This is a Press Release from a job that we were successfully chosen to do at Nasa’s Space and Rocket Center:
Pathfinder Space Shuttle Facelift
A small polyurethane spray foam contractor from Shelley, Idaho was successful in winning the bid award for this very important project with the NASA U.S. Space and Rocket Center located in Huntsville, Alabama. AAA Urethane, the successful bidder, was brought to the project through conversations between Mitch Clifton, Executive Vice President of NCFI Polyurethanes, and Jason Lanier, Senior Director, U.S. Space and Rocket Center. NCFI Polyurethane has been the sole supplier of polyurethane foam to NASA from the first Space Shuttle mission to the last. Their foam has been used on the External Tank that held the liquid hydrogen fuel and the liquid oxygen oxidizer. The polyurethane foam is used for insulation of the fuel inside, on its way out of the atmosphere. Mitch Clifton contacted Richard Rose Ph.D. who is NCFl’s Regional Manager in the Northwest, to determine who was capable of a project this important and complex. The decision was unanimous, AAA Urethane from Shelley, Idaho was the only choice.
Kevin Andrews and Bryce Andrews own AAA Urethane and have two other employees that were instrumental in the project. Devin Jensen and Charles Balmforth. Kevin Andrews has been in the spray foam industry since 1972. To learn more about AAA Urethane, please visit their website at AAAUrethane.com. AAA Urethane is known as the premier spray foam contractor in the agricultural industry. AAA Urethane specializes in erection and then subsequent insulation of potato and onion storage cellars in the western half of the United States. During the season for potato and onion storage buildings, they spray out nearly a million pounds of foam, yearly.
The scope of this project required the removal of existing foam that was applied to the Pathfinder in the late 1980’s and re-application with new 2.8# foam and then an application of 40 mils of polyurea supplied by General Coatings then finally 40 mils ofan aliphatic urethane topcoat. Great care was taken to blend a topcoat that would accurately reflect the color of aged foam so that the External Tank would be exactly as it appeared many years before. Many thanks to General Coatings for their assistance.
Once AAA Urethane was read as successful bidder on the project, they started the necessary paperwork to get their Alabama Contractor’s license. Over the next eight months, product was ordered, equipment mobilized, and finally, the start of the project. Working between rainstorms in the spring and other inclement weather, AAA Urethane finished this high visibility NASA project. This was an exciting project for AAA Urethane to tackle and all parties were thrilled with the outcome.
Andrews wishes to express his gratitude to Jason Lanier and Sam Mitchell at the U.S. Space and
Rocket Center. He also expresses his gratitude to Mitch Clifton and Richard Rose with NCFI Polyurethanes for their confidence in AAA Urethane in carrying on their tradition with NASA.