An Investigation of Stress Dependent Atomic Oxygen Erosion of Black Kapton Observed on MISSE 6
Miller SK, et al. (2012). "An Investigation of Stress Dependent Atomic Oxygen Erosion of Black Kapton Observed on MISSE 6."
Black Kapton XC polyimide was flown as part of the Polymer Film Tensile Experiment (PFTE) on Materials International Space Station Experiment 6 (MISSE 6). The purpose of the experiment was to expose a variety of polymer films, typical of those used for thermal control blankets or supporting membranes on Earth orbiting spacecraft, to the low Earth orbital (LEO) environment under both relaxed and tension conditions. Black Kapton XC under tensile stress experienced a higher erosion rate during exposure in LEO than the same material that was flown in a relaxed condition. Testing conducted to determine the magnitude of the stress and erosion dependence using a ground-based thermal energy atomic oxygen plasma showed a slight dependence of erosion yield on stress for Kapton HN and Black Kapton XC, but not to the extent observed on MISSE 6. More testing is needed to isolate the factors present in LEO that cause stress dependent erosion.
ISSN: NASA/TM-2012-217686, E-18369