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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Rigidizing Inflatable Deployable Dwelling (RIDD), Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Rigidizing Inflatable Deployable Dwelling (RIDD), Phase I
By combining thin thermoplastic films, woven Vectran reinforcements, and heat a reliable, deployable, rigidizing space habitat can be created. Although much research has been performed on rigidizing space structures, characteristic material flaws prevent reliable deployment of rigidizing extraterrestrial habitats. Many materials fail space qualification due to the catalytic nature of their rigidization method. However, by layering thin low-density polyethylene with virtually any composite weave, a pliable composite is created. When inflation pressure and heat are applied, the low density polyethylene melts into the composite weave and causes the entire matrix to harden. The proposed composite would consist of Vectran with a low-density polyethylene laminate. Because our composite is stable at nearly cryogenic temperatures through around 100 C, it outperforms most other rigidizing materials currently being studied. The thermal properties coupled with nearly zero creep provide strong promise for its compatibility with rigidizing habitats. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.