Composite material in cryogenic vacuum conditions


Testing the behaviour of composite materials with coatings in cryo-vacuum conditions

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composites_3D11_Composite_material_cryogenic
Recapitulation

Goal
We would like to investigate which composite material together with which coating (required to prevent outgassing in vacuum conditions) can be used best in cryogenic temperatures.


Approach
We follow a 2 phase apporach. In phase one we test several combinations of composite material and coatings on flat samples. In Phase 2 we will apply an industrial coating procedure on a #D form of the most promising composite-coating sample.

 

Involved Partners
Airborne and TNO


Progress, Finished

Goal
Instruments have the tendency to become larger and heavier. By the use of new materials we might be able to break this trend. Composite materials could play an important role in this area. When they are made in the right way, they are light and still very strong. However the behaviour of composite materials in cryo-vacuum conditions is not well known. In this project we would like to investigate which composite material together with which coating (required to prevent outgassing in vacuum conditions) can be used best in cryogenic temperatures.



Approach
This project has a two phased approach:

 

During phase 1, a selection is made of the best composite materials that can be used in cryogenic environments. For this selection we will make use of studies that have already been performed, like a study done by Dutch Space. Slabs of these selected composite materials will be coated with different coatings and tested on their outgassing properties. We will also test the robustness of the coatings to temperature changes.

 

In phase 2 we will apply an industrial coating procedure on 3D shapes for the in phase one selected combination of composite material and coating and test the result.


Status

The project is finished and the results have been written down in reports


Phase 1 has been completed. Peek and MTM57 were coated with nickel, copper and aluminum. All 6 samples have been tested for outgassing, gas tightness and robustness of the coating.

 

Phase 2 has finished and 3D composites have been coated in an industrial applicabl way and tested for outgassing, cryogenic shocks and applicability.


samples

Examples of coated composite materials.


All coatings pass the adhesion and TV test indicating good adhesion. This means that the sample pretreatment and electroless process are well designed and executed.

Generally the galvanic nickel coating results the best results. But the electroless nickel coating without galvanic layer is most resistant to thermal shocks. The optimum process might therefore depend on the intended application.



Involved Partners

The work has been performed by  Airborne and TNO

Glossarium

Composite Material
Composite materials are materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties, that when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components. For this research we use a polymer matrix reinforced with fibres.

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