The Phase 1 deliverable is the definition of the maximum allowable contact pressure/stress for Titanium Bearings and what influence coatings, materials and lubricants may have on that stress. This definition and the process to arrive at the definition will help reduce development and certification cycle time associate to spacesuit and pressure suit bearings as well as disconnects that employ ball locking retention mechanisms. These savings can reduce risk and cost by making it feasible for bearings to go into the Preliminary Design Review process at a very high TRL. Relative to present and future NASA applications, we believe the EMU Program, advanced EVA spacesuits (Z-Series) and the Orion Ascent Entry Pressure Suits can benefit from this work.
Air-Lock's core business focuses on providing life support hardware to enhance human performance in hazardous environments. Along with servicing the space industry, Air-Lock provides this life support hardware to the aerospace, military and fire fighter industries. Similar to our spacesuit products, weight reduction and low profiles are design drivers for aerospace, military and fire fighter life support hardware. A key staple of core products for those industries are quick disconnects (QDs) that utilize bearing ball locking mechanisms. Understanding the role ball contact stresses play relative to component wear and degradation can be implemented across these QD product lines; yielding lighter weight, improved wear resistant assemblies.