Textiles from Cellulose Aerogels are new materials that shall be used for isolation purposes in space in the future. Because the conditions of space can’t be realized in a laboratory testing this material that has been developed at the ITA in space is necessary to reasonably evaluate the functionality application related. The REXUS program is suited for this.

ModelaufbauCellulose Aerogel is a material with promising properties. Low heat conductance and low density are properties that make cellulose aerogels stand out. While the advantages of Aerogels have been known for a couple of years, Cellulose has advantages that the commonly used Aerogels don’t have. Cellulose is available in large amounts and is harmless for humans and nature. This makes Cellulose economically interesting. At the Institute for Textile of the RWTH Aachen a method has been developed that enables Cellulose Aerogel fibers to be produced and processed into textiles. This results in characteristics that can’t be reached with monolithic Aerogels. A new field of application is the isolation in space. Due to its flexibility it can be applied everywhere where bendable materials are necessary and conventional isolation materials can’t be used. Since the conditions in space and the occurring stresses can’t be reproduced in a laboratory the material has to be tested in space under realistic conditions.

In order to test the Cellulose Aerogels they are mounted to a test cell which is mounted to one of the modules of the rocket. During flight the temperature on the surface and on the inside of the specimen is measured. For comparison common isolation materials will be in the test cell as well and the same measurements will be taken for them. By measuring the temperature the heat conductance can be calculated and compared to the other materials. Furthermore the influence of the conditions of space can be detected by analyzing the Cellulose Aerogels after the flight.

A detailed description of the experiment can be found on the right side of this page.

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