Graphite Thermal Strap Gallery

Previous Designs & Spaceflight Models

Over the last decade, Technology Applications, Inc. has designed and assembled hundreds of graphite thermal straps for use in aerospace, laboratory and defense applications for customers like NASA, JAXA, ESA, Airbus, LMCO, Ball Aerospace, and others.  These straps are not only a testament to our expertise, but our ability to accommodate a vast array of customer demands.  All of these assemblies were designed for the optimization of heat transfer from power dissipation components such as cryocooler compressors, radiators, antenna arrays, DAQ's systems, electronics boxes, radar electronics, or optics that dissipate anywhere from forty watts to several hundreds of watts and require an efficient, lightweight thermal conductor for transferring heat to the heat rejection interface.

The following are just a few examples of some of our GFTS designs and flight units.

Graphite Thermal Straps - TAI's Design Capabilities

Thermal Strap

Thermal Strap - TAI Graphite

Compressor Vibration Isolation Thermal Strap (1st & 2nd Generation): Iterations/Variations used on JAXA's ASTRO-H

  • Simple arched strap designed for heat removal from a Stirling-cycle or pulse-tube cryocooler compressor interface.
  • Also valuable as a simple evaluation strap
  • Each strap provided roughly 0.15 - .25 W/K conductance at 300K, while weighing in at just 15-20 grams (1/5-1/10 their metallic counterparts).
  • Effective at attentuating mechanical vibration
  • *Older model - straps made in the last few years are optimized for reduced mass and have far smaller end fittings
Nested GFTS - JAXA

Nested Double Row Assemblies: Used in JAXA's ASTRO-H Pogram

  • Coupled with Vibration Isolation System
  • Dozens of variations used on ASTRO-H
 Graphite Thermal Strap, heat strap


Large Conductance and Range of Motion Strap Assemblies (Nested Configuration): Used in NASA's ORION Program

  • Large arched strap assemblies of varying lengths and widths to accommodate very small thermal gradients
  • More than 1-inch static motion between interfaces provided
  • More than 0.5-inch dynamic motion
  • More than 2.5 W/K total conductance at 10-in length

 Flexible Thermal Links


Large Strap Sections: Used on NASA's ORION

  • Single and double fiber row configurations
  • 0.5 to 0.9 W/K per section
  • Parallel combinations to increase thermal conductance in assemblies
  • Most large sections made in shallow or steep "U-shapes," "J-shapes" and "S-shapes."

Thermal Straps - TAI FM GFTS


Dual-Armed FM GFTS™ (UV-VIS Spectrometer Instrument

  • Designed, assembled by TAI; FM unit delivered May 2016
  • Dual-armed strap with central plate interfacing with heat pipe

Thermal Links TAI graphite

Straight GFTS™ - Hyperspectral Instrument Assembly

 aluminum thermal strap. heat strap, thermal straps


 Tripod-Style/Multiple Arm

  • Multiple point heat removal to single heat sink
  • Multi-direction flexibility
  • Scalable
  • TAI routinely builds GFTS and CuTS units with 2 - 4 "arms"
 describe the image


Short High Conductance Dual Plane

  • Vibration attenuating
  • Accommodates thermal contraction over large temperature range
  • Small range of motion between interfaces
 thermal straps, graphite thermal straps


 S-Shaped Straps

  • Single and double fiber row configurations
  • Unique interface configurations accommodated by custom end fittings
  • Very flexible in vertical axis
  • One end doubles as cryogen tank  mount
 thermal straps, thermal strap, heat strap  

Dual-Arm Controlled Conductance: These and several iterations/variations used in space flight programs by several US Primes.

  • Single and double fiber row configurations
  • Highly flexible in vertical axis
  • Tight control of thermal conductance
  • Single point heat rejection interface
 CCD optics thermal strap


Ball Aerospace Visible Camera System GFTS Assembly (first gen. GFTS)

  • Heat removal from camera optics to thermal bus
  • Single row straight design provides maximum conductance
  • Limited flexibility accommodates design tolerances
 thermal straps


Straight Straps

  • Used where heat generation and rejection interfaces are in parallel planes
  • Flexible in all directions except axial fiber direction
  • Multiple row designs possible
  • Highly scalable
Thermal Straps - High Conductance Thermal Straps made of graphite and copper

Circular Straps - Follow-on FM orders

TAI can manufacture our popular graphite thermal straps into nearly any shape. This particular thermal strap was used to remove heat from a cylindrical wall, down through a centralized hub/rod assembly.


Small/Single Rope "Chip" Straps: Used by NASA on SPICE and SORA 

Used for chip cooling and waste heat removal in extremely small and/or tight locations within space systems. 


Low-Mass Optimized End Fittings: NASA's SPICE and SORA

Straps used by NASA with very little interface area to attach to, and with extremely limited mass requirement. By moving bolt holes out to the sides, and removing the traditional "step" in the fitting, our engineers were able to remove an additional 40% from the end fitting mass.



Optical Instrument GFTS - ESA Orbiter FM GFTS 

Strap with a gentle arc shape, with additional adaptor blocks mounted to end fittings (not pictured). Used in optical system on ESA/German Satellite.

Graphite Heat Strap

J-Shaped Sections: Used on JAXA's ASTRO-H

 NASA GRaCE-FO Thermal Strap  Mirror Image Double Row GFTS - NASA/ADS/JPL GRACE-FO
graphite thermal strap

J-Shaped Sections: Used on JAXA's ASTRO-H