Adhesion of thin metallic surfaces to molded deployable space optics

Melville P Ulmer*, M. E. Graham, S. Vaynman, J. I. Echt, S. R. Ehlert, S. J. Varlese, J. M. Hermiller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Shape memory composite materials (SMC materials) are being developed by our program to make deployable space optics. The basic procedure involves electroforming an approximately 20 micron thin Ni surface onto a convex master and then casting the shape memory composite material onto the plated master. When good adhesion between the Ni and the SMC material is obtained, the Ni and SMC material come off the master in one piece. The result is a shiny mirror whose metallic surface remains intact after stowing and deploying of the mirror. Achieving the requisite adhesion requires treating the Ni prior to the application of the SMC material. The techniques we use to treat the Ni and the results of making mirrors are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number58680N
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 23 2005
EventOptical Materials and Structures Technologies II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 1 2005Aug 2 2005


  • Adhesion
  • Deployable space optics
  • Nickel electroform
  • Optics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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