Controlled CTE High-Performance Films for Space Structures
Controlled CTE High-Performance Films for
350 Second Avenue
Waltham, MA 02254
Richard W. Lusignea (617-890-3200)
LaRC -- NAS1-18636
Certain thermoplastic polyimides exhibit a combination of good processability and
excellent performance (chemical resistance and high mechanical, adhesive, thermo-mechanical
and thermo-oxidative properties) due to groups within the polymer which introduce
semi-crystalline character through thermal annealing. The combination of these qualities
overcomes the shortcomings of most commercially available high performance polyimides.
This program's objective is the development of film processing methods to orient
a semicrystalline thermoplastic film to improve and control the coefficient of thermal
expansion, fracture toughness, thermo-mechanical behavior, strength, and stiffness.
During the Phase I program, the firm applied innovative film processing and orientation
methods to LARC-CPI, a new semi-crystalline thermoplastic polyimide developed at
the NASA Langley Research Center. These methods successfully reduced the coefficient
of thermal expansion from 38 ppm/C to 16 ppm/C and showed that it could be further
reduced to less than 10 ppm/C. The project also showed that LARC-CPI can be processed
into high performance thermoplastic films with tensile strength and modulus over
300 mPa (44 Ksi) and 91.6 GPa (1.4 Msi), respectively.
Potential Commercial Application:
Potential Commercial Application: Potential applications will be for films used for
liners, vacuum bags, and encapsulation in the chemical process industry; for electronics
where high-density, surface-mounted, multi-chip modules require dimensional stability
in thin dielectric layers; and for spacecraft use as reflector substrates, solar
cell array panels, and self-deployable structures.