on a spacecraft you'd want to keep any potential breach as small as possible.
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Re: What kind of glass coating does machines in space use?

Post by MythSearcher » Fri Dec 11, 2020 4:54 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:46 am

Rule of drama, for the most part.

Depending on the application, real world safety glass is either:
  • Transparent thermoplastic, and therefore not actually glass at all.
  • Laminated, actually being multiple layers of glass joined by layers of transparent plastic.
I have always wondered about these.
Thermoplastics are cool and all, especially polycarbonate are pretty good at laminating glass to provide good protection against shattering pieces(and I have seen laminated glass being able to sustain an impact from a whole tree log) but don't they deform under heat?
My links up there states that NASA also mixed and matched plastics in their use, but I assume when it comes to anything that will face high temperatures, it is really hard to use plastics.
I wonder if silicone can be used instead, but it seems to be too soft.
If it's a surface that's likely to sustain impact, it's almost always either laminated glass (e.g. automotive windshields) or thermoplastic (e.g. aircraft windshields, bulletproof glass).

The various forms of superalloy window in fiction tend to be just a single solid piece of material of indeterminate thickness that can only be shattered by incredible force that would otherwise have gone straight through armored surfaces.

Though, interestingly, one thing to notice WRT a specific subset of those fictional windows is that the ones that're mounted on spacecraft tend not to shatter at all... they tend to get holed, like a laminated glass sheet would if a sufficiently fast projectile hit it. Presumably because if you're on a spacecraft you'd want to keep any potential breach as small as possible.
Polycarbonate has a slight self healing effect, at least in slower impacts. That is why law reinforcement shields uses polycarbonate. The resulting hole will somehow be smaller than whatever punctured it, so it sounded perfect for spacecraft windows. You just can't use them in reentry crafts.

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Re: What kind of glass coating does machines in space use?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Fri Dec 11, 2020 6:42 am

MythSearcher wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 4:54 am
I have always wondered about these.
Thermoplastics are cool and all, especially polycarbonate are pretty good at laminating glass to provide good protection against shattering pieces(and I have seen laminated glass being able to sustain an impact from a whole tree log) but don't they deform under heat?
Yeah, PMMA becomes malleable at around 160°C (320°F). It can be mitigated by vacuum isolation between panes, but the bigger problem is that PMMA and other thermoplastics become brittle below -7°C (19.4°F). Go below that point and you may find yourself facing not just shards of broken glass but shards of frozen polycarbonate too.


MythSearcher wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 4:54 am
My links up there states that NASA also mixed and matched plastics in their use, but I assume when it comes to anything that will face high temperatures, it is really hard to use plastics.
I wonder if silicone can be used instead, but it seems to be too soft.
Yeah, it's probably too soft... though at least arranged properly they can be pretty thoroughly fireproof. (If you recall, Buster 2.0 on MythBusters had his flesh made from a polyorganosiloxane elastomer that proved reasonably fireproof even against highly reactive herbicides, nitrocellulose, and exhaust from modern solid fuel rockets.)


MythSearcher wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 4:54 am
Polycarbonate has a slight self healing effect, at least in slower impacts. That is why law reinforcement shields uses polycarbonate. The resulting hole will somehow be smaller than whatever punctured it, so it sounded perfect for spacecraft windows. You just can't use them in reentry crafts.
Polycarbonate's "healing" effect is usually the result of an elastomeric coating that's applied to prevent scratching from negatively impacting the clarity of the laminated glass. The effect you're describing isn't healing, it's just a reversible elastic deformation of the material under impact. (The surface of the material returning to its original shape after the kinetic energy dissipates.)
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