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Nonburning High Heat Composite Material of the Future

SpecialChem / Sep 10, 2008

XCOR Aerospace, a private US-based spaceflight development company has developed a novel composite material for applications in rocket fuel cells as part of XCOR's contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The non-flammable, high-strength, lightweight thermoplastic fluoropolymer composite trademarked 'nonburnite' is suitable for making liquid oxygen (LOX) tanks required for space flight. The material is said to have a high strength to weight ratio, as well as excellent flame resistance and high heat, thermal insulation properties. The superior performance of nonburnite is expected to overcome the problems of conventional materials with LOX and cryogenic environments. Fabricated as a skin-foam-skin composite, the material can serve not only as part of the structure but as a thermal insulator as well. Nonburnite maintains its strength and flexibility from extreme hot to extreme cold temperatures (-260 degrees to plus 280 degrees C). Standard aerospace graphite/epoxy (l) continues to burn without a direct ignition source.

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