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9th December 2014, Morgan Hill, CA

TenCate provides composite materials for Orion space capsule structures

TenCate Advanced Composites North America, a leading composite materials company for space and aerospace applications, has developed and provided heat resistant composites for the heat shield and backshell structure of the Lockheed Martin Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle, successfully launched this week.

The suite of advanced materials of TenCate in this space capsule replaces the traditional titanium solution for re-entry and splashdown requirements, while saving weight and cost, according to the manufacturer.

NASA’s Orion spacecraft. © NASA

The composite heat shield design is said to allow very large composite structures to be fabricated out of autoclave.

Five year development

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Orion thermal protection group worked closely with TenCate Advanced Composites to develop a special heat resistant composite resin for the five metre diameter heat shield and the crew vehicle backshell structure of the Orion space capsule.

The successful launch this week of the NASA's Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle represents the teamwork of many parties involved. “This week's flight represents the culmination of a five year development and qualification effort for a suite of materials used in this extreme application,” commented Steve Mead, Vice President of Marketing & Sales at TenCate Advanced Composites in Morgan Hill, USA.

“Further, as a result of the heat shield's large size and thickness, the advanced composites used had to achieve high consolidation using only a low pressure vacuum bag only process. TenCate is honoured to be one of Lockheed's partners on this important space programme.”

TenCate Advanced Composites

TenCate Advanced Composites is a leader in the development and production of thermoplastic and thermoset prepreg composites.

Its product portfolio is incorporated in automotive products, aerospace applications, medical equipment and numerous other industrial applications. TenCate Advanced Composites has production facilities and operations in Europe and North America and distributors in Asia.

www.tencateadvancedcomposites.com

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