GLARE is a “GLAss-REinforced” Fibre Metal Laminate (FML), composed of several very thin layers of metal (usually aluminium) interspersed with layers of glass-fibre “pre-preg”, bonded together with a matrix such as epoxy.
The uni-directional pre-preg layers may be aligned in different directions to suit the predicted stress conditions. Although GLARE is a composite material, its material properties and fabrication are very similar to bulk aluminum metal sheets.
It has far less in common with composite structures when it comes to design, manufacture, inspection or maintenance. GLARE parts are constructed and repaired using mostly conventional metal material techniques.
Its major advantages over conventional aluminium are:
Better “damage tolerance” behaviour (especially impact and metal fatigue)
Better corrosion resistance
Better fire resistance
Lower specific weight
Furthermore, it is possible to “tailor” the material during design and manufacture such that the number, type and alignment of layers can suit the local stresses and shapes throughout the aircraft.
This allows the production of double-curved sections, complex integrated panels or very large sheets, for example.
While a simple manufactured sheet of GLARE will be more expensive than an equivalent sheet of aluminium, considerable production savings can be made using the aforementioned optimization.
A structure properly designed for GLARE will be significantly lighter and less complex than an equivalent metal structure, and will require less inspection and maintenance and enjoy a much longer lifetime-till failure, making it a cheaper, lighter and safer option overall.
Note! Glare has been developed for Aerospace engineering. Samples only provided against costs.