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Re: The Paint color and qualities of Alum



>> Along the thread. I have enjoyed the wealth of information about 
>> colors and
>> the qualities of aluminum. As a matter of fact I stumped some of my
>> engineers at the TV station.
>> Question: On space craft (Often painted white) you see the use of a 
>> mylar
>> like film to cover certain portions of the craft. It is gold in color, 
>> not
>> white. Would some of you space experts give us a line on this material 
>> and
>> why?
>> Thank You
>
>   As far as I'm concerned one of the main reasons is for protection of
> electronic circuitry and other sensible instruments from high energy
> particles or radiation, that can cause various effects like bit errors 
> in
> memory chips, computer crashes, etc. As a general rule, gold based 
> materials
> have very good electrical and termal characteristics...
>
>   Claudio
>   CT3KD

AFAIK, on the Apollo LM descent stage, which is the best example of this 
I can think of, the gold film was an aluminized Kapton sandwich of some 
sort.  It was used because Kapton has an extremely high temperature 
tolerance and the sandwich blocked radiated heat extremely well.  I 
think the material was made available on the aerospace market shortly 
after than and may still be available -- I don't know.  Others will 
probably have much more info than I do, but that's probably a good 
starting point.

Heard from a flight instructor:
"The only dumb question is the one you DID NOT ask, resulting in my 
going out and having to identify your bits and pieces in the midst of 
torn and twisted metal."
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