Systems Engineering Seminar

Dental Composites to Degraded MLI:
Selected Short Stories From the World of a Materials Engineer

Presented by:
Benjamin Reed,
Materials Engineering Branch, NASA GSFC

March 4, 2008, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium

Dental Composites to Degraded MLI:
Selected Short Stories From the World of a Materials Engineer

Ben Reed's experience as a materials engineer has led him from the challenges of dental composites to long term space exposure on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).

Dental composites were developed in the 1960s and have continued to play a major role in restorative dentistry to date. However, they do not exhibit the typical service life of silver amalgam or gold fillings. Much of their lower service life is due to the consequences of polymerization shrinkage.

The Hubble Space Telescope has faced challenges with materials including a failed power converter on the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) Instrument, several failed flex leads from returned-from-orbit HST gyros, and the continuing degradation of the on-orbit multi-layered insulation (MLI) encasing HST. Following the presentation, a 5 1/2 square foot section of MLI returned after 1 billion miles on orbit on the HST will be displayed.

In this presentation, Mr. Reed will summarize the materials' challenges with dental composites and discuss three Hubble Space Telescope materials 'failures' and the recovery therefrom.



Photo of Ben Reed Benjamin Reed: received his BS in Chemistry from Catholic University of America in 1990. He worked for the American Dental Association Health Foundation at the National Institute of Standards and Technology from 1989-1998, Unisys Corp from 1998-2000, and Swales Aerospace from 2000-2004. He is the Group Leader of the Project Assurance and Engineering Group, in Materials Engineering Branch, GSFC, since 2004. He received the Spaceflight Awareness Award in 1991, the GSFC Exceptional Achievement Award in 2002, and the Silver Snoopy in 2007.



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