Composites for Space Applications

Tex Tech Industries is a premier designer and manufacturer of composites and textiles for space applications. We deliver top-quality products that can withstand harsh environmental and operating conditions, from extreme heat to erosion.

We work closely with clients to meet stringent standards and specifications regarding design, installation, and construction. This allows us to design high-quality materials for aerospace and other highly specialized applications.

TPS Composites for Space Applications

Q Shield

Tex Tech Industries offers composites and other industrial products for Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) to protect space vehicles and rocket systems from excessive heat. Tex Tech’s Q-Shield product line can be custom tailored to meet specific mission criteria for thermal load, emissions, absorption, and conductivity. The material can then be added to the outside of an orbiter to maintain stable surface temperatures in takeoff or reentry.

Composites and textiles for space applications can be used as an outer skin for various aerospace components:

  • Rockets
  • Orbiters
  • Fairings
  • Satellites

Additional materials can serve as thermal ablatives for solid rocket motors, reentry heat shields, and other aerospace applications. We can also create materials that can be used as inflatables for various spacesuit applications.

Our current product line includes the following materials:

  • Q-Shield Thermal Protection Materials
  • Silica Woven Fabrics  (e.g., for use in rocket nozzles)
  • High-Temperature and Silica Felts
  • Carbon Billets
  • Rayon-Based Carbon Cloth Fabrics  (e.g.,for use in solid rocket nozzles)
  • High Temperature CVI processing of Carbon/Carbon parts and materials

Tex Tech Industries can manufacture legacy products, strain isolation pads (SIP), and felt reusable surface insulation (FRSI) in limited runs as needed.

Rayon-Based Carbon Composites for Space Applications

Rayon-based composite material has emerged as a promising material in industrial applications. Its numerous properties translate well in space applications, which include the following:

Lightweight Properties Lightweight Properties
High Strength High Strength
Thermal Stability Thermal Stability

Rayon is a synthetic fiber known for its excellent versatility and mechanical characteristics. When incorporated into a composite, the cellulose-derived material maintains a low mass and structural integrity, which is crucial for space mission applications requiring precise builds.

Tex Tech Industries utilizes rayon-based carbon fabrics for manufacturing solid rocket nozzles. These composite materials exhibit excellent thermal resistance and remain stable in volatile conditions. Manufacturers can customize designs to meet the specifications of various space applications, from spacecraft structures to satellite components.

Manufacturers can create carbon cloth composites from rayon-based carbon composites via phenolic resin infusion. These composite materials shield defense and space structures from the stresses of use. The material’s impressive properties include:

  • High Thermal Resistance
  • Excellent Insulation
  • Low Erosion
  • Low Thermal Expansion
  • Low Thermal Conductivity

Composites for Space Applications: Rocket Nozzles

Rocket nozzles are vital components in propulsion systems and benefit considerably from the use of advanced composites and textiles. This material can withstand the harsh environments experienced during rocket propulsion, which often include:

High TemperaturesHigh Temperatures
High PressuresHigh Pressures
CorrosiveCorrosive Environments

The materials must maintain structural integrity while withstanding such conditions. Composites and textiles for space applications, such as high-temperature-resistant polymers and carbon composites offer an exceptional balance of heat resistance and strength. Carbon composites excel in these harsh environments due to their optimal mechanical and thermal conductivity properties.

Incorporating composites into rocket nozzles provides engineers the ability to reduce weight, enhance performance, and improve the efficiency of the propulsion system. The customized design possibilities of composites ensure precision engineering that allows the rocket nozzle to handle the demanding conditions of space travel, optimizing the launch vehicle’s propulsion system.

Composites for Space Applications: Reentry Heat Shields

Composites play a vital role in developing reentry heat shields, offering the necessary capabilities to withstand sudden environmental changes during atmospheric reentry. Carbon fiber-reinforced composites are often used because of their excellent thermal resistance and exceptional strength-to-weight ratio.

The composites’ layered structure facilitates controlled heat dissipation, gradually wearing layers as they absorb and disperse heat. Ablative materials contribute to the overall reduction in mass and shield the spacecraft from excessive heat, for a successful reentry.

The tailored design capabilities of composites and high-performance textiles for space applications allow engineers to optimize specific mission parameters for the heat shield, making them indispensable components for ensuring the safety of crewed and uncrewed missions during spacecraft reentry.

Space Composites: Conformable TPS

A conformable TPS product is a single or double-sided substrate that offers added emissivity, conductivity, and heat protection. The following products provide an optimal solution for superior thermal protection in spacecraft applications:

Conformable TPS Include:

Stabilized Ablative Insulation Felt (SAIF).

This material comes with heat-resistant fibers and coatings suitable for the outer shell of a space vehicle. The ablative coating does not require painting and can be made with a specific density, insulation level, or optical requirement. Orders are delivered in tile based on the required dimensions.

Felt Reusable Surface Insulation (FRSI).

The low-temperature TPS material provides insulation up to 600 F. Material thickness can be adjusted based on the expected thermal loads.

Strain Isolation Pads (SIP).

The material exists between the aircraft’s rigid TPS system and the fuselage, absorbing stress from thermal expansion.

Precursor Billets.

Carbon precursor billets consist of rayon and oxidized polyacrylonitrile materials. Our customers can choose to infuse and carbonize the billets with resin to make composite tiles. The thickness ranges from 1.5 to 4 inches with widths up to 90 inches.

Amorphous Silica Felt.

This customizable material is graded for continual use in temperatures of 900 C, 1100 C, and 1200 C.

Fabric Composites for Space Applications

Fabric FormationWe can create 2D and 3D woven fabrics, as well as needle-punched non-woven fabrics.
Coating & LaminationWe can add specialty coatings to address specific requirements, such as absorptivity, conductivity, emissivity, radiant reflectance, color, low-off gassing, and more. These properties can be implemented in the overall design.
Silica LeachingWe can create temperature-resistant silica-based yarns, fibers, tapes, felt-based, and woven fabrics. We can also provide pre-shrunk materials for applications requiring minimal contraction during use.
High-Temperature ProcessingWe can achieve densification, graphitization, and carbonization through Chemical Vapor Infiltration (CVI) to achieve the desired characteristics. High-temperature processing removes trace metals to purify rayon materials.

Refrasil® Silica Materials for Space

Silica materials for space are available in pre-shrunk aerospace grade material, offering an optimal solution for silica phenolics in solid rocket motor applications. The silica fibers can be used in reentry tiles, while the felt applications are ideal for protecting thermal barriers, SIP, and more.

Composites for Space Applications from Tex Tech Industries

Tex Tech Industries is a global supplier of high-performance quality composites and textiles for space applications. With over a century of experience, we have the resources, knowledge, and expertise to develop innovative solutions that meet the specific demands of the aerospace industry.

We only employ top-quality TPS systems to protect spacecraft and use rayon-based carbon fabrics on our solid rocket nozzles for stability in high-temperature environments.

Contact us today to learn more about Tex Tech Industries or request a quote for the specific requirements of your space application.