Submarine windows are designed to withstand extreme pressure differentials, and at least on private submarines, those are generally made of thick acrylic. I want to say space vehicles like Crew Dragon and New Shepard would use acrylic also for their windows---maybe treated with special coatings, but still primarily acrylic in their bulk. Can someone say confidently if this is true? What else could those windows be made of?

  • $\begingroup$ Got a source on the use of acrylic for submarine windows? Acrylic is prone to shattering and forming large shards, is less shock resistant than alternatives, is sensitive to many solvents, and is rather flammable. Polycarbonate would seem to be a more suitable material. $\endgroup$ – Christopher James Huff May 10 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ ISS and shuttle used glass (fused quartz/aluminum silicate/borosilicate). science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/… $\endgroup$ – BowlOfRed May 10 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ Per following Shuttle's windows were made of Aluminum silicate glass and fused silica glass. nasa.gov/missions/highlights/webcasts/shuttle/sts113/… $\endgroup$ – Ohsin May 11 at 0:11
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    $\begingroup$ Even though this question was about UV protection by windows, the answers there also describe window materials, and include links to sources. $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon May 11 at 2:05
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    $\begingroup$ I sense a bit of a misconception here. Unlike submarines, (manned) spacecraft aren't typically subject to extreme pressure differentials. A space station with 100 kPa inside and zero outside is subject to just 100 kPa of pressure, equivalent to 10 meters of water column. $\endgroup$ – TooTea May 11 at 12:14

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