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Space Environment Effects on Silicone Seal MaterialsA docking system is being developed by the NASA to support future space missions. It is expected to use redundant elastomer seals to help contain cabin air during dockings between two spacecraft. The sealing surfaces are exposed to the space environment when vehicles are not docked. In space, the seals will be exposed to temperatures between 125 to -75 C, vacuum, atomic oxygen, particle and ultraviolet radiation, and micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD). Silicone rubber is the only class of space flight-qualified elastomeric seal material that functions across the expected temperature range. NASA Glenn has tested three silicone elastomers for such seal applications: two provided by Parker (S0899-50 and S0383-70) and one from Esterline (ELA-SA-401). The effects of atomic oxygen (AO), UV and electron particle radiation, and vacuum on the properties of these three elastomers were examined. Critical seal properties such as leakage, adhesion, and compression set were measured before and after simulated space exposures. The S0899-50 silicone was determined to be inadequate for extended space seal applications due to high adhesion and intolerance to UV, but both S0383-70 and ELA-SA-401 seals were adequate.
Document ID
20100029591
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Authors
deGroh, Henry C., III
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Daniels, Christopher C.
(Akron Univ. Akron, OH, United States)
Dever, Joyce A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Miller, Sharon K.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Waters, Deborah L.
(ASRC Aerospace Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Finkbeiner, Joshua R.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Dunlap, Patrick H.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Steinetz, Bruce M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 2010
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Report/Patent Number
NASA/TM-2010-216332
E-17267
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 644423.06.31.04.01.03.22
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

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