Moisture-resistant TPS Materials
The proposed NASA Phase I SBIR will generate closed-cell foam thermal protection system materials which do not need waterproofing, and which can be applied as a coating to replace impregnation densification processes and which can potentially protect critical structural elements from penetration of hot reentry gases in the event of damage to the external insulation. Specifically, the program will demonstrate preceramic-polymer derived syntactic foams and plasma sprayed syntactic foam coatings which can survive exposures to 2500 F erosive gases while being waterproof and able to withstand high pressure water-jet cleaning processes. The proposed foams and low density TBC?s could replace a portion of the foam insulation on the SRB and external tank, as well as providing a backup TBC to protect space transportation system structures in the event of localized insulation failure.
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