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Development And Use Of Polyurethane Microcellular
Foams And Elastomers For Space Applications

Manager, Application Development Station
Thiruvananthapuram 605 022


Polyurethane polymers are one of the most versatile polymers which can be obtained in various forms ranging from a flexible rubber to rigid plastic. Though they are largely used for comfort cushioning and cold-insulation, their applications, for controlling shock and vibration, acoustic insulation and light weight system, are particularly useful for aerospace industry studies conducted at VSSC have brought now the immense potential of these materials for launch vehicle as well as satellite applications. Using indigenous raw materials, formulations were developed to suit particular requirements. Thus materials and product systems have been developed for vibration damping, shock and energy absorption, and ambient environment protection apart from cryogenic insulation properties of the microcellular elastomers largely depend on the moulding conditions and density although molecular structure dependent on the nature of polyol isocyanate, chain extender, additives and temperature dependent cure reactions, influence their characteristics. A comparative study of different formulations and systems are given which reflect on the wide range available for polyurethane products. Several application developed both for space and non space uses are outlined. Use of these light weight materials and systems have proved to be a boon as they serve as an effective, simple alternative to otherwise costly and complicated systems required for launch vehicle and satellite test programme and uses.

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