Mars Containers: Dust on Teflon Sealing Surfaces

by H. V. Lauer, Jr., Lockheed Engineering & Sciences, Co, Houston, United States,
J. H. Allton, Lockheed Engineering & Sciences, Co, Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


As part of an evaluation of suitable hermetic seals for containers for Martian rock and soil samples, teflon (TFE) o-ring static face seals were challenged with silica gel, basalt, and bentonite dust in several size ranges: 20-45?m, 45-75?m, and 75-125?m. Seals were most tolerant of the soft bentonite dust and least tolerant of angular silica gel dust. Small amounts of 75-125?m size particles can be accomodated by the teflon o-ring; however, the seals do not work well if smaller particles are concentrated enough to form layers more than 1 grain thick.

Subject Headings: Dust | Mars | Bentonite | Silica | Sealing | Particle size distribution | Volcanic deposits

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