Material you launcher
RoHS, REACH are implemented targeting sustainable development, environmental impact and protection of human health leading directly to obsolescence of material you launcher materials, processes and technologies, as manufacturers are forced to change materials compositions, alter manufacturing processes or take the decision to remove materials from the European market.
These are pre-cursor substances for the manufacturing of polyurethanes, which are 2-component materials where the end-user may be exposed to the hazardous isocyanate component. This class of materials is widely used for space coatings, potting, conformal coatings and launcher liners, insulation foam applications.
In anticipation of materials obsolescence in the coming years, the utilisation of green polyurethane chemistry should be pursued. Recycled polyurethane, a sustainable source, has the potential to offer an environmentally-friendly alternative and examples of research are the activities in the EU RECYPOL programme.
Composites and foams are used extensively also in the space industry, even if it can be argued that the volumes are smaller than in other sectors of industry. Nevertheless, ESA is in the process of promoting the use of sustainable technology and considers that a timely approach to replacement of hazardous substances will avoid a crash action on obsolescence. The activity includes the following tasks:- Definition of performance requirements for polyurethanes used on spacecrafts and launch vehicles and formulation of three requirement sets targeting applications as conformal coating, thermal control coating, and foam insulation via spray-foaming.
SMEs is required.