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Advanced Control Surface Seal Development for Future Space VehiclesHigh temperature control surface seals have been identified as a critical technology in the development of future space vehicles. These seals must withstand temperatures of up to 2600 F and protect underlying temperature-sensitive structures (such as actuators and sealing capability by remaining resilient during flight conditions. The current baseline seal, used on the Shuttle orbiters and the X-38 vehicle, consists of a Nextel 312 sheath, an internal Inconel X-750 knitted spring tube, and hand-stuffed Saffil batting. Unfortunately at high temperatures (> 1500 F), the seal resiliency significantly degrades due to yielding and creep of the spring tube element. The permanent set in the seals can result in flow passing over the seals and subsequent damage to temperature sensitive components downstream of the seals. Another shortcoming of the baseline seal is that instances have been reported on Shuttle flights where some of the hand-stuffed Saffil batting insulation has been extracted, thus potentially compromising the seal. In vehicles where the thermal protection systems are delicate (such as with Shuttle tiles), the control surface seals must also limit the amount of force applied to the opposing surfaces. Additionally, in many applications the seals are subjected to scrubbing as control surfaces are actuated. The seals must be able to withstand any damage resulting from this high temperature scrubbing and retain their heat/flow blocking abilities.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
DeMange, Jeffrey J.
(Toledo Univ. OH, United States)
Dunlap, Patrick H., Jr.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Steinetz, Bruce M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: 2003 NASA Seal/Secondary Air System Workshop, Volume 1
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20040182396Analytic Primary2003 NASA Seal/Secondary Air System Workshop
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