Supporting NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, this project's technologies directly address requirements of thermal insulation for extreme environments for use in exploration vehicle thermal management systems. This project's technologies offer dramatic improvements in density relative to the state of the art, microporous silica materials without compromising those materials' fundamental value proposition of being incompressible, having very low thermal conductivity at high temperature, and excellent thermal stability to support long duration missions in extreme environments. The proposed technology has much broader impact for other insulation applications within Space Technology, and is in general a ubiquitous solution for lightweight, high-temperature insulation challenges.
The MG family of materials encompasses a wide array of high-temperature applications, including structural components; ablative and non-ablative insulation; and many other applications. In this effort, CRG will focus on high-temperature, light-weight insulation that is low-cost, robust, and easy to process. Initially, CRG will target aerospace markets and industrial markets where high-temperature thermal barriers are needed such as ceramic processing, petrochemical and fine chemical (refineries), and energy. Aerospace markets support high-margin, low-volume parts that align well with CRG's business model and the industrial markets are larger and more opportunities are available for new product introduction. In the longer term, MG will be able to serve customers in transportation (including rail, passenger car, and trucking), and energy (including fuel cells, distributed generation, and concentrated solar). NASA-relevant high temperature, lightweight, insulation materials also have commercial applications in mobile power (including fuel cells and generators) and internal combustion engines and exhaust components.