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Long-Term Storage Considerations for Spacecraft Lubricants

European Space Tribology Laboratory (ESTL), ESR Technology, 202 Cavendish Place, Birchwood Park, Warrington WA3 6WU, UK
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Lubricants 2020, 8(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/lubricants8030032
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 12 March 2020 / Accepted: 13 March 2020 / Published: 13 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tribology of Space Mechanisms)
Spacecraft mechanisms commonly undergo extended periods of storage, either on-ground, or in-flight and there are an increasing number of missions for which some element of long-term storage may be required. Despite the obvious potential for degradation of lubricants during storage which might impact mechanism functionality or life and so even become mission-threatening, today’s understanding of storage phenomena is rather incomplete. This paper provides consolidation and review of recent experimental studies in this area and considers the range of storage conditions and associated degradation phenomena which could impact different lubricants. Whilst some storage best practice guidelines exist, experimental verification of the impact of storage phenomena has rarely been carried out and test data is rather scarce and incomplete. Given the absence of comprehensive data to support design, lubricant selection or the development of storage protocols, it is shown that for all lubricant types careful control of storage and test environments combined with monitoring of the evolving tribological performance during periodic mechanism exercising are presently the most effective storage risk mitigations. View Full-Text
Keywords: lubrication; spacecraft; vacuum; tribology; long-term storage lubrication; spacecraft; vacuum; tribology; long-term storage
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MDPI and ACS Style

Buttery, M.; Lewis, S.; Kent, A.; Bingley, R.; Cropper, M. Long-Term Storage Considerations for Spacecraft Lubricants. Lubricants 2020, 8, 32. https://doi.org/10.3390/lubricants8030032

AMA Style

Buttery M, Lewis S, Kent A, Bingley R, Cropper M. Long-Term Storage Considerations for Spacecraft Lubricants. Lubricants. 2020; 8(3):32. https://doi.org/10.3390/lubricants8030032

Chicago/Turabian Style

Buttery, Michael, Simon Lewis, Anthony Kent, Rachel Bingley, and Matthew Cropper. 2020. "Long-Term Storage Considerations for Spacecraft Lubricants" Lubricants 8, no. 3: 32. https://doi.org/10.3390/lubricants8030032

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