Abrasion of Candidate Spacesuit Fabrics by Simulated Lunar Dust 2009-01-2473
A protocol has been developed that produced the type of lunar soil abrasion damage observed on Apollo spacesuits. This protocol was then applied to four materials (Kevlar®, Vectran®, Orthofabric, and Tyvek®) that are candidates for advanced spacesuits. Three of the four new candidate fabrics (all but Vectran®) were effective at keeping the dust from penetrating to layers beneath. In the cases of Kevlar® and Orthofabric this was accomplished by the addition of a silicone layer. In the case of Tyvek®, the paper structure was dense enough to block dust transport. The least abrasive damage was suffered by the Tyvek®. This was thought to be due in large part to its non-woven paper structure. The woven structures were all abraded where the top of the weave was struck by the abrasive. Of these, the Orthofabric suffered the least wear, with both Vectran® and Kevlar® suffering considerably more extensive filament breakage.