Mechanical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2019


In the present study, the feasibility of chemical modification of electron-irradiated Kapton is investigated. Characterization techniques determined the changes between a pristine, electron irradiated, and a chemically treated, i.e., fluorinated, sample of Kapton. Kapton is a common material in space application as it serves as the exterior surface for space vehicles. Highly aged Kapton have significant material property changes, making them prone to electro-static discharge (ESD) damage. Understanding how Kapton material behaves under space conditions and the possibility of improving its structure and properties is of utmost important. To this end, changes to the physical properties of the material were probed using volume conductivity measurements, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) absorption spectroscopy, and mechanical testing. The research suggests that although the electron irradiation or fluorination can be employed to tailor the chemical structure and optical properties of Kapton, it is not highly efficient in altering its mechanical and electrical properties.


Kapton, Spacecraft, Electro-Static Discharge, Electrons Irradiation, Space Weather, Post Polymerization Modification

Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mehran Tehrani

Second Committee Member

Sakineh Chabi

Third Committee Member

Daniel Engelhart

Document Type