Cost and weight savings achieved by the use of composites have allowed these materials to displace their metal counterparts in space applications. Epoxy matrix based carbon fiber reinforced composites, such as Fiberite 934, have been used for a number of years. Relative to these systems, cyanate esters offer a number of unique attributes such as excellent hydrophobicity and electrical properties, reduced residual stress and better microcrack resistance, and improved radiation resistance. The significant reduction in water sorption and the low response to uptake make it possible to achieve much improved dimensional stability and reduced outgassing. These features may be used to advantage in electro-optical applications in space. ICI Fiberite has developed cyanate ester based prepreg systems that are penetrating the satellite, military radome and structural aerospace markets. Features of these systems will be presented and the properties of the cyanate ester based prepreg, Fiberite 954- 3, will be compared to those of Fiberite 934.
G. R. Almen,
P. D. Mackenzie,
R. K. Maskell,
"Fiberite 954: cyanate ester systems", Proc. SPIE 1690, Design of Optical Instruments, (16 September 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.138004; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.138004