Aerospace and Satellite Manufacturing

The success of a space mission is always linked to the performance of technology. Fralock is a leading provider of flexible circuit solutions used in satellite solar arrays in support of some of the world’s largest satellite manufacturers. Our products are found on a full range of missions across the military, civil and commercial space markets. Orbiting Earth in fixed and rotating wing applications as well as in body-mounted panels, our advanced solar panel products are used in flex-to-deploy and flex-to-fit as well as in static applications.

Flexible Satellite solar arrays (panels) are a primary source of electrical power for spacecraft. Whether driven by electrical propulsion or ever increasing communication bandwidth requirements, system power levels are escalating rapidly with the area of large arrays now measuring in the 10’s of square meters. This places greater emphasis than ever on the low mass, thin and compact features of Fralock’s Satellite solar arrays, flex circuits, not to mention the design and packaging benefits offered.

Fralock’s ability to create large formats, combined with full-folding characteristics, means that complex, single circuits that are many meters in length can be achieved. Those single circuits will eliminate connections while adding to system reliability and mass reduction.

Many of our customers describe legacy designs which are so fragile that the mere handling, let alone assembly work, compromises the product such that time consuming and expensive replacements are needed. Not so with Fralock’s Satellite solar arrays and flexible circuits. They can be folded and creased with no degradation and no need for “spares” to reliably assure assembly.

We support our customers’ engineering departments by providing design and development expertise to individually optimize each flexible circuit for the application, resulting in the highest performance and lowest cost solution in the least amount of time.

All Polyimide, Adhesiveless Flexible, Rigid-Flex and Rigid

Fralock’s unique materials and ALT allows it to develop and produce a wide range of ultra high reliability products that offers key advantages, including:

  • Robust Handling: Virtually eliminates fragility related assembly damage, rework and program delays
  • Full Folding: May be tightly creased without delamination or fracture
  • No Solder joints or Connectors: Continuous panels to 120” and Full Folding can result in continuous lengths to 100’s of feet without any unreliable connections
  • Fine Line/Trace and Spacing: to 1 mil, allows compact design
  • Low Mass: Superior materials, lamination, trace/spacing and connector elimination yields lower mass
  • Exceptional Radiation Resistance: Retains physical, thermal, electrical and isolation properties throughout extended mission life

Our flexible and Rigid Flexible PB meet IPC-6013D:Qualification and Performance Specification for Flexible/Rigid-Flexible Printed Boards

Unsurpassed Reliability with All Polyimide Fully Encapsulated Designs

  • All polyimide bonding eliminates the adhesive interface where most problems occur
  • Full encapsulation eliminates the voids around metallic traces that create performance variables and structural discontinuities that affect durability
  • Laminate bond strengths exceed substrate properties and that typically exceeds 10 pli to metallic traces
  • Wide operational temperature range -269°C to +351°C (Tg)

If your application requires high temperature resistance, dimensional stability, low outgassing, durability, and chemical resistance, you need Fralock’s all polyimide adhesiveless laminate

Characteristics and Features:

  • Abrasion resistant
  • Chemically inert
  • Dielectric Strength up to 7000 volts/mil
  • Glass transition temperatures up to 351°C (663°F)
  • Low CTE, 30 ppm in-plane over operating temperature range (ASTM E831 )

Meets these specifications:

                 • NASA outgassing requirements

                 • Flammability requirements of UL94V-0 (UL file #E39505)

                 • Inherently Halogen free

  • Maintains its mechanical properties at extreme temperatures, from cryogenic -269°C (-516°F) to over 300°C (572°F)
  • Monolithic polyimide construction with no adhesive weaknesses
  • Readily modified by machining, drilling, and laser machining
  • Thermal & Dimensional Stability
  • Thermal Cycling tested from -186°C to 150°C

Applications include:

  • Satellite Solar Arrays

  • Heaters
  • Circuits
  • Shields
  • Reflectors
  • Antennas

Our flexible and Rigid Flexible PB meet IPC-6013D:Qualification and Performance Specification for Flexible/Rigid-Flexible Printed Boards


NASA Goddard S-311-P-841, General Specification for Thermofoil Heater, All-Polyimide, Space Applications

Satellite solar arrays

Fralock Improves NASA’s Spacecraft Heating Capabilities

For additional information about us or to begin discussions on your project, click our Quote Request, or call 1-800-FRALOCK (372-5625)

Download our Satellite brochure