Saint-Gobain Seals Group’s Meldin® and OmniSeal® components were installed as part of the fuel delivery system in the Space X Falcon 9 and United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V launch vehicles that successfully carried sophisticated satellites into orbit this past September.
The upgraded Falcon 9 launch vehicle blasted off at Vandenberg AFB on September 29, carrying a Canadian weather monitoring satellite and three experimental payloads into orbit. This marks a major milestone as SpaceX is required to perform three successful launches for the Falcon 9 with its new Merlin 1D engine before it can be certified to fly “Class A” government payloads. The Atlas V launch vehicle launched from Cape Canaveral on September 18, carrying an Extremely High Frequency Satellite (AEHF-3) into orbit. The AEHF-3 is a global, highly secure and protected survivable communications satellite. This launch marked the 40th launch of an Atlas V launch vehicle, and it was ULAs 75th launch overall.
A leader in sealing and wear/friction solutions for more than 50 years, the Saint-Gobain Seals Group has been supplying innovative sealing solutions such as OmniSeal® spring-energized seals to the aerospace market. The OmniSeal® product line offers static and dynamic sealing solutions with superior sealing performance in both very low and high temperature application conditions.
Their innovative polymer solutions such as Meldin® 7000 series thermoset polyimide materials are the preferred choice for finish machined components used in jet engines, de-icing systems, actuators and other aerospace applications. Meldin® 7000 grades offer wear and friction component solutions for continuous high temperature conditions of 315°C and excursions to temperatures even higher. The Seals Group is well-known in the industry for their powder-to-parts solutions for launch vehicle, commercial aircraft, and military aircraft applications as well as their focus on co-development relationships, engineer-to-engineer collaboration and custom products.
“Our co-engineering approach was instrumental to the success of these mission-critical applications,” said Ken Smith, Worldwide Market Manager for Aerospace at Saint-Gobain Seals Group. “We engage with our customers’ engineers at the outset of the project and work with them to design and develop custom sealing solutions as well as wear and friction solutions specifically for their applications. This collaborative approach brings the best results for our customers.”
In the aerospace industry, aside from the OmniSeal® and Meldin® products, the Seals Group also utilizes rotary lip seals, their OmniLip™ sealing solution, for auxiliary power units (APUs), jet engines and gearboxes. Rulon®, their high-performance fluoropolymer material, was used in the ball bearings on the Mars Rover Curiosity.
About Saint-Gobain Seals Group (www.seals.saint-gobain.com)
Saint-Gobain Seals Group is a business unit under Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics’ Engineered Components division; our parent company is one of the world’s top 100 industrial groups. With more than 50 years of manufacturing experience and an established global presence (with strategic sites in Garden Grove, California, USA; Kontich, Belgium; and Minhang, Shanghai, China), we offer a diverse range of innovative sealing and polymer solutions: