Flex Films, the film manufacturing arm of Indian flexible packaging firm Uflex Ltd, has developed a specialised film for passive thermal control of spacecraft components.
The Noida-based company announced 11 July that the new metallised film was developed following a request by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which approached the film maker in September 2017.
The film, developed in six months, was manufactured based on ISRO's specifications which covered “electro-optical and physical terms”.
These included solar transmittance, IR emittance and thickness of coating in nano-metres on both sides of the substrate. Additionally, a wide-spectrum working temperature of -150 to +120 degrees was to be featured in the product.
Commenting on the project, Anand Prakash Gupta, from the speciality films and R&D department at Flex Films, said the company had to develop a new metallising process in order to meet ISRO's standards.
“Performing metallisation in a conventional metalliser was fraught with high risks of getting scratches and other aberrations,” noted Gupta.
Without specifying further details, the company said it developed "specialised" coatings which were applied to the substrate to ensure flawless metallisation, as required by ISRO.
The new film, according to the company, was subjected to space environmental tests and passed all parameters and tests to qualify for space application.
The project has been part of the Indian drive to localise technology and expertise within the country.
“This is a perfect example of an Indian polymeric film manufacturer meeting and exceeding the performance parameters set by ISRO. This is a major win for ‘Make in India',” noted Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman & managing director, Uflex Ltd.
Flex Films is the film manufacturing arm of India's largest multinational flexible packaging solutions company, Uflex Ltd.
The company has production sites in Asia, Europe, North America and Africa and has an overall production capacity of over 337,000 tonnes per annum.