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- High temperature polymer matrix composites (PMC) reinforced with high thermal conductivity (approx. 1000 W/mK) pitch-based carbon fibers are evaluated for a facesheet/fin structure of large space radiator systems. Significant weight reductions along with improved thermal performance, structural integrity and space durability toward its metallic counterparts were envisioned. Candidate commercial resin systems including Cyanate Esters, BMIs, and polyimide were selected based on thermal capabilities and processability. PMC laminates were designed to match the thermal expansion coefficient of various metal heat pipes or tubes. Large, but thin composite panels were successfully fabricated after optimizing cure conditions. Space durability of PMC with potential degradation mechanisms was assessed by simulated thermal aging tests in high vacuum, 1-3 x 10(exp -6) torr, at three temperatures, 227 C, 277 C, and 316 C for up to one year. Nanocomposites with vapor-grown carbon nano-fibers and exfoliated graphite flakes were attempted to improve thermal conductivity (TC) and microcracking resistance. Good quality nanocomposites were fabricated and evaluated for TC and durability including radiation resistance. TC was measured in both in-plan and thru-the-thickness directions, and the effects of microcracks on TC are also being evaluated. This paper will discuss the systematic experimental approaches, various performance-durability evaluations, and current subcomponent design and fabrication/manufacturing efforts.
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- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20070010454.
High Temple Workshop 2007; 12-15 Feb. 2007; Sedona, AZ; United States.
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