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Adhesion of Silicone Elastomer Seals for NASA's Crew Exploration VehicleSilicone rubber seals are being considered for a number of interfaces on NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). Some of these joints include the docking system, hatches, and heat shield-to-back shell interface. A large diameter molded silicone seal is being developed for the Low Impact Docking System (LIDS) that forms an effective seal between the CEV and International Space Station (ISS) and other future Constellation Program spacecraft. Seals between the heat shield and back shell prevent high temperature reentry gases from leaking into the interface. Silicone rubber seals being considered for these locations have inherent adhesive tendencies that would result in excessive forces required to separate the joints if left unchecked. This paper summarizes adhesion assessments for both as-received and adhesion-mitigated seals for the docking system and the heat shield interface location. Three silicone elastomers were examined: Parker Hannifin S0899-50 and S0383-70 compounds, and Esterline ELA-SA-401 compound. For the docking system application various levels of exposure to atomic oxygen (AO) were evaluated. Moderate AO treatments did not lower the adhesive properties of S0899-50 sufficiently. However, AO pretreatments of approximately 10(exp 20) atoms/sq cm did lower the adhesion of S0383-70 and ELA-SA-401 to acceptable levels. For the heat shield-to-back shell interface application, a fabric covering was also considered. Molding Nomex fabric into the heat shield pressure seal appreciably reduced seal adhesion for the heat shield-to-back shell interface application.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
deGroh, Henry C., III
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Miller, Sharon K. R.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Smith, Ian M.
(Akron Univ. Akron, OH, United States)
Daniels, Christopher C.
(Akron Univ. Akron, OH, United States)
Steinetz, Bruce M
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 2008
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
44th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit(Hartford, CT)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 644423.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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