Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM), designer and manufacturer of highly specialized engineered woven fabrics, announced the 3D Orthogonally woven 3DMAT Quartz Material for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) compression pads, developed through their partnership with NASA, has been named the 2023 NASA Government Invention of the Year. The award demonstrates NASA Ames Research Center’s commitment to cutting edge leadership and technology development for the nation. BRM and NASA efforts are a great example of NASA partnering with an American small business with a unique specialized technological capability that will further current and future exploration plans.
Compression pads serve as the interface between the crew module and service module of the Orion MPCV and carry the structural loads generated during launch, space operation, pyroshock separation of the two modules. The compression pads also serve as ablative TPS withstanding the high heating of earth reentry. 3DMAT leverages NASA’s investment in woven materials for the Orion compression pads that combines the weaving of quartz yarns with resin transfer molding.
The 3DMAT technology has helped BRM introduce 3D orthogonal woven materials to a range of new applications.