Keronite delivers on BepiColombo mission


Hall 4, Stand D48

Keronite, which offers one of the world’s most advanced Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) treatments for light alloys, has delivered a second order to Airbus Defence and Space for White Keronite treated components for the BepiColombo MPO mission.


The order for 24 flight parts was delivered in June and will provide spares should any of the original parts supplied last year be damaged during the delicate construction phase of the programme. The Bepi Colombo missions is a joint European Space Agency / Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency programme to send a satellite to Mercury – one of the most hostile environments in the known universe.


Matt Hamblin, CEO of Keronite, said: “We developed this version of our White Keronite technology specifically for the Bepi Colombo mission. It offers low absorptance of radiant energy combined with high emissivity of thermal energy, allowing treated parts to provide passive thermal control; protecting flight parts in temperatures exceeding 350 degrees C while maintaining the optimal operating environment for the electronics on board.”


Primarily used as a surface treatment for lightweight alloys such as aluminium, magnesium and titanium, Keronite uses Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) to pass an electrical current through the surface of a light metal part, generating a plasma oxide layer that converts into a hard, yet flexible, ceramic layer.  The process can be honed to offer bespoke solutions for different applications – such as those required by the Bepi Colombo mission – simply by making adjustments to a range of controllable parameters. It can also be engineered to offer multi-functional performance on different parts of the same component, providing increased wear resistance in some areas while delivering enhanced thermal or aesthetic qualities in others.


Matt continued: “The Bepi Colombo mission is due to launch in 2017, arriving at Mercury by 2024. Once in orbit, it will gather data for one to two years so it’s essential that all flight parts are protected and optimal operating environments maintained successfully.


“We’re proud that White Keronite is the first surface treatment to be qualified for these essential flight parts and are looking forward to seeing our ground-breaking technology playing a key role in this exciting space mission.”


Both White Keronite (combining low absorptance of radiant energy with high emissivity of thermal energy) and Black Keronite (combining high absorptance of radiant energy with high emissivity of thermal energy) are qualified for use in Space applications. The process enhances light metal alloys’ resistance to corrosion, wear and humidity, as well as protecting against UV radiation, electrons and protons and atomic oxygen while demonstrating extremely low outgassing characteristics. A clean technology, there is no need for painting or priming as the treatment grows out of the original metal alloy. The resultant coatings are also free from Chromium, Vanadium, Nickel and other heavy metals’ volatile organic compounds.


For further information about the Keronite process, visit the team in Hall 4, Stand D48

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