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Proceedings Paper

Black molecular adsorber coatings for spaceflight applications
Author(s): Nithin S. Abraham; Mark M. Hasegawa; Sharon A. Straka
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Paper Abstract

The molecular adsorber coating is a new technology that was developed to mitigate the risk of on-orbit molecular contamination on spaceflight missions. The application of this coating would be ideal near highly sensitive, interior surfaces and instruments that are negatively impacted by outgassed molecules from materials, such as plastics, adhesives, lubricants, epoxies, and other similar compounds. This current, sprayable paint technology is comprised of inorganic white materials made from highly porous zeolite. In addition to good adhesion performance, thermal stability, and adsorptive capability, the molecular adsorber coating offers favorable thermal control characteristics. However, low reflectivity properties, which are typically offered by black thermal control coatings, are desired for some spaceflight applications. For example, black coatings are used on interior surfaces, in particular, on instrument baffles for optical stray light control. Similarly, they are also used within light paths between optical systems, such as telescopes, to absorb light. Recent efforts have been made to transform the white molecular adsorber coating into a black coating with similar adsorptive properties. This result is achieved by optimizing the current formulation with black pigments, while still maintaining its adsorption capability for outgassing control. Different binder to pigment ratios, coating thicknesses, and spray application techniques were explored to develop a black version of the molecular adsorber coating. During the development process, coating performance and adsorption characteristics were studied. The preliminary work performed on black molecular adsorber coatings thus far is very promising. Continued development and testing is necessary for its use on future contamination sensitive spaceflight missions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2014
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9196, Systems Contamination: Prediction, Measurement, and Control 2014, 91960F (9 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2060731
Show Author Affiliations
Nithin S. Abraham, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Mark M. Hasegawa, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Sharon A. Straka, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9196:
Systems Contamination: Prediction, Measurement, and Control 2014
Nancy Carosso; Joanne Egges, Editor(s)

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