29, July 2016

ESA Open Invitation To Tender AO8511
Open Date: 28/07/2016
Closing Date: 14/10/2016 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 15.1QM.11
Prog. Ref.: TRP
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – TRP
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / Other
Technology Domains: Materials and Processes / Materials Processes / Advanced Materials Manufacture
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Technical & Quality Management
Department: Product Assurance and Safety Department
Division: Materials & Components Technology Division
Contract Officer: Magne-Lie, Karine
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 28/07/2016
Update Reason: Tender issue

Due to the excellent insulation properties of silica aerogels, initial tests have already been performed to use this material in space applications. However, because of their mechanical fragility, the first applications have been limited to only a few applications (eg cryogenic propellant tank insulation and improved thermal-electric contact, both by NASA). Nevertheless, the unique combination of the material properties, such as very low density and thermal conductivity, will open a broad range of opportunities for aerogel as the next generation thermal insulation material, not only for the space sector but also in terrestrial applications (eg refrigeration, buildings, construction, pipelines, clothing etc.). The purpose of this study is therefore to improve the materials processing and manufacturing routes such that a higher yield can be achieved compared to traditional manufacturing ways. This shall be achieved without impairing the promising mechanical and thermal properties of flexible aerogels (silica and polymer-based)It shall also develop mature packaging methods, in particular towards free-form panels/blankets to be used for both space/terrestrial applications.I n addition, these activities will support European industry to further mature the materials processing/manufacturing, process verification and the overall system architecture. This activity shall follow-up on earlier activities (ITI,TRPs) with relevant recommendations;1) Trade off on novel materials processing/manufacturing routes for flexible aerogels with an increase in yield by at leas ta factor of five.2) Maintain promising thermal and mechanical properties (eg depressurization capabilities, fragility) for spaceapplications3) Develop mature methods for joining/attaching aerogel panels without fragmentation4) Develop techniques for odd shape panels (avoid thermal bridges)5) Establish a supply unit for European flexible (silica based) aerogels.

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