Author Topic: Space Shuttle ET foam and CFCs  (Read 1141 times)

Offline Allan F

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Space Shuttle ET foam and CFCs
« on: February 13, 2016, 06:06:54 PM »
I'm currently reading the Columbia accident reports, and came across a point that I found curious. The agents used to blow up the foam used for ET insulation are several kinds of CFCs, which I find quite heavy. Wasn't it possible to use for example nitrogen to do that, and thereby save several hundred kilos of weight?

ETA: As I understand it, the cells of the foam were filled with CFC.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 06:17:35 PM by Allan F »
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Offline ka9q

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Re: Space Shuttle ET foam and CFCs
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 08:42:54 PM »
I don't know that the CFCs stay within the foam; I would have thought they'd eventually diffuse out. Since it rapidly decompresses on ascent, trapped gas could cause the foam to explode.

Offline Allan F

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Re: Space Shuttle ET foam and CFCs
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2016, 09:18:00 PM »
It was a closed-cell foam, probably watertight. Don't know if that measn CFC-tight too.
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.