Composite polyimide materials protect exterior surfaces of spacecraft in low Earth orbits from oxygen radicals, UV and high temperatures. Shuhong Yu’s team at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) took inspiration from the brick mortar microstructure of mother-of-pearl and combined PI with mica nanoplatelets to form a dispersion. Using spray coating and thermal curing, high mica density was achieved in the top layer. The double-layer PI mica film was much harder.
China Science News, Dec. 1, 2021