Practical Constraints in Using High Thermal Conductivity Composite Materials in Spacecraft Application 1999-01-2625
The use of composite materials with high thermal conductivities is increasingly widespread in space flight applications. However, as opportunities for these new materials expand, practical limitations restrict their use. Some limitations are inherent in the composite materials themselves, like thermal conductivity and radiation shielding, and some are imposed by external design rules, like electro-magnetic interference (EMI) shielding and grounding. This paper reviews the work done at the Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to quantify the thermal characteristics of high conductivity fiber/polymer matrix composites, to identify the other design constraints that limit their use, and the ongoing effort to reduce those limitations.