GLARE (an acronym for “GLAss-REinforced” Fiber Metal Laminate) is an FML made from interlayered thin sheets of aluminum and unidirectional S2-glass prepreg. This material was developed during the 1970s and 1980s through a partnership between Fokker, Delft University of Technology, and the Netherlands’ NLR national aerospace research center.
According to Fokker, fiber metal laminates with these bi-directional reinforcements are ideal to withstand the forces in fuselage skin. Implementation of such a new structural principle takes years. Intensive testing did demonstrate that GLARE features good impact and corrosion resistance. Since it is aluminum it can deal with lightning strikes and because of the glass fibers, it is quite good at containing flames in case of fire. The composite in between aluminum blocks corrosion as well. A very important advantage is that its production assembly and repair do not really differ from that of aluminum. All these benefits come with an extra plus: Glare’s density is about 10% lower than that of aluminum.
GLARE entered major application in 2007 when the Airbus A380 airliner began commercial service.