At the beginning of July and after a five-year journey in space, the NASA’s Juno spacecraft entered orbit about Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. Jupiter’s environment is characterized by very intense radiation, which makes very high demands on spacecraft systems and materials. On board the Juno spacecraft is a critical ceramic component based on carbon fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) made by SGL Group.
The Juno spacecraft is equipped with highly accurate measuring devices. The extremely stiff sensor carrier for the magnetometer (“Magnetometer Optical Bench”) has been made from the SGL Group's optimized SIGRASIC material. It combines the non-magnetic properties needed for researching the magnetic field with the extremely demanding requirements of aerospace engineering: high thermal resistance, low density, high stiffness and strength, as well as excellent temperature, radiation and thermal-shock resistance. Moreover, low thermal expansion paired with high thermal conductivity is especially beneficial for ensuring the high mechanical stability required of this component under the extreme environmental conditions at Jupiter.
SGL Group is a pioneer in the development of the material class carbon fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC). A well known application is the carbon-ceramic brake disc which was fitted as standard in Porsche GT2 since 2002. Today this carbon-ceramic brake disc is used in many high-performance sports cars.
Through targeted development and superior performance of the C/SiC material class, a lot of other applications for this material have materialized to date. These include C/SiC clutch discs in race cars, components for wear resistant industrial applications such as pump parts, bearing parts and charging racks, and components with complex shapes for ballistic protection (armor) and other friction applications in industry.
The potential of the high-tech material C/SiC is far from exhausted and will be continuously developed at SGL Group’s central research and development facilities, offering customized solutions for specific customer needs.
SIGRASIC® is a registered trademark of the SGL Group companies.