Boeing 787 Dreamliner uses PPG transparencies, aerospace coatings and sealants.
Photos courtesy of Boeing.
Products from PPG Industries’ aerospace business for the
Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet will simplify maintenance and reduce costs for
airlines while enhancing the flying experience for crews and passengers who
travel aboard the world’s newest jetliner.
The Dreamliner flight deck features commercial aviation’s largest windshields,
kept clear of fog and ice with gold and indium-tin oxide heating systems.
Passengers can enjoy Alteos interactive window systems by PPG, commercial
aviation’s first electrochromic window shades, which are powered by an
interactive system that passengers control.
A selectively strippable coatings system provides simplified, environmentally
responsible and less-costly maintenance. PPG Aerospace supplies the only
complete coatings system qualified by Boeing for the 787.
In addition, the fuselage and fuel tank are sealed with lightweight,
rapid-curing and environmentally responsible PRC-brand sealants by PPG
Aerospace. A new secondary fuel and vapor barrier was developed to seal the
exterior of the 787’s wing box.
“Our goal was to provide products as advanced as the Dreamliner jet itself that
enhance the flying experience while providing practical advantages of being
lightweight, low maintenance and environmentally responsible,” said Barry
Gillespie, PPG Aerospace vice president. “PPG continues its long-term
association with Boeing as a supplier of world-class transparencies, coatings
and sealants, and we know airlines that fly the Dreamliner jet will benefit as
Enhanced Passenger, Crew Experience with PPG Transparencies
The Alteos interactive window systems by PPG replace
traditional pull-down opaque shades and enable passengers to select the amount
of light transmitted through the window.
“Electrochromic shades were the ideal solution for the Boeing 787’s large
passenger-cabin windows,” said Mark Cancilla, PPG Aerospace global platform
director for transparencies. “While Alteos interactive window systems make the
flying experience more comfortable and fun for passengers, they afford
operating efficiencies for airlines. They are lighter in weight than other
shading systems and offer reduced maintenance because they are self-contained
with no moving parts.”
The window systems use electrochromic technology by Gentex Corp., a leader in
electrochromic devices for automotive applications.
The pilot and copilot of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet will sit behind the
largest commercial-aviation windshields and side cockpit windows by PPG,
providing a panoramic view that spans more than 13 feet across the cockpit.
“The windshields will have an outboard ply of strengthened glass by PPG and two
stretched-acrylic plies,” Cancilla said. “Glass affords optical clarity, as
well as chemical and abrasion resistance. Combining [glass] with acrylic
enables us to produce a lightweight yet strong windshield. With this design,
our windshields contributed to Boeing’s ability to meet their target weight.”
The electrically heated defog coatings on the 787 flight-deck windows are made
with a gold thin film. In addition to providing window heat, the coating
reflects a large amount of infrared energy, which helps to minimize heat in the
The flight-deck windows are aerodynamically contoured to enhance the 787’s fuel
efficiency. The structurally loaded windshields will carry aircraft
pressurization loads, transferring the structural load back to the airframe,
Environmentally Responsible Aerospace Coatings
Because of the 787’s composite airframe, PPG devised an
improved paint system, said Brian Roberson, PPG Aerospace global platform
director for coatings.
“Boeing will use a PPG Aerospace selectively strippable system on the new 787
aircraft, consisting of our chromate-free Desoprime CA 7501 high-solids epoxy
primer to protect the composite and metal surfaces; DeSoto F565-4010
chromate-free intermediate coating to facilitate topcoat removal for
repainting; and Desothane CA 8000 high-solids polyurethane topcoats,” he said.
“When repainting is needed, a very mild, environmentally friendly chemical
stripper can be used to remove the topcoats and intermediate coating,” Roberson
said. “This eliminates the use of strong strippers and hand sanding that could
damage the composite….It also eliminates the need for re-priming and use of
surface preparation chemicals.”
Desothane CA 8000 high-solids topcoats contain more pigment than traditional
coatings; thus, less material can be used to achieve needed coverage, and a
lower percentage of solvent reduces volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions
upon application. With a four-hour dry time, process cycle time is reduced,
which allows planes to return to service sooner. The Desothane topcoat has the
fastest dry time of any material qualified to Boeing’s material specification
(BMS 10-126), Roberson said.
Expected time savings over a normal strip-and-repaint system is about two and a
half days. “As a result, airlines will reduce aircraft refinish downtime by
about 40% by eliminating base primer application and hazardous materials
collection and disposal,” Roberson said.
High-Performance, Lightweight Sealants
PRC sealants provide performance characteristics designed
for the 787’s composite airframe, while offering weight savings for enhanced
“The 787 uses a variety of PPG Aerospace ‘Generation III’ lightweight sealants,
which offer 20-30% weight reduction over their predecessors,” said John Sands,
PPG Aerospace global platform director for sealants. “On a wide-body aircraft
such as the 787, these reductions take hundreds of pounds off the airframe,
contributing to fuel savings and extending range.”
The 787 is the Boeing launch platform for PR-1772 chromate-free lightweight
fuselage sealant, affording as much as a 30% weight savings per unit volume
over traditional sealants. PR-2001 fuel-tank sealant is qualified for moldline
exterior application because it is fast-curing, offers low shrinkage and
features a service range of up to 320°F.
About PPG AerospacePPG
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 2009 were
About PPGPittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of
coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and
fiberglass. The company has more than 140 manufacturing facilities and equity
affiliates, and operates in more than 60 countries. Sales in 2009 were $12.2
For more information, visit www.ppg.com.
Alteos is a trademark of PPG Industries.
Desoprime, Desothane, DeSoto and PRC are trademarks of PRC-DeSoto
Dreamliner is a trademark of Boeing.