Robert A. Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Frosch
Daniel B. Leiser - San Jose CA
David A. Stewart - Santa Cruz CA
Marnell Smith - San Jose CA
Carlos A. Estrella - Santa Clara CA
Howard E. Goldstein - Saratoga CA
A flexible, adjustable refractory filler (1) is disclosed for filling gaps between ceramic tiles (10, 11) forming the heat shield of a space shuttle vehicle, to protect its aluminum skin (20) during atmospheric re-entry. The easily installed and replaced filler (1) consists essentially of a strip of ceramic cloth (3) coated, at least along both its longitudinal edges (4, 5), with a room temperature vulcanizable silicone rubber compound with a high emittance colored pigment. The filler may have one or more layers (2, 3), as the gap width requires. Preferred materials are basket-weave aluminoborosilicate cloth, and a rubber compounded with silicon tetraboride as the emittance agent and finely divided borosilicate glass containing about 7. 5% B. sub. 2 O. sub. 3 as high temperature binder. The filler cloth strip or tape is cut to proper width and length, inserted into the gap, and fastened with previously applied drops of silicone rubber adhesive.