"ACE" (for "advanced ceramic engineered") denotes a type of coating mate-rial that increases the ability of flexible thermal-insulation blankets to resist erosion. Developed for use on the insulating blankets on the space shuttle orbiters, these coating materials could also be used on similar terrestrial insulating blankets on aircraft, engine, and furnace components.

ACE coatings are available in two varieties; a white reflectance coating or a gray emittance coating. The white variety is formulated with (1) a binder of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS), which is a polymeric precursor to silica and (2) a filler of high-purity silica powder. The gray variety is formulated with the same binder and filler, but also contains silicon carbide as an emittance agent.

The ACE coatings are similar to a coating material called "C-9" that has been used on the space shuttle insulating blankets. (The binder in C-9 is a colloidal silica.) In preliminary rain erosion tests and in consecutive radiant-heat and air-jet erosion tests, ACE coatings resisted erosion better than C-9 coatings did.

This work was done by Mary M. Fleming and Gordon R. Toombs of Rockwell International Corp. for Johnson Space Center.

Title to this invention has been waived under the provisions of the National Aeronautics and Space Act {42 U.S.C. 2457(f)}, to Rockwell International Corp. Inquiries concerning licenses for its commercial development should be addressed to

Rockwell World Headquarters
777 East Wisconsin Avenue,
Suite 1400
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Refer to MSC-22495, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2000 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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