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Thermally Conductive Silicones for Space and Aircraft Applications

Silicones are highly resilient materials commonly used as adhesives and encapsulants in aircraft and aerospace applications. A valuable benefit of silicones is their ability to incorporate a variety of filler types that can impart such properties as thermal conductivity at elevated temperatures. Thermally conductive silicone adhesives and encapsulants aid in the removal of heat without adding additional stress to electronic assemblies and other devices during thermal cycling. The ability of silicones to reduce stress on devices in harsh environments like the vacuum of space makes them virtually essential in satellite and related applications. To handle the rigorous demands of emerging aerospace and aircraft technologies, these multifunctional materials can simultaneously be designed as low outgassing or ultra low outgassing for near-ultimate control of volatiles and advanced equipment protection. This work will investigate the basics of silicone chemistry so as to elaborate on how silicone materials can provide thermal conductivity and even solvent resistance for applications in which spacecraft and sensitive electronics are repeatedly exposed to conditions in which these attributes are imperative.