Projects | 11. May 2021 Off The Ground & Into Space – MM 1018 At European Spaceport Kourou, French Guiana

In steel construction, the factor time plays a major role; no construction project can be carried out without taking this difficult factor into account. This becomes even more pronounced in the area of complex building projects in regions that are far away from metropolitan areas or the production sites of steel construction. This is also the case with ESA’s construction site in Kourou, French Guiana. Interruptions due to problems with regards to form-fit deviations and tolerances that arise as a result of production and machining are particularly dramatic from a financial and economic point of view. This is the second assignment for our assembly team in South America.

Time-saving methods for gap compensation are therefore required in order to reduce the effort and time required for assembly in Kourou. This is exactly what is made possible with the gap compensation material from the German DIAMANT Metallplastic GmbH, the gap compensation material MM1018. In January 2013, the product was the first of its kind to receive general building approval from the German Institute for Building Technology (DIBt). It has since been used on over 1000 structures.

Our MM1018 metal polymer was used in French Guyana to compensate for the tolerances of the steel structure, the base of the rocket launch pad and the booster filling device. The booster filler must have a force-fit connection to the steelwork substrate and be perfectly positioned so that the filling process can be carried out without any problem when the launch pad is in operation.

A previously manufactured adapter plate was aligned on the steel structure, the gap created here was first sealed all around with MM1018 Seal #2108 and then filled by gap injection with MM1018 Liquid #1866. In order to save time, injection and venting openings were already planned in advance in the adapter plate.

After successful injection and curing of our MM1018 Liquid Lining Sheet, the ports were removed so that the steel erector could perfectly align the boost backfill fixture and install the force-locked adapter plate. This approach allowed us to meet the very tight schedule on this challenging and very complex project.


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