Elastomers in Space



This IOM3 Elastomer Group Afternoon Technical Discussion Meeting will focus on the use of elastomers and elastomeric-like materials for Space applications

This event will specifically discuss and address the issues of using a elastomer materials in space. These materials are known to exhibit dramatic changes in behaviour below their glass transition temperature, when subjected to radiation and in zero atmosphere conditions. These issues can present the designer with real challenges when trying to design sealing systems or flexible vibration damping systems for use in space applications.

IOM3 Elastomer Group's Afternoon Technical Discussion Meeting (ATDM) is the main platform for the technical and scientific community in the UK to discuss the use of rubber and elastomers materials. Utilising elastomeric materials under these types of extreme condition will be of interest to a broad range of the IOM3 membership.

Three take away benefits for participants attending this event:

  1. Learn about how elastomer materials behave under extreme conditions or radiation, low temperature and low pressure
  2. Learn about the strategies developed to formulate elastomers that can operate under these conditions
  3. Learn how elastomers can be used to support the future exploration of the solar system by humans

Radiation-induced Degradation of Thermal Interface Materials in Space Electronics

Presented by Prof Roozbeh Dargazany, Dr. Hadis Nouri

Elastomeric Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs) are used in the thermal management of electronics used in spacecraft to transfer heat generated in electronic systems. The materials used must have good thermal conductivity and form without any insulating cavities. In space, these materials are exposed to high doses of gamma radiation due to the lack of any absorbing medium. A machine-learned thermal-radiation constitutive model for the TIM material that incorporates the dependence of damage parameters on total dosage, dose rate, temperature and ageing time will be introduced.

Elastomers as enablers for new small satellite missions and applications

Presented by: Dr Chantal Cappelletti 

In the last two decades, with the invention of the CubeSat standard, we assisted with an amazing increase in the small satellite market. CubeSats, and Small satellites in general, have completely changed the way to access and use Space - partly generating what is the so-called New Space Economy . This talk will focus on how elastomers are currently used in the design of small satellite systems and what can be done in the near future to enable new missions and applications.

Elastomer Composites for Space Applications

Presented by: Yarjan Abdus Samad from Cambridge Graphene Centre 

Elastomeric composites are being developed for use in space applications such as thermal management, pressure and strain sensing and toxic gas sensing. Graphene and graphene like materials can be solubilised to make inks and suspensions that are mixed with elastomeric polymers and printed, coated, and deposited via several manufacturing techniques including but not limited to screen and inkjet printing and spray coating. Objects can also be produced by extrusion, which are then 3D-printed to produce devices such as pressure sensors.

Can we successfully use elastomers on Mars?

Presented by: Rafał Anyszka from Uni of Lodz & Anke Blume from Uni of Twente

Mars exploration is expanding including recent successful missions using rovers and even a helicopter. Future missions will use even more sensitive instruments. Currently, these systems lack elasticity and damping that would be required to protect the sensitive equipment from vibrations. This talk discusses how to design rubber to withstand the Martian environment by assuring low-temperature elasticity and UV resistance.