English Abstract

Evaluations of Polymeric Materials in Space Environment for Space Use

Kazuyuki MORI
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Aerospace Research and Development Directorate, Tsukuba Space Center, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2013),86(12),367-372 General Review in Japanese

Wide-ranging polymeric materials are commonly used in spacecraft to meet numerous system design requirements. The tolerance of such polymeric materials against the space environment, e.g. vacuum, ultraviolet rays, radiation, atomic oxygen, etc. must be evaluated, because this environment is a known threat for materials, especially polymers. JAXA has been striving to evaluate the tolerance of polymeric materials in the space environment through both ground tests and space exposure experiments, which allows engineers in the space industry to obtain material data detailing tolerance against the space environment. This article introduces the space environment and its effect on polymeric materials, examples of damage to materials in orbit, and the evaluation capabilities for polymeric materials to be used in space at the Tsukuba Space Center, JAXA.

Keywords: Space Environment, Ultraviolet, Atomic Oxygen, Degradation