Canadian Plastics

Resin foam protection in outer space

Of all the delivery jobs in the world, the toughest might be for a delivery that's actually out of this world: the transportation of satellites into space via rocket launchers -- a task made even more...


April 1, 2007
By Canadian Plastics

Of all the delivery jobs in the world, the toughest might be for a delivery that’s actually out of this world: the transportation of satellites into space via rocket launchers — a task made even more difficult by the need to protect a satellite’s sensitive equipment and circuitry against damage from high sound pressure during lift-off.

That’s why the Swiss company Contraves Space AG, given the contract to build the protective payload fairings at the top of satellite-launching rockets used by the European Space Agency, selected BASF’s Basotect melamine resin foam.

Lightweight, flexible and with high sound-absorbing capacity due to an open-cell structure consisting of very thin filaments, foil-coated Basotect foam plates are mounted so as to precisely match the conical shaped interior of the payload fairing.

In addition to reducing high vibration frequency and thus lowering sound pressure during the first stage of flight, the foam retains its flexibility without becoming brittle, according to BASF, even when exposed to extreme temperatures of space flight ranging from +200C to -200C.

BASF Canada (Toronto);

www.plasticsportal.com; 800-267-2955