Author Topic: 'Wet' Spacesuits  (Read 1437 times)

Online sanman

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'Wet' Spacesuits
« on: 02/21/2017 04:28 PM »
I was wondering whether it would be practical/useful to have spacesuits whose walls were filled with a gel or some non-Newtonian fluid as a padding and insulation layer. If a puncture were to occur, the gel would "coagulate" to seal the leak. Has anything like this ever been tried/proposed?

Let's assume we're operating in hard vacuum, as most spacesuits need to do.

What would be the pro's and cons of such an approach?

Which material would be a good choice for the gel/fluid?


Offline Jim

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Re: 'Wet' Spacesuits
« Reply #1 on: 02/21/2017 04:35 PM »

What would be the pro's and cons of such an approach?


not needed. 

Offline CameronD

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Re: 'Wet' Spacesuits
« Reply #2 on: 02/21/2017 09:21 PM »
What would be the pro's and cons of such an approach?

To add to Jim's post: The 'gel' would add significant mass (where there currently isn't much) and, being viscous, would significantly reduce flexibility also. That makes it not only not needed but really not a good idea either.

..although it might be useful for other rigid-hull applications in self-sealing spacecraft hulls, etc.


EDIT:  I can just imagine the skin of a spacecraft coming out the other side of a debris cloud covered in zits (pimples).  They'll need to invent a cream for that too!  LOL

« Last Edit: 02/21/2017 09:30 PM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Rei

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Re: 'Wet' Spacesuits
« Reply #3 on: 02/22/2017 11:10 AM »

What would be the pro's and cons of such an approach?


not needed.

How are such posts helpful?  If you can't bother to explain yourself, why bother replying?  You do realize that such terse replies without explanation just come across as rude, don't you?

As for self-sealing space suits: The US Air Force has taken out several patents, such as this from  1970:

https://www.google.com/patents/US3536576

Research has continued to date.  Example, from 2010:

http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2010-6246

Quote
... The current NASA space suit, the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) show in Figure 1, provides no self-sealing feature to mitigate loss of pressure. The pressure bladder will continually leak if breached. The astronaut's safety is then dependent upon his or her ability to return to an airlock prior to depletion of the available oxygen supply. By design, the EMU provides 30 minutes of oxygen after sustaining a puncture no larger than 4 millimeters in diameter. Larger punctures result in shorter emergency return time. A self-sealing suit would afford greater protection, greatly enhancing crew safety in the event of a pressure bladder puncture. Prior experiments demonstrated that layers of viscoelastic material can self-seal and that sample space suit components can be manufactured with layers of viscoelastic materials.1,2 After a puncture of the space suit component, the viscoelastic material flows or creeps into the hole. The exact sealing mechanism has not been mathematically modeled, and, to date, only trial-and-error experimentation has generated results demonstrating self-sealing. Designs for suit components incorporating viscoelastic materials have not yet been proposed or optimized beyond coupon samples. This research seeks to develop an engineering approach to identify and optimize self-sealing designs for the use in the space environment.

The study goes into the broad range of self-sealing designs that NASA has studied over the years, particularly work in the 1990s. In addition to liquids, there were also foaming layers and mechanical sealing technologies investigated. The most effective technology was a very soft silicone rubber, polydimethylsiloxane, specifically Dow Corning Sylgard Q3-6636.  They're looking at a 30 mil layer (for a surface area of 2 square meters, that'd be 735 grams of PDMS; by comparison, the Enhanced EMU is 55,3kg worn, and 145kg total mass on ISS.)

Research projects at NASA continue - e.g. this done in 2014, published in 2015: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20150016087.pdf

Now, it's perfectly fine to disagree with a piece of research, and explain why you are in disagreement. But just saying "not needed" helps nobody.  Was your goal to make sanman feel like an idiot for proposing something that researchers at NASA are actually working on?
« Last Edit: 02/22/2017 04:07 PM by Rei »

Offline Darren_Hensley

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Re: 'Wet' Spacesuits
« Reply #4 on: 02/23/2017 07:37 PM »
It's Jim, and Yep he's like that, Try to stick to getting historical facts from him. He does have a Plethora of facts and insignificant data. If he replies like that again to one of your posts, it's best not to poke him with a stick, just ignore him like many others.

I like the fact you came up with the patents, You wont give Jim a bloody nose, but slapping him in the face with facts tends to relax quick burps of such helpful quips. Just be patient.. Others will keep the thread going, many others in the forum have a great deal of knowledge and experience.

Personally if the jell could be some form of radiation shield, I'm all for it.
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Offline Jim

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Re: 'Wet' Spacesuits
« Reply #5 on: 02/24/2017 01:50 AM »
What "facts"?  Patents don't mean squat.

I stand by what I said.  It isn't really needed.  How many times would it have been useful in past?

And those who make proposals like H-10-K GWS have no place making comments about anything spaceflight related
« Last Edit: 02/24/2017 02:01 AM by Jim »

Offline Darren_Hensley

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Re: 'Wet' Spacesuits
« Reply #6 on: 02/24/2017 02:51 PM »
Hey Jim, Did you know I have two new Masters Degrees? Yes Since I've joined the forum I picked up a Space Science Degree, and an Applied Physics Degree. Clearly since you don't to have backup any of your statements, I don't have produce my degrees. Peace and Long Life Jim... Back on topic please...
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