Epoxy in Space

News recently reached earth from the international space station of a leak in a Russian Soyuz space craft. A collision with a micrometeorite caused a hole 2 mm in diameter which lead to a drop in pressure inside the space craft. The astronauts aboard the space station were in a position of needing to repair the leak to prevent oxygen concentration in the cabin falling over time. With guidance from the flight controllers in Huston and Moscow and the limited resources available the astronauts successfully sealed the hole. This repair work was carried out using epoxy resin and gauze tape carried in the maintenance kit aboard the space station. The epoxy resin used was a regular epoxy resin sold commercially in stores according to a retired Russian astronaut.

This news from outside our atmosphere highlights yet another, probably little-known application for epoxy resins. The use of epoxies in space demonstrates their ability to thrive even in harsh environments. Epoxy resin was the solution to repairing the international space station and may very well be the solution to thousands of problems still faced by architects and engineers.