Powder Metallurgy Applications in Space Vehicle Systems

  • C. G. Goetzel
  • J. B. Rittenhouse


Powder metallurgy products have found use in both conventional aerospace applications and in space vehicle systems components that have required extensive development programs to satisfy highly specialized purposes. This paper reviews some powder metallurgy applications in space vehicles systems and discusses some examples of powder metallurgy parts and materials actually used in successfully orbited spacecraft. Examples of some of the powder metallurgy products operating in spacecraft systems are the sintered bronze bearings in the tape recorder in Explorer III which operated successfully for 93 days in space and the sintered magnets used in the de-spin mechanism in the navigational satellites, some of which have operated successfully for up to seven months. A material used in high heat flux applications where resistance to chemical erosion, thermal stress, and surface temperatures near its melting point is silver-infiltrated tungsten, which can be produced only by powder metallurgy processes. An extensive development program to achieve optimum end-use performance of the composite was undertaken in order to produce the material under carefully controlled manufacturing processes. The advantages of powder-metallurgically-produced beryllium will be discussed for such projected structural applications as vehicle skins and meteoroid shielding in manned space stations now in the early conceptional or design stages.


Powder Metallurgy Tape Recorder Sintered Magnet Attitude Control Mechanism Powder Metallurgy Material 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Metal Powder Industries Federation and The Metallurgical Society of AIME 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. G. Goetzel
    • 1
  • J. B. Rittenhouse
    • 1
  1. 1.Lockheed Missiles and Space CompanyPalo AltoUSA

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