NASA representatives create wire cloth using 4D printing
Representatives of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory have printed chain armor fabric, which can be used in space, on a 3D printer.
According to developers, woven wire screen was made using 4D printing, as certain object features were programmed at the production stage. It allowed to reduce significantly the time for integration and testing of the material.
Obtained chain armor fabric has a range of useful qualities:
- reflecting power;
- passive temperature control – the one side absorbs light and abstracts unnecessary heat;
- small rolled up size;
- high tenacity;
- flexibility – capability to wrap tightly various objects.
Due to such a range of features, 3D printed fabric can be applied for various purposes: creating expandable structures akin to an antenna, protecting a spacecraft skin from space junk, and screening space suits. In future, NASA members are going to adjust production of the innovative material right in space, using unnecessary details and waste for printing.