Elon Musk made the decision to use stainless steel instead of carbon fiber/epoxy materials for his Starship.
Stainless steel properties:
- Very ductile, very tough. No fracture issues
- that at cryogenic temperatures, the strength is boosted by 50 percent.
- it’s obviously cheap, it’s obviously fast.
- It has a high melting point. 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.
All in all, this would appear to be the perfect application for Hexaflex.
A transpirational heat shield must be able:
- to efficiently join inner and outer shell surfaces with stringers
- to provide a clear interstitial space, allowing fluids to flow through its structure
- to be formed into compound curvatures
- to serve double duty as structure