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The role of architecture for a modern airport is to enhance traveler experiences by positively representing an entire city or region—all while enhancing safety and security. Without a doubt, airports are statement buildings that must accommodate throngs of people, host varied retail and hospitality venues, and facilitate the complex logistics of modern air travel.  Often, they accentuate natural light to create a connection with travelers and the wild blue yonder. As such, the extensive use of high performance glazing and safety glass has become a key construction material for arrival halls i new airports and airport renovations.   


The extensive use of glass, typically floor to ceiling panels, also presents the need for human impact safety precautions, security breaching protection, noise considerations, severe wind load capacity, glare reduction, and stringent material durability requirements. Laminated safety glass made with Saflex interlayer is well suited to address these needs.


The proximity of planes and the amount of vehicular activity on the tarmac make airports an ideal facility to demonstrate the effectiveness and ease of use for laminated acoustic glass, such as the engineered acoustic tri-layer interlayer, Saflex Q series. This “quiet glass” has been successfully incorporated into airports around the world.


On a more serious note, it’s an unfortunate fact that airport architects must also design for additional safety in the case of targeted terrorist attack or violence. The use of laminated glass when designed, constructed, and installed properly can help prevent a blast wave, unintended debris, or bullets from entering a facility. Interlayers made into effective bomb blast glass can also help retain large broken shards that may fly or fall after attack, preventing cutting and piercing injuries.

Which products fit in?

Eastman has experience with multiple interlayer products being used in the design of the glazing for airports, including:

  • Saflex Clear, the conventional PVB interlayer can be used for:
    • ​Safety: in case of glass breakage from human or accidental impact, the shards of broken glass will remain adhered to the interlayer providing a reduction in cutting or piercing injuries.  With properly glazed laminated glass in a framing system, fall through protection may also be provided.
    • Storms:  laminated glass with adequate interlayer thickness is capable of thwarting wind-borne debris from penetrating the façade and subsequently allowing destructive internal pressurization in severe windstorms such as tropical cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes.   The ability of the interlayer to contain the glass shards after breakage has been demonstrated to contribute to enhanced glass retention during seismic activities as well. 
    • Security: a laminated glass configuration can be incorporated into a system to provide a sufficient level of protection against man-made intentional attacks, including vandalism and burglary, explosion resistance and ballistic assault.


  • Saflex Acoustic is an engineered tri-layer interlayer that provides enhanced sound damping between 1000 – 4000 Hertz (Hz) as compared to conventional PVB interlayer.   The enhanced performance may allow the glazing construction to be designed using less air space and/or thinner glass to achieve the same sound reduction rating versus conventional and historic practices.

  • Saflex Solar, a solar absorbing PVB interlayer, brings improved the solar control by reducing solar heat gain versus clear and conventional laminated glass without coatings.  Saflex Solar can also be incorporated into single unit laminated glass with low-emissivity hard coatings or into insulating glass units (IGU) with or without low-emissivity glasses.  

  • Vanceva® Earth Tones collection and Vanceva Colors interlayers bring forth the possibility of using a large range of color in a façade or as interior glazing without having to increase glass thickness to achieve color intensity, be delayed waiting for colored glass campaigns or ordering large quantities of custom colored glass. Both products provide the flexibility to customize or modify and improve the aesthetic of the façade.

  • Saflex Structural PVB interlayer can be used in laminated glass configurations targeted for floors, stairs, fins, balustrades, guards and canopies.

  • Saflex High Protection (HP) and Saflex Storm interlayers can be used when enhanced protection from tropical cyclones, typhoons and hurricane force winds with windborne debris are needed.

The various types of Saflex and Vanceva interlayers mentioned above can be combined between two pieces of glass or in the same glazing configuration to improve the overall performance of the glazing system and contribute to the optimum performance of the airport application.   

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