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Polyimide Foam Named NASA Commercial Invention Of 2007

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:09 am
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HAMPTON, Va., (NASA) — The 2007 NASA Commercial Invention of the Year is a multi-use foam that insulates for sound, heat and cold with aerospace and down to Earth applications.

“Polyimide Foam” can be flexible or rigid, structural or non-structural and is highly durable. The foam’s density can be varied for a variety of uses including fire protection since it generates no harmful combustion products and has been tested at temperatures above 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

For future NASA exploration vehicles, the foam could be used in applications where reduced weight and increased durability are necessary for missions to the moon or Mars. Several commercial companies have purchased hundreds of thousands of board feet for various applications because it is lighter and safer than earlier materials. The foam outperforms similar materials currently used in the aerospace industry.

The inventors, Roberto Cano, Brian Jensen and Erik Weiser from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and Miguel Vazquez of Polyumac Techno Core, Inc. in Hialeah, Fla., will be honored during the NASA Project Management Challenge Conference in early 2009. Polyumac is the licensee and manufacturer of NASA’s polyimide foam technology.

NASA’s general counsel selects the Invention of the Year Award with technical assistance from NASA’s Inventions and Contributions Board.

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