Impressed by the wide range of polymeric products that Flex Films manufactures and the associated R&D capabilities, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) approached the company with a requirement of specialised film for passive thermal control of spacecraft components.

Flex Films at Noida is the Indian Film Manufacturing Arm of India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and solution company Uflex Limited.

Taking this requirement in its stride, the engineers at Flex Films India developed a solution for ISRO in a record time period of six months.

Talking more about this specialised film, Mr Anand Prakash Gupta from Speciality Films and R&D Department at Flex Films, Noida said: “ISRO approached us in an endeavour to achieve its vision to self-reliance in Indian Space Programme which aims at engaging more Indian Industries in producing spaceworthy products/technologies for its specific applications.

“Their desired specifications were in electro-optical and physical terms like Solar Transmittance, IR Emittance, Thickness of Coating in nanometres on both sides of the substrate and wide spectrum working temperature of -150°C to 120°C to name a few.

“The real challenge was to convert these specifications into our measurable norm. For this we sent an A4 sized sample to ISRO to get everything measured and tested in their terms. When ISRO reverted to us with their requirements in the parameters that they recognise, we extrapolated that information to our measurable norm.

“Performing metallisation in conventional metalliser was fraught with high risks of getting scratches and other aberrations (anomalies which were absolutely unacceptable for a high precision job that we were processing for ISRO).  Further we developed some specialised coatings and applied on the substrate to ensure flawless metallisation as required by ISRO.”

Talking more about this major breakthrough Mr Jagmohan Mongia, president of Flex Films India, said: “The specialised metallised film that we supplied to ISRO was subjected to space environmental tests and passed through all parameters/tests qualifying for space application.

“Here I would particularly like to acknowledge the unrelenting and hard work by the metallising team of Flex Films India without which it would not have been possible for us to accomplish this goal. After this major breakthrough we now look forward to working with ISRO more closely in other research areas and technologies. This is just the beginning.”

Expressing delight on this breakthrough, Mr Ashok Chaturvedi, Uflex Limited chairman and managing director, said: “The most gratifying part of this whole engagement is that Uflex has been able to contribute to ISRO’s endeavour of indigenisation and becoming self-reliant in space technology applications.

“This is a perfect example of an Indian polymeric film manufacturer meeting and exceeding the performance parameters set by Indian Space Research Organization. This is a major win for Make in India and a moment of truth for Made in India.”