Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM) has received a prestigious Space Technology Award from NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) for weaving the 3D material used to support NASA’s heat shield for extreme entry environment technology team. That team is developing a new thermal protection system (TPS) that relies on specialized weaving in the manufacture of aircraft parts made of carbon composite materials with outstanding thermal properties.
“The STMD community sincerely appreciates your hard work, leadership, and dedication to providing NASA and the Nation with revolutionary new technologies and capabilities,” said STMD’s Associated Administrator Stephen G. Jurczyk. “Congratulations on your hard work and dedication to ensuring the success of our Mission Directorate.”
Manufacturing these TPS materials involves the accurate placement of fibers of different compositions and variable yarn densities in a 3D structure (see figure). By interconnecting the woven material in the third dimension, materials can be created that are considerably more robust than traditional 2D woven materials. Once the 3D structure is formed, the panels are infused with resins and cured to lock the fibers in place. The weave patterns are optimized with the aid of advanced modeling, design, and manufacturing tools to provide the performance capabilities needed by NASA for space-critical applications.