This proposal addresses subtopic Z13.02 Dust Tolerant Mechanisms and specifically the listed interest in long life dust-tolerant
bearings, protective materials, and tribological surfaces. NASA is interested in long-term operation in the Moon, Mars and other space
bodies such as asteroids, and comets. The Artemis program will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, followed by
manned missions to Mars. The Moon is covered by large amounts of dust particles, called regolith, which could cause serious problems
for tribological components on the Moon, which makes dust as the number one concern in returning to the Moon. In addition to dust
issues, the temperature has a large variation between day and night, from cryogenic temperatures of -147°C to upwards of 100°C.
Therefore, the effect of temperature should also be taken into account in combination with abrasive dust. The reliable operation of
moving parts and tribological components (e.g., bearings, gears, sealings, etc.) in the Moon 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 so as to mitigate mission risk. This
proposal offers unique solutions for these extreme conditions: ATSP coating sliding against ATSP coatings have shown low coefficients
of friction and “zero wear” from -196°C to 300°C. This excellent tribological performance leads us to introduce ATSP-based coatings for
the abrasive conditions and wide thermal demands of the Moon. We will investigate the tribological performance of ATSP-based
composites under conditions in combination with temperature effect and abrasive dust. The tribo-pairs will be micro-textured/flat
polymer pins sliding on steel, and textured/flat polymers pin on polymer coating, thereby allowing selection of an optimized tribo-pair.
1. ATSP-based tribological products have wide temperature range (-196 to 300°C) with low wear and friction and have applicability for
mechanical devices used in future missions to Titan, the Moon, and Mars.
2. Best-performing tribo-pairs will be identified for Lunar dusty conditions as a durable high bearing tribo-pair – impacting design of
deployables, pumps, bearings, and seals.
ATSP-based tribological products applicable for Aerospace, Automotive, Space Exploration, and Energy. The tribo-pair concept
developed in Phase I offers world-leading reduction in friction and wear across a broad range of temperatures in abrasive conditions.
ATSP has entered evaluation cycles with firms such as: Dover Precision Components, Valco Instruments, ExxonMobil, GGB Bearings,