Monte Carlo Computational Modeling of the Energy Dependence of Atomic Oxygen Undercutting of Protected Polymers

  • Bruce A. Banks
  • Thomas J. Stueber
  • Mary Jo Norris
Conference paper
Part of the Space Technology Proceedings book series (SPTP, volume 4)


A Monte Carlo computational model has been developed which simulates atomic oxygen attack of protected polymers at defect sites in the protective coatings. The parameters defining how atomic oxygen interacts with polymers and protective coatings, as well as the scattering processes which occur, have been optimized to replicate experimental results observed from protected polyimide Kapton on the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) mission. Computational prediction of atomic oxygen undercutting at defect sites in protective coatings for various arrival energies was investigated. The atomic oxygen undercutting energy dependence predictions enable one to predict mass loss that would occur in low Earth orbit, based on lower energy ground laboratory atomic oxygen beam systems. Results of computational model prediction of undercut cavity size as a function of energy and defect size will be presented to provide insight into expected in-space mass loss of protected polymers with protective coating defects based on lower energy ground laboratory testing.


Protective Coating Crack Width Ground Laboratory NASA Technical Memorandum Protected Polymer 
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

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce A. Banks
    • 1
  • Thomas J. Stueber
    • 2
  • Mary Jo Norris
    • 3
  1. 1.NASA Lewis Research CenterCleveland
  2. 2.NYMA, Inc.NASA Lewis Research Center GroupBrook Park
  3. 3.Cleveland State UniversityCleveland

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