BUMAX used as crucial fasteners on the International Space Station


Following the success of BUMAX fasteners on a trace gas monitoring system for the International Space Station (ISS), BUMAX has been selected for a new payload to promote safety.

Monitoring air quality for astronauts

Since January 2022, the ANITA-2 trace gas monitoring system has been simultaneously measuring more than 40 gases every six minutes on the ISS to ensure good air quality for astronauts. The system was developed by OHB System AG.

“We used BUMAX® 88 screws on the ANITA-2 payload to securely seal a safety containment and fasten crucial optical components,” says Lukas Pfeiffer, Project Manager & Systems Engineer at OHB System AG. “Good air quality is extremely important for the health and performance of astronauts, and both NASA and ESA are very happy with the performance of ANITA-2 to date.”

BUMAX® 88 fasteners were selected for their excellent quality and traceability. The fasteners were provided with a 3.1 certificate to confirm that they had been fully tested in accordance with DIN-EN-10204 and that they are manufactured in compliance with the order specification.

“We required a 3.1 certificate, which BUMAX was able to easily provide,” explains Pfeiffer. “We also required verification that the threads of the screws were rolled as strain hardening and rolled threads ensure a more reliable fastener and help prevent galling. For these reasons, we selected BUMAX again for our new payload.”

Fasteners for safety containment on the ISS

OHB’s new payload – Granular Sound – is an experiment to measure the speed of sound through a cube filled with glass balls (a so-called package) in microgravity at different package pressures. The experiment uses thousands of glass balls to simulate granular media like sand or concrete.

“The housing of this package will be securely fastened by BUMAX® 88 fasteners to avoid the balls from flying around the ISS,” says Pfeiffer. “The microgravity experiment will provide valuable data for various terrestrial and space applications – from more effective concrete processing to 3D printing in space or on the moon.”

The enhanced properties of BUMAX® 88 fasteners are achieved through a combination of unique BUMAX manufacturing processes and the highest quality European steel. BUMAX® 88 fasteners are certified according to DIN EN 15048-1 (Non-preloaded structural bolting assemblies) and PED 2014/68/EU (Pressure Equipment Directive).

“The excellent customer support BUMAX provided for our ANITA-2 payload was another important reason why we chose BUMAX again for the Granular Sound payload,” concludes Pfeiffer. “It was really valuable for us to receive extremely rapid, helpful and professional support and advice from the BUMAX team.”

About OHB SE

OHB SE is a European multinational technology corporation. Headquartered in Bremen, Germany, the corporation consists of the three business divisions Space Systems, Aerospace and Digital. At present OHB is the third largest corporation in Europe’s space sector.

Main image: NASA – The international Space Station (royalty free image).

Body image: the ANITA-2 payload (credit: OHB).

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