PPG engineer, Alabama professor publish paper on brittle materials under impact

Mathematical model to guide design of bird strike-resistant aircraft windshields

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., April 14, 2011 – A research paper co-authored by a PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) aerospace transparencies engineer and a University of Alabama in Huntsville professor appears in the April 1 issue of Journal of Applied Physics. The paper describes a mathematical model for predicting damage and failure of brittle materials under high-velocity impact, and the research is intended to assist in the design of bird strike-resistant aircraft windshields.

The paper, “Crack-mechanics based brittle damage model including nonlinear equation of state and porosity growth,” is by Luis E. Deganis, PPG structural analysis engineering associate at the company’s aerospace transparencies operation in Huntsville, and Q. H. Ken Zuo, Ph.D., University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) associate professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering. It is based on Deganis’s thesis for his master’s degree at UAH.

The authors’ model is believed to improve upon a crack-mechanics based damage model previously developed by Zuo and collaborators at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The new model accounts for porosity growth and shockwave development in brittle materials subjected to high-velocity impact, enabling it to analyze the response of glass aircraft windshields struck by birds during flight, according to Deganis.

“Aircraft windshields are typically laminates with structural plies of glass, plastic or a combination,” Deganis said. “By accounting for the damage progression in these plies, the new model can aid in the future design of more efficient aircraft windshields.”

Journal of Applied Physics is published by the American Institute of Physics as an archival journal for significant new results in applied physics.

PPG Aerospace is the aerospace products and services business of PPG Industries. PPG Aerospace – Transparencies is the world’s largest supplier of aircraft windshields, windows and canopies. PPG Aerospace – PRC-DeSoto is the leading global producer and distributor of aerospace coatings, sealants, and packaging and application systems.

About PPG
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Founded in 1883, the company serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2010 were $13.4 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.


Audrey Fujimoto
PPG Aerospace

Jean Verlich
JV Communications