NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Ceramic Paste for Patching High-Temperature InsulationA ceramic paste that can be applied relatively easily, either by itself or in combination with one or more layer(s) of high-temperature ceramic fabrics, such as silicon carbide or zirconia, has been invented as a means of patching cracks or holes in the reinforced carbon-carbon forward surfaces of a space shuttle in orbit before returning to Earth. The paste or the paste/fabric combination could also be used to repair rocket-motor combustion chambers, and could be used on Earth to patch similar high-temperature structures. The specified chemical composition of the paste admits of a number of variations, and the exact proportions of its constituents are proprietary. In general, the paste consists of (1) silicon carbide, possibly with addition of (2) hafnium carbide, zirconium carbide, zirconium boride, silicon tetraboride, silicon hexaboride, or other metal carbides or oxides blended with (3) a silazane-based polymer. Because the paste is viscous and sticky at normal terrestrial and outer-space ambient temperatures, high-temperature ceramic fabrics such as silicon carbide or zirconia fabric impregnated with the paste (or the paste alone) sticks to the damaged surface to which it is applied. Once the patch has been applied, it is smoothed to minimize edge steps as required [forward-facing edge steps must be < or equal to 0.030 in. (< or equal to 0.76 mm) in the original intended space-shuttle application]. The patch is then heated to a curing temperature thereby converting it from a flexible material to a hard, tough material. The curing temperature is 375 to 450 F (approx.190 to 230 C). In torch tests and arc-jet tests, the cured paste was found to be capable of withstanding a temperature of 3,500 F (approx. 1,900 C) for 15 minutes. As such, the material appears to satisfy the requirement, in the original space-shuttle application, to withstand re-entry temperatures of approx.3,000 F (approx. 1,600 C).
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Adam, Steven J.
(Boeing Co. Houston, TX, United States)
Tompkins, James V.
(Boeing Co. Houston, TX, United States)
Toombs, Gordon R.
(Boeing Co. Houston, TX, United States)
Hogensen, Pete
(Boeing Co. Houston, TX, United States)
Soden, Douglas G.
(Boeing Co. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, February 2007
Subject Category
Technology Utilization And Surface Transportation
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available