Space: Payload System Solution
Handling Chemical Compatibility
Payload is the carrying capacity of an aircraft or launch vehicle, usually measured in terms of weight. The payload segment includes the propulsion systems of the satellites called thrusters. These engines are most often propelled with very harsh fluids, belonging to the hypergolic category such as Nitrogen Tetroxide NTO (N2O4) or Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) as oxidizers, and Hydrazine (N2H4), Monomethylhydrazine (MMH) and Unsymmetrical-Dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) as propellants. All these fluids have a very strong acidity and cause chemical compatibility issues with many materials commonly used in sealing applications.
Our OmniSeal® product and in particular, the materials belonging to the Fluoroloy® product line that forms its jacket, provide excellent compatibility when used in sealing applications (e.g., inside valves or pumps systems) that come in contact with hypergolic fluids.
Space applications that are not on a launch vehicle or its ground equipment may fall in this category. One of the most recent and popular use of our Rulon® material can be found in many of the different bearings on the Mars Curiosity Rover. These bearings were installed in the robotic arms, drill tools and surface removal tools for material sampling on Mars. The Rulon® material was selected due to its low friction, self-lubricating and low wear advantages.