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- An investigation of silicone elastomers for seals used in docking and habitat systems for future space exploration vehicles is being conducted at NASA. For certain missions, NASA is considering androgynous docking systems where two vehicles each having a seal would be required to: dock for a period of time, seal effectively, and then separate with minimum push-off forces for undocking. Sili-cone materials are generally chosen for their wide operating temperatures and low leakage rates. However silicone materials are often sticky and usually exhibit considerable adhesion when mated against metals and silicone surfaces. This paper investigates the adhesion unit pressure for a space rated silicone material (S0383-70) for either seal-on-seal (SoS) or seal-on-aluminum (SoAl) operation modes in the following conditions: as-received, after ground-based atomic-oxygen (AO) pre-treatment, after application of a thin coating of a space-qualified grease (Bray-cote 601EF), and after a combination of AO pre-treatment and grease coating. In order of descending adhesion reduction, the AO treatment reduced seal adhesion the most, followed by the AO plus grease pre-treatment, followed by the grease treatment. The effects of various treatments on silicone (S0383-70 and ELA-SA-401) outgassing properties were also investigated. The leading adhesion AO pre-treatment reduction led to a slight decrease in outgassing for the S0383-70 material and virtually no change in ELA-SA-401 outgassing.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20110014982.
- No Copyright.
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