Silicones in Space

WACKER silicones have come a long way since their market launch in the early 1950s. Today they influence the everyday lives of billions of people around the world. But that’s not all: they can also be found in satellites orbiting our Earth at altitudes of up to 36,000 kilometers.

Some 1,800 active satellites are currently in orbit around our planet, transmitting data and signals at incredible speeds. They are used in applications ranging from navigation and meteorology to scientific work and telecommunications. But as varying as their uses might be, there is one thing that all satellites have in common: they must be able to withstand extreme conditions. Minimal pressure and intense ionizing radiation, as well as extreme cold coupled with enormous temperature fluctuations, put satellites and the materials used in them to the ultimate test at any altitude, be it 400 km or 36,000 km.

Silicones on Space Mission

Working closely with well-known aerospace companies, WACKER has developed specialty silicone adhesives with low outgassing rates for use in satellites: WACKER® RTV-S 691 is used to laminate the solar assembly to the support structure of the solar array wing. ELASTOSIL® S 692 is suitable for antistatic bonding of highly sensitive satellite components.

Sandwich Structure of a Solar Panel for Satellites

Made to Standard

Both WACKER silicones meet the standards set by the European Space Agency (ESA) regarding material properties, processing and long-term stability. Their special characteristics include long-term radiation resistance, full retention of elasticity down to the glass transition temperature at below -100 °C and capability of absorbing thermomechanical stresses. These specialty space-grade silicones enable satellite components to perform flawlessly even in extreme environments, thereby ensuring reliable data transmission and communications.

Interested in Learning More about WACKER’s Space-Grade Silicones?

Then visit our product portal to find out where WACKER silicones are used in aerospace.

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