SpaceX’s Thermal Analysis Laboratory

SpaceXs-Thermal-Analysis-LaboratoryNetzsch instruments has been appointed the sole supplier to Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) for high-temperature thermal analysis instruments used to characterise material properties for space applications. The instruments will be used to fine tune properties of existing materials and to develop new materials for use in the demanding and harsh environments of space. Netzsch’s ability to custom engineer and modify their instruments to meet SpaceX’s requirements was a key factor in the choice of vendors.

SpaceX is transforming the way rockets and spacecrafts are made. It is the only private company to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit and the first to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, which is a challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments. In 2012, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft successfully delivered cargo to and from the space station, in its first official cargo resupply mission for NASA.

Mission-critical material will be developed and tested using data from Netzsch’s Thermokinetics software. Netzsch instruments will be used to measure basic material properties along with other thermo-physical properties. Some of these properties will include first-, second- and third-order transitions, coefficient of thermal expansion and contraction, modulus, energy adsorption dampening, heat capacity and thermal diffusivity. Another property is thermal conductivity with heat transfer data to build heat management systems.