Atomic Oxygen Degradation of Polymeric Thin Films in Low Earth Orbit

G Allegri, S Corradi, M Marchetti, V Milinchuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polymeric materials exposed to space environment up to 500 km altitude are affected by the upper neutral atmosphere, whose main constituent is atomic oxygen; the latter attacks hydrocarbon polymers by removing C atoms from the molecular backbones. At a macroscopic level this produces polymer erosion, which has the potential of destroying thermal covers and primary composite structures. This paper presents a methodology for predicting the erosion rates of hydrocarbon polymers exposed to the space environment via a probabilistic finite volume approach; this technique also allows predicting both the polymer thickness/mass loss and the associated degradation of thermo-optical properties.
Translated title of the contributionAtomic Oxygen Degradation of Polymeric Thin Films in Low Earth Orbit
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1525 - 1534
Number of pages10
JournalAIAA Journal
Volume41, (8)
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003

Bibliographical note

Publisher: AIAA

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