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Variety of Aerospace Insulation Materials

Dec 15

A variety of thermal materials are used in the design, construction, and operation of commercial and military aircraft and spacecraft. From the thermal interface materials that support advanced avionics to the ablative thermal shields of re-entry vehicles, aerospace insulation offers multiple functional benefits to flight safety and performance.

The high-speed and immense heat generated during flight can damage, degrade, or even destroy materials that are not properly insulated. As such, thermal insulation materials must offer both thermal and acoustical properties to provide safe, reliable protection against in-flight fires and explosions. They must also be flame retardant to prevent in-flight fire ignition, and capable of slowing the spread of fire and preventing thermal degradation.

Aerospace Insulation Materials and acoustic materials are designed to meet stringent performance, temperature and weight specifications in both commercial and military applications. From thermal insulating blankets, fabric and ceramic super-wool to insulation for electrical ducting and wire harnesses, these products offer a diverse range of solutions for aircraft insulation.

Foam composites and cellular plastics are an important part of the aerospace industry, providing insulation that is both lightweight and high-performing. They are also easily molded into shapes to create custom solutions for specific aircraft insulation requirements.

Insulating tapes are a critical part of the aerospace insulation system, as they are designed to withstand extremely high temperatures and can be easily shaped to fit around intricate components. These insulation tapes can be made of a wide variety of materials, including low outgassing, flame retardant and non-silicone types. They are often coated with a waterproof film to reduce moisture infiltration. They can also be customized to include electrical, anti-static, and anti-microbial features.

Several different types of foams are used to construct the thermal and acoustic insulation systems found in aircraft. They are lightweight, thin, and offer low conductivity for space savings. Some of the most popular include polyurethane, crosslink, neoprene, rubber blend and polyester foams. They are ideal for acoustical and vibration control, offering low noise transmission and high compressive strength.

Mica is another commonly-used material in aircraft construction. It is a lightweight, flame retardant material that can be shaped into a variety of custom shapes for use as aircraft insulation. It is a common component of mica roll laminates that insulate aircraft ducting and tubing. Mica is also used in the fabrication of mica foam composites that insulate aircraft panels and bulkheads.

Ablative thermal materials are a key component in the development of spacecraft, as they rely on these structures to protect crews and passengers from the extreme heat of re-entry. These ablative thermal shields are typically designed of resin-type materials that can carry away, disintegrate or erode from the massive friction and intense heat generated during the re-entry phase of a vehicle. These materials are primarily comprised of a combination of copper-tungsten, nickel-titanium and aluminum-silicon alloys. They are primarily based on carbon-carbon composites and include a variety of materials, such as vapor-grown, nano-graphene platelets, or pyrolytic graphite.