Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Shuttle Foam

  1. Aug 10, 2005 #1
    Anyone have details on the Foam, ie its composition..some data on its manufacturer..anything on how it is applied to the Shuttle External Tank would be great. I have an idea on the foam braking away during lift off, but this is purely based on factors I have been trying to tackle with, that are not stress related, so until I know everything about the Foam and how it is applied to the tank, it wont make any sense.

    Any tech links would be greatly recieved, thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    - from http://anon.nasa-global.speedera.net/anon.nasa-global/CAIB/CAIB_lowres_chapter3.pdf

    I believe this is from the CAIB report, but I haven't confirmed it.

    See also - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_Tank

    and - Modification of Space Shuttle Tiles? - post 11
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2005
  4. Aug 10, 2005 #3
  5. Aug 10, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    He's good like that ;-)
  6. Aug 11, 2005 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    So are you Fred :wink:

    There is also some useful photos showing how the complexity of the Space Shuttle External Tank at - http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshal...lery/photos/photogallery/shuttle/shuttle.html

    The major problem for the foam is the PAL area and Bipod region. The Bipod area creates significant turbulence - vortex shedding off the cylindrical structures.

    It appears that the area on ET-121 (on STS-114, Discovery), which lost the foam, was a patch and blend repair. There is definitely a need for improvement in this area.

    In reality, the foam loss is only significant on the shuttle side of the tank or roughly 1/3 of the circumferential surface. A kevlar mesh with about 5-8 cm pitch and located just below the surface of the foam would seem reasonable to ensure a reduction in foam loss - but perhaps easier said than done.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook