1. YLA adhesives provide cryogenic and high-temperature service for solar array
substrate skins. Photo courtesy of Johns
Applied Physics Lab.
2. The ability to coat only honeycomb cell walls reduces satellite weight and
increases structural efficiency.
As aerospace technology advances, requirements for
innovative composite/adhesive materials have also grown more demanding.
Materials must be the lightest weight possible, offer the ability to withstand
extreme temperatures, be easily handled and applied, and, where possible, serve
dual purposes for multiple parts of structures. Some of the major uses for such
materials are government satellite and space programs, and commercial
Adhesives that are used for aerospace applications include paste (also used for
industrial purposes) and films. Films include both syntactics and pure resin
types. Syntactics are microballoon-filled resins that can be nonexpanding or
expanding (generally used for honeycomb core splicing), and resin films can be
supported or unsupported.
For decades, these films have been used and have proven to be excellent
materials for terrestrial applications, such as radomes, antennas, and
dielectrically tailored syntactics, but they’ve also demonstrated exceptional
results for aerospace structures.
3. Syntactics provide low-density, low-dielectric constant and loss tangent,
and self-adhesive properties for advanced radomes.
Precision adhesives in combination with compatible prepreg
resins, such as YLA’s RS-3 (modified polycyanate resin), SF-5 (polycyanate
syntactic film) and RS-4A (polycyanate film adhesive), fit the technological
needs of aerospace applications. The benefits of these advanced composite
materials include the following.
- Precise control of chemistry. These materials
offer chemical and surface energy compatibility with substrates to be bonded,
usually composite-to-composite or composite-to-metal. They have the ability to
withstand extremes of exposure to cosmic radiation, atomic oxygen and other
chemicals, and feature a range of resin bases for applications from cryogenic
to high-temperature or heat-sensitive structures, such as heat pipes or solar
arrays (see Figure 1).
- Easy, repeatable control of bondline thickness.
- The ability to reticulate, or selectively coat surfaces (e.g., honeycomb).
- Weight savings vs. paste or liquids (typically as much as
- The capacity to serve dual-purpose functions (e.g., syntactics as
radome interlayers, acting as low dielectric and loss and as functional
adhesive for the structural layers)(see Figure 3).
- Easy handling and application. There is a minimum of waste, run-out
and cleanup. No mixing is required for these adhesives.
4. Film adhesive provides secure bonding between antenna core and skin
The advantages of YLA’s advanced composite adhesives have
proven to be of particular value in commercial telecommunications, scientific,
military and reconnaissance endeavors.
Examples of aerospace
parts that utilize these materials include solar panels, satellite body panels
and reflectors. These adhesives provide:
- Thin and lightweight materials.
- The ability to bond skins to cores to make curved and other non-flat
- The ability to bond metal or composite skins to metal or composite
- Durability and ability to withstand thousands of temperature cycles,
from cryogenic deep space temperatures to broiling direct sun
- Low levels of contaminants to prevent the coating or blinding of
satellite optics and sensors.
- Non-expanding syntactics for lightweight, highly selective structural
- Expanding syntactics to precisely fill gaps and splice/bond structural
core sections together.
YLA’s adhesives have also proven their effectiveness with payload, optical
benches and reflectors by offering precise bonding of fittings to tubes,
structural panels, and reflector skins (see Figure 4); they’ve also proven
effective with syntactics for low dielectric/loss covers (radomes/electrical
About YLA Inc.
Inc. is a recognized global leader in the development and manufacture of
high-performance, lightweight composite materials for satellites, aerospace,
petrochemical, commercial and military aircraft, radomes, defense,
naval/marine, industrial, thermal management, and recreational markets. YLA was
presented with an unprecedented fourth “Gold Supplier” declaration by Northrop
Grumman, making it the only advanced composites manufacturer to be so
Headquartered in Benicia, CA, the company’s
facility houses research, development and manufacturing for a full line of
advanced composite materials. YLA’s multiple production lines provide the
flexibility to accommodate extremely large production requirements as well as
smaller developmental runs.
For more information, phone (707) 747-2750 or visit www.ylainc.com.