Novel Multifunctional Space Durable Fluoropolymers and Composites

Period of Performance: 10/01/2000 - 09/30/2001

$99.5K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Triton Systems, Inc.
200 Turnpike Road Array
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Clemson University
300 Brackett Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
Institution POC

Abstract

Triton Systems Inc. has teamed with Prof. D. Smith from Clemson University to develop a novel class of fluoro-containing aromatic ether polymers that have unique promise for a variety of multi-functional space applications. On this Phase I program, Triton utilizes the experience gained through years of research, development and commercialization of space durable polymers. The structural moiety which provides outstanding resistance to atomic oxygen and UV radiation will be incorporated into the new fluoro-containing polymer backbones. Several fluoropolymers will be synthesized and characterized. The space durability and their use in multifunctional structures will be evaluated. Samples of membranes, polymer matrix composites and optical components will be fabricated for testing. On Phase II, based on the property evaluations conducted in Phase I, appropriate space and ground based applications will be pursued for the Air Force. Chemical structures and synthetic methods will be optimized to produce polymers for various applications. Processing of desired materials will be optimized and scaled up. Prototype components/systems will be fabricated and tested for performance tests, demonstrations, customer evaluation and space flight testing. On Phase III, in conjunction with a commercial partner, we will produce materials in sufficient quantities to build full sized structures. The proposed multifunctional space ready polymeric materials will serve structural and functional purposes in space. They will be used as matrix resins in fiber reinforced composite structures in satellites and membranes in inflatable large space structures. They will be viable candidates for optical and optoelectronic applications.