NASA PROGRAMS

Problem Solving

NASA Programs

Touchstone is involved in the development of composites designed for use as future cryogenic hydrogen and oxygen tank construction. Touchstone is well equipped to test these unique materials.

The following examples illustrate some of our contributions to this business sector:

  • Touchstone performed much of the mechanical testing of the X-34 wing structures.
  • Touchstone has performed mechanical testing under the X-33 program.
  • Touchstone is involved in the development of composites designed for use as future cryogenic hydrogen and oxygen tank construction. Touchstone is well equipped to test these unique materials.
  • Touchstone provided much of the materials characterization that assisted USBI in the development of MCC1, a new ablative material for the shuttle SRB.
  • Touchstone performed a wide variety of metal matrix composite mechanical tests under the NASP program.
  • Touchstone is currently working to develop a light weight structural and insulative foam for use in thermal protection systems.
  • Touchstone performed high temperature testing of experimental refractory metals rocket engine materials at temperatures exceeding 4000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Touchstone provided testing assistance to Pratt and Whitney in support the development of water-jet paint and coatings stripping technology currently used on the shuttle SRB.
  • Touchstone developed 40 special elevated temperature creep/compression devices to test shoe shim material used to attach the solid fuel rocket boosters to the space shuttle. The data generated helped engineers choose the best material for the application.
  • Under the High Speed Civil Transport Program, Touchstone performed thermal measurements on three candidate thermal shield blanket materials. Instead of using standard thermal conductivity measurement systems which do not heat specimens rapidly, a gas flame was impinged on one side of each specimen held in insulating firebrick to produce temperatures in the 1500 degrees F range. Temperature increase over time and absolute temperature at equilibrium were monitored using a computer data collection system. The data clearly showed that one material was far superior to the other two in its ability to protect engine components.
  • Touchstone performed testing under the “Temperature Exceedance Program” wherein various materials used in the SRB (solid fuel rocket booster) were subjected to launch equivalent temperature profiles followed by immersion in seawater to simulate booster use conditions. A wide assortment of mechanical tests were then performed on materials which included paints, primers, nylon, Teflon, o-ring Nitrile rubber, and phenolic silica ablative sheet. The tests included tensile strength, short beam shear, flatwise tensile, Durometer hardness, wear resistance (Falex) and Izod impact.

The above examples are only a sample of our work in this area. We would be pleased to provide any additional information you may require. We also invite you to review examples on our website of work that we have performed in support of other business sectors.