Browse Publications Technical Papers 2006-01-2236

Flexible Fabrics with High Thermal Conductivity for Advanced Spacesuits 2006-01-2236

This paper describes the effort and accomplishments for developing flexible fabrics with high thermal conductivity (FFHTC) for spacesuits to improve thermal performance, lower weight and reduce complexity. Commercial and additional space exploration applications that require substantial performance enhancements in removal and transport of heat away from equipment as well as from the human body can benefit from this technology. Improvements in thermal conductivity were achieved through the use of modified polymers containing thermally conductive additives.
The objective of the FFHTC effort is to significantly improve the thermal conductivity of the liquid cooled ventilation garment by improving the thermal conductivity of the subcomponents (i.e., fabric and plastic tubes). This paper presents the initial system modeling studies, including a detailed liquid cooling garment model incorporated into the Wissler human thermal regulatory model, to quantify the necessary improvements in thermal conductivity and garment geometries needed to affect system performance. In addition, preliminary results of thermal conductivity improvements of the polymer components of the liquid cooled ventilation garment are presented. By improving thermal garment performance, major technology drivers will be addressed for lightweight, high thermal conductivity, flexible materials for spacesuits that are strategic technical challenges of the Exploration Systems Research & Technology's (ESR&T's) Advanced Materials and Structural Concepts Element. Maturation of this technology is anticipated to occur in time to allow for insertion into future lunar missions.


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