THE FLUX OF OXYGEN ATOMS NEAR THE SURFACE OF POLYMERS IN LOWORBIT ENVIRONMENTS CAN RESULT IN ACCELERATED EROSION OF THE EXPOSED POLYMER.

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$49,650.00
Award Year:
1985
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
2857
Agency Tracking Number:
2857
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
79 Byron Rd, Weston, MA, 02193
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
IH HOUNG LOH SR
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
THE FLUX OF OXYGEN ATOMS NEAR THE SURFACE OF POLYMERS IN LOWORBIT ENVIRONMENTS CAN RESULT IN ACCELERATED EROSION OF THE EXPOSED POLYMER. THE SOURCE OF THESE OXYGEN ATOMS MAY BE BOTH THE SPACE ENVIRONMENT AND THE POLYMERS THEMSELVES. FLUOROPOLYMERS ARE KNOWN TO BE RESISTANT TO THIS EROSION. HOWEVER, BULK POLYMERS CANNOT BE READILY PROCESSED INTO COMPOSITS FOR SPACE APPLICATIONS. IT IS PROPOSED THAT FURTHER RESEARCH BE DONE ON A METHOD OF COMBINING THE EROSION RESISTANCE OF FLUOROPOLYMERS WITH THE DESIRABLE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF CONVENTIONAL COMPOSITE MATERIALS. THIS CAN BE DONE BY CHEMICALLY MODIFYING THE EXISTING MOLECULES IN THE OUTERMOST SURFACE LAYER OF THE MATERIAL RATHER THAN COATING IT, THUS AVOIDING DELAMINATION PROBLEMS. IN THIS PROJECT, PLASMA SURFACE FLUORINATION TECHNIQUES WILLBE USED TO REDUCE HYDROGEN ATOMS OF POLYMER MOLECULES IN THESURFACE OF POLYMER MATERIALS TO PRODUCE A TEFLON-LIKE SUBSTANCE AT THE SURFACE OF THE MATERIAL. THIS MODIFIED SURFACE SHOULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE EROSION OF THE MATERIAL BY ATOMIC OXYGEN, BUT LEAVE THE MECHANICAL INTEGRITY OF THE ORIGINAL MATERIAL INTACT. PRELIMINARY LABORATORY TESTING AND RESULTS OBTAINED FROM SHUTTLE FLIGHT 41D INDICATE A HIGH PROBABILITY THAT LOW-COST, HIGH-PERFORMANCE MATERIALS CAN BE DEVELOPED FOR SPACE STATION AND OTHER SATELLITE USE.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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