Thermal Protection: The Process of Gas Injection Molding 861753
Gas Injection Molding (GIM) is a process by which External Tank (ET) components receive Super Light Ablator (SLA) through pressurized injection of ablator into a vented mold assembly. Component surfaces are cleaned and coated with a silicone primer. Each part is transferred to the adhesive work station where a pre-mixed batch of adhesive is obtained and applied to the primer substrate in a smooth continuous coating. After injection is complete, the mold is processed through a heat cycle, the panel representative of the component is scrutinized for acceptable density and tensile strength values. The component is inspected for dimensional tolerances and visual inspection is performed.