Space shuttle flights due to take place in March will be using surface coating technology developed by Poeton Industries, it was revealed recently.
The company's Apticote 100 hard chrome coating was used to coat titanium orbiter fittings in the cargo hold of the first space shuttle, and has remained a popular choice for space exploration programmes. ‘The coatings applied over 20 years ago are still in service today, proving that Apticote 100 has been true to the philosophy of the original shuttle as a reusable space vehicle,’ says Anthony Poeton, group Managing Director.
The Poeton coating prevents the galling and fretting that is caused by titanium’s low coefficient of friction, while minimising the problems of fatigue loss that are often experienced when coating the metal.
It has also been used on other space vehicles. On the Beagle 11 Lander for the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission, Apticote 100 was applied to the launch clamp ring, while the coating was also used on the aluminium leg subassemblies of the lander vehicle for the ESA’s International Rosetta Mission, which will culminate in a rendezvous with comet 46 P/Wirtanen where it is hoped that the first soft landing on one of these cosmic icebergs will take place.