TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RISK MITIGATION PRINCIPAL CENTER
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2013 INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON ENVIRONMENT AND ALTERNATIVE ENERGY WAS A GREAT SUCCESS!
NASA and European partners held the 11th annual International Workshop on Environment and Alternative Energy, October 22 – 25, 2013 at The European Space Agency (ESA)'s European Space Research Institute (ESRIN) facility in Frascati, Italy. The theme of the workshop was "Increasing Space Mission Resiliency through Sustainability." This event was supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Portuguese Center for Pollution Prevention (C3P), and the Fundação Luso Americana (FLAD). U.S. and international subject matter experts presented on the topics of Increasing Space Mission Critical Ground Infrastructure Resiliency through Sustainability, and Environmentally-Driven Changes to Aerospace Materials & Process Management including Corrosion Protection and Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical (REACH) Regulation. The workshop also included a panel discussion on the topic of Sustainability as a Policy Tool. Awards are typically given to the three student poster presentations judged to be the best; however, this year’s student poster presentations were so excellent, that the judges could not narrow it down to only three, so four students were given awards.
NASA Alternatives to Hexavalent Chrome Containing Coatings Demonstration – Wallops Flight Facility P-3 Aircraft
A joint Technology Evaluation for Environmental Risk Mitigation (TEERM) project with NAVAIR's Materials Engineering Division has begun flight testing hexavalent chrome free coatings on exterior components of two NASA aircraft. Seven of nine aluminum access panels are fully hexavalent chrome free and two components serve as controls with hexavalent chrome pretreatments and primers. The components were installed in late 2012 and initial inspection on the P-3 aircraft took place in early 2013, only a short time after the components had been placed on vehicle. The second inspection of NASA's P-3 at Wallops Flight Facility took place in July 2013. Engineers inspected the panels for signs of corrosion and wear and took measurements of color, gloss and coating thickness. After over six months of exposure on the aircraft, and 307 flight hours, all coatings are performing well with no deleterious effects. The next inspection will take place in the 4th quarter of 2013 when the P-3 returns to Wallops Flight Facility. Additionally, a second aircraft, NASA's C-23 Sherpa will also be inspected in the 4th quarter of 2013. It was not inspected in July as it is still on mission in Alaska.
Ground Support Development and Operations (GSDO) Program Hexavalent Chrome Alternatives
The NASA TEERM Ground Support Development and Operations (GSDO) Program Hexavalent Chrome Alternatives Project is evaluating and testing non-chromated pretreatments as replacements for hexavalent chrome pretreatments used on Ground Support Equipment (GSE) and Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE). Following 35 days of exposure at the KSC Beachfront and ambient office storage, the test articles were evaluated for electrical bonding properties. To date, the non-chromated pretreatments have been outperforming the hexavalent chrome pretreatments. Testing continues and the test articles will be evaluated again following 70 days of exposure at the KSC Beachfront and ambient office storage.
NASA and European Partners International Workshop - Plans are underway for the International Workshop on Environment and Alternative Energy, "Increasing Space Mission Resiliency through Sustainability", October 22 – 25, 2013. The Workshop will be held at the European Space Agency - European Space Research Institute (ESRIN) in Frascati, Italy, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside of Rome. This four-day event will highlight work that ESA, NASA, and various partners are conducting to make ground-based space operations more robust and resilient, and provide a forum for others to present on similar topics. For more information please visit the TEERM Workshop website: http://teerm.nasa.gov/workshop.htm
GSDO Program Alternative to Nitric Acid Passivation Project to be Presented at DoD Corrosion Conference
The NASA Technology Evaluation for Environmental Risk Mitigation Principal Center (TEERM) is working with the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program (GSDOP), Kennedy Space Center (KSC), other NASA Centers and the Department of Defense (DoD) to qualify citric acid as an environmentally preferable alternative to nitric acid for passivation of stainless steel alloys. An abstract, prepared by NASA TEERM, was accepted by the DoD Corrosion Conference 2013 to be held September 16-17 via webinar. NASA TEERM is working with the NASA Corrosion Technology Laboratory to prepare a manuscript and presentation giving an overview of the project and results to date. Passivation is used to make a surface more "passive" so it is not as affected by corrosion and other environmental factors. While nitric acid results in excellent corrosion resistance, there are a number of environmental, safety, and operational issues. Citric acid offers a variety of benefits, including being bio-degradable, non-hazardous, and less aggressive.
NASA Remedial Project Manager Workshop - The 2013 NASA Remedial Project Manager (RPM) Workshop was held February 25-28, 2013 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This biennial event provided an excellent forum for RPMs to present their program updates and to engage with RPMs from other Centers and Component Facilities, as well as their Advocates at NASA HQ Environmental Management Division. TEERM’s contribution to this year’s workshop was successful in identifying and inviting guest speakers who could present on topics of significant interest. These speakers and their presentations were well received and generated several side discussions afterwards with potential for collaborative projects in the near future.
Reuse of Non-Hazardous Spent Blast Media in Concrete Being Demonstrated at KSC – A joint Technology Evaluation for Environmental Risk Mitigation (TEERM) project with Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Construction of Facilities and KSC’s Environmental Management System is set to begin construction at the Propellants North area of KSC in March 2013. The objective of this project is to validate a process that utilizes spent blast media as an alternative aggregate in specific concrete mixes. At times, spent blast media has been one of KSC’s largest waste streams. This diversion of non-hazardous spent blast media from the current method of disposal as solid waste may help NASA meet the requirements of Executive Order 31514 as well as avoid costs. The 2012 KSC Sustainability Plan stipulates that future contract language include provisions to implement the blast media in concrete process. A pre-work meeting with NASA representatives and the construction contractor was recently held.
Early Testing Complete on Hexavalent Chrome-free Coatings for Electronics - Technology Evaluation for Environmental Risk Mitigation (TEERM) initial testing of hexavalent chromium-free pretreatments has been completed, including testing of several pretreatments provided by the European Space Agency (ESA). Results from initial testing have brought panel preparation procedures into question. The hexavalent chrome control pretreatment unexpectedly failed during corrosion testing. There were also unexpected failures for some of the hexavalent chromium-free pretreatments. However, several lower TRL materials performed well during initial salt spray testing. The next phase of the project will focus on panel preparation procedures for selected hexavalent chromium-free pretreatments and the hexavalent chrome control pretreatment. Test panels with hexavalent chromium-free pretreatments will be submitted by ESA. Vendors will be supplying test panels with newly developed hexavalent chromium-free pretreatments as well.