Organic Rubber Aerogel as Thermal Insulation and Radiation Shield
Small Business Information
184 Cedar Hill St., Marlborough, MA, 01752
AbstractNASA is seeking innovative thermal insulation materials for extravehicular activity (EVA) systems that improve performance in low ambient pressure, reduce cost and weight, and increase durability and human comfort. Aspen Aerogels Inc. (AAI) proposes to demonstrate an organic rubber based aerogel insulation material that will provide superior thermal insulation, and inherent radiation protection for NASA?s EVA mission applications. AAI?s proposed solution will be based on organic polymer rubber materials such as Polyurethane (PU), Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), and Polybutadiene (PB) Rubbers, thus exhibiting the flexibility, resiliency, toughness and durability typical of the parent polymer, yet with the low density and superior insulation properties associated with the aerogels. The rubbery behavior of the proposed materials will overcome the weak and brittle nature of conventional inorganic and organic aerogel insulation materials. Additionally, because of the high content of hydrogen in their structure the proposed aerogels will also provide inherent radiation protection for EVA activities. They will also exhibit inherent hydrophobicity due to their hydrocarbon molecular structure. Overall, the rubber based organic aerogel will provide exceptional thermal insulation, radiation shielding, and flexibility for NASA?s crewmember protection and space hardware and vehicles including other commercial applications.
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