This proposal addresses subtopic S4.04 Extreme Environments Technology and specifically the listed interest in long life bearings, tribological surfaces, and lubricants. NASA is interested in expanding its ability to explore deep atmosphere and surface of giant planets, moon surfaces, asteroids, and comets through use of long-lived (days or weeks) balloons and landers. Dragonfly will launch in 2026 and arrive in 2034 on Titan. Mars sample return is a proposed mission to return samples from surface of Mars to Earth. The Artemis program will land the first woman and next man on Moon by 2024. Conceptual landing probes for Europa have been proposed. However, the missions would experience extreme conditions: temperatures ranging from -220°C on Europa, -200 °C on Ganymede to -180°C on Titan. In addition, the instrument will go through high cosmic radiation environments with long duration of the mission. At these extreme conditions, traditional oil lubricants and greases are infeasible, resulting in dry sliding conditions with significant detrimental effects on component performance. The reliable operation of moving parts and tribological components (e.g., bearings, gears, sealings, etc.) in the cryogenic environment is a key for successful accomplishment of future NASA missions. Therefore, selection and design of new lubrication and protection are imperative for each application. Tribological experiments are therefore necessary to simulate relevant environments to mitigate mission risk. This proposal offers a unique solution: aromatic thermosetting copolyester (ATSP) coating on ATSP coating sliding is shown to have low coefficient of friction (COF) and “zero wear” from -196°C to 300°C. This excellent tribological performance leads us to introduce ATSP-based coatings for Europa cryogenic environment conditions. we will investigate the tribological performance of ATSP-based composites using flat pin-on-disk experiments under conditions in combination with radiation effect.
ATSP-based tribological products have wide temperature range (-196 to 300°C) with low wear and friction and have applicability for devices used in future missions to Titan, Europa, the Moon, and Mars. Addressable missions include the Dragonfly mission, mechanical components in observatory platforms, Mars sample return, and lunar terrain vehicles. The reliable operation of moving parts and tribological components (e.g., bearings, gears, sealings, etc.) in such extreme environments is key for successful accomplishment of future NASA missions.
ATSP-based tribological products are applicable for Aerospace, Automotive, Space Exploration, and Energy. The tribo-pair concept developed in Phase I potentially offers world leading reduction in friction and wear across a very broad range of temperatures. Reductions in COF and wear enable more stable performance and longer lifetimes - providing an attractive option for many device conditions.