Of all the physical properties required of engineering polymers, vacuum stability does not come up all that often. Yet some high-tech aerospace, industrial and medical applications absolutely require polymers that won't degrade or outgas under vacuum. One such polymer is our Power-Core™ gravity cast nylon 12.
Power-Core has demonstrated its vacuum readiness not just in the field but also in testing conducted at NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. The test (SP-R-0022A) subjected Power-Core samples to a powerful vacuum of 6.0E-7 Torr at elevated temperatures of 125 C. After 24 hours, the samples were measured for total mass loss (TML) and for volatile condensable materials (VCM). To pass the NASA test, a material must have a TML under 1% of the original specimen mass. The maximum VCM of 0.1% of the original specimen mass.
With a TML of 0.54% and a VCM of 0.01%, Power-Core passed the NASA outgassing test by a wide margin, making the material suitable for use in high-tech systems that require vacuum rated components and materials. Power-Core's low outgassing performance under vacuum won't make a big difference in most earthbound applications. But think of its vacuum stability as yet another indicator of Power-Core overall stability under challenging environmental conditions.
The need for vacuum stability usually arises in applications that have other types of demanding materials requirements. So keep in mind that Power-Core's biggest advantage is the ability to combine vacuum performance with other properties such as its insensitivity to moisture, corrosion and chemicals. Many vacuum application also require very high electrical insulation capabilities, which is yet another Power-Core property.