Carbice will cover a new heat dissipating technology based on a platform of vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays, formed into a composite with the nanotubes covalently anchored to aluminum foil. The technology is a thermal tape that can accommodate contact pressures across the potential operating pressure ranges seen in space systems (as well as many other applications); ranging from >1,000 psi (seen close to gasket bolts) to < 2 psi seen in systems with low allowable clamping pressures. Furthermore, excellent elastic recovery after compression of the composite delivers a product that can be easily reworked with no loss in performance between rework operations.
The impact of these technical breakthroughs are multifold. Excellent thermal conductance, combined with forgiving compressive mechanics delivers a technology that enables satellite designers to incorporate full functionality into the system payload without the need to continuously search for new thermal solutions to accommodate the heat generation. Furthermore, the compressive mechanics of the aligned carbon nanotube-aluminum composite allows satellite designers and assemblers to save significant time and build cost with the ability to accelerate rework operations, reduce the required number of bolts per thermal joint (saving weight), and to reduce the required interface clamping pressure (driving up reliability).
The results presented here for the use case of satellite design have broad applicability to other applications including automotive electronics, sliding contact applications, and applications in general harsh and demanding environments.