Staying on the cutting edge while ensuring national security requires more than traditional approaches to technology. To drive future innovation, solve challenges and keep products on the cutting edge, companies utilize advanced materials. Whether it’s an aircraft, a helicopter or even a satellite, Nanocomp’s Miralon products provide solutions to some of the toughest problems facing the aerospace and defense industry today.
Any payload going on orbit in space needs to weigh as little as possible, but also needs its material components to be durable and, ideally, multi-functional. In NASA’s Juno spacecraft, Miralon sheets were used to provide protection against electro-static discharge (ESD) as the spacecraft made its way to Jupiter. The sheets replaced traditional metallic solutions which are typically bonded to the surface of the composites. Miralon sheets were incorporated as a layer directly onto the composite, making it an integral part of the spacecraft’s flight protection system.
These same materials can also provide electro-magnetic interference (EMI) protection for essential electronic and other components, offering >40dB of shielding with a single sheet. Additionally, they offer a light weight solution for ESD management, often with as little as one outside protective layer. The addition of Miralon sheets to commonly deployed carbon fiber composite structures has been proven to increase conductivity by an order of magnitude, offering significant improvements in overall electrical performance.
Nanocomp’s Miralon sheets can also be used to produce honeycomb core structures. When configured with carbon fiber face sheets, composite honeycomb cores produced with Miralon offer a 3-5x increase in stiffness over aluminum core along with outstanding near-zero coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) performance – all with reduced weight and improved mechanical damping.
Another opportunity for significant weight savings is cabling in payload. Data cables made with both Miralon yarn and tape offer a potential weight savings of up to 70% percent when compared to incumbent materials. The inclusion of Miralon also allows for solutions requiring tighter bend radii as well as providing near-infinite flex-life. As a result, Miralon-based components significantly contribute to mission assurance goals and require less maintenance than the incumbent solutions.
The net results are dramatically reduced system weight, along with more efficient systems, yielding lower fuel consumption and carbon emissions, lower operating costs and, ultimately, lower overall systems costs.