BUMAX fasteners in space 18 July 2023

The fastener specialist BUMAX has been selected by OHB System AG to provide BUMAX 88 fasteners to secure a new scientific payload heading for the International Space Station (ISS), as part of an experiment to measure the speed of sound.

BUMAX fasteners have been used in various applications for the space sector and, in this instance, its extra-strong and fatigue-resistant model 88 has been selected to securely fasten the housing of the new payload, called ‘Granular Sound’, on the ISS. The enhanced properties of BUMAX 88 fasteners are achieved through a combination of proprietary BUMAX manufacturing processes and the use of high-quality European steel.

Granular Sound is an experiment in space that is trying to measure the speed of sound through a cube filled with glass balls in microgravity and at different package pressures. The experiment uses thousands of glass balls to simulate different granular media, such as sand, or concrete.

“The housing of this package will be securely fastened by BUMAX 88 fasteners to avoid the balls flying around the ISS. The microgravity experiment will provide valuable data for various terrestrial and space applications, from more effective concrete processing to 3D printing in space, or on the moon,” says Lukas Pfeiffer, project manager and systems engineer at OHB System.

According to the company, BUMAX premium fasteners include some of the strongest in the world and are being used in other applications aboard the ISS. BUMAX 88 screws, since January 2022, have also been used with the OHB System-developed ANITA-2 trace-gas monitoring system, which ensures good air quality for the ISS astronauts. The system has been simultaneously measuring more than 40 gases every 6 minutes on the ISS. The screws were used for the ANITA-2 payload to securely seal a safety containment system and fasten together crucial optical components.

Lars Holm, MD at BUMAX added that “being entrusted to supply fasteners for projects, such as ISS, was a source of immense pride for the company and a testament to the quality of its products”.

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