NASA space shuttle foam ?

Does anyone know any of the physical properites of the foam used on the heat
shield? Is it some kind of foamed ceramic that is real light and fragile.
I recall NASA making sure the astronaut not bumping into it during the
reapir.
tnx
Reply to
Henry Kolesnik
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I have a sample piece. It looks like a piece of styrofoam. Like from a beach cooler, ice chest.
But, it is very fine texture, not spongy, quite rigid. I swear it weighs less, too.
Makes a lot of high pitched "squeaking" (above 15KHz) as you handle it. Similar to the sound made when you touch fabric.
I've heard, not tried, that the thermal mass is so low that you can put a blow torch on the back side, heat to glowing red, and put your hand on it, and only be uncomfortable for a second.
My guess is a "foamed" ceramic. Don't know if special captured gas, though.
- Robert -
Reply to
Robert Macy
forgot... fragile? it's stronger than I expected, but can be crush/dented with your fingernail, or pressure from your thumb.
It's a lot like a very fine version of a "glass" sanding block.
- Robert -
Reply to
Robert Macy
It's not ceramic. The tiles on the Shuttle are carbon-carbon ceramics. The foam on the ET is a spray-on closed cell foam.
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Reply to
Jeff Finlayson
Sorry, but none of the tiles are CC. The wind leading edge are the RCC (reinforced carbon-carbon) pieces. The tiles are high-temperature reusable surface insulation tiles and fibrous refractory composite insulation
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---------- Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ( snipped-for-privacy@EdwardG.Ruf.com)
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Reply to
Ed Ruf

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