ZOTEK® F is the optimal material for spacecraft interiors
Space tourism will become a reality later this year with inaugural commercial flights already booked out and demand for tickets surging, according to the companies vying to take the lead in this latest space race. By some estimates, the commercial space industry – including space tourism – is expected to be worth $1 trillion (£766bn) by 2040.
The design of the reusable spacecraft that will take passengers into space is a significant engineering achievement, with capabilities that enable repeatable use at unprecedented frequency. Internally, cabins will offer a level of comfort more akin to that of a luxury airliner than the cramped cockpits of previous space travel.
Zotefoams’ ZOTEK® F closed cell PVDF foam has established a reputation as the ultimate lightweight and versatile material for aircraft interiors, boasting the highest levels of safety and comfort. Demand for these properties is magnified in space travel – which will take passengers more than 100km above the earth’s surface at speeds of almost 2500mph – so it was natural that designers would look to ZOTEK F as an optimal material; it is also NASA-approved for packaging and flight as well as for use on the International Space Station.
With the cost per kilogram of weight in a spacecraft ranging from £10,000 to £50,000, every gram saved pays off in altitude.
“ZOTEK F is a super lightweight, low density material that can be formed in any number of ways, allowing us to develop prototypes easily in the studio along with flexibility in the subsequent manufacturing process,” says one of the team working on spacecraft design. “At 15-20% of the weight of solid equivalents and mechanical properties that allow us to reduce the volume of material significantly, it is a major contributor to weight saving targets.”
Interiors aside, ZOTEK F is the preferred foam for insulation in spacecraft, including tubes, pipes and tanks thanks to its extreme low temperature thermal conductivity performance.
ZOTEK F features extensively in the first commercial spacecraft in insulation, environmental control systems and throughout the interior. Besides weight and safety considerations, it is adding to the comfort of seats, from which passengers will experience up to six times normal gravity during descent and zero gravity in space, while minimising the VOC content of the interior as a whole, thanks to Zotefoams’ three-stage process which expands foams using only pure nitrogen.
Contact the team for more information about the many applications of our NASA-approved aerospace grades: ZOTEK® F30, ZOTEK® F38, ZOTEK® F40 HT and ZOTEK® F75 HT.