Ball InfraRed Black Coating (BIRB)


Scanning electron micrograph reveals unique morphology and extremely high surface area of BIRB coating.

Ball Aerospace has developed a product called Ball InfraRed Black Coating (BIRB). We provide a turnkey coating service for the BIRB product that will deliver unsurpassed ambient and cryogenic emissivity and stray light control.

BIRB is a thermal control coating that is designed for use on spacecraft and radiators. It is a critical part of a spacecraft thermal control system, enabling the spacecraft to emit heat back into space.

Our product is particularly effective at very low temperatures—down to 20 Kelvin (-253 C). It can also withstand the effects of launch vibration and thermal cycling without losing adhesion. BIRB’s grainy, open structure provides a vast surface area for rejecting heat. The product is best suited for flat surface applications and has a relatively high coating thickness of .035 to .050 inches.


BIRB's rugged topography creates an interlocking matrix that provides a vast surface area for emitting thermal energy. Above, is a BIRB covered radiator.

We have over 40 years of experience handling spacecraft hardware and sensitive optics, which will provide confidence throughout the coating process.

More about BIRB: 

  • Thermal properties are fully developed, validated by on orbit correlation
  • Withstands effects of launch vibration environment and thermal cycling from 20K (-253ºC) to 398K (125ºC) with no loss in adhesion 
  • Meets NASA outgassing standards per NASA SP-R-022 
  • Is durable, cleanable, and resistant to particle generation 
  • Fully qualified for flight applications
  • Excellent for control of stray light in optical systems

For additional technical specifications, click here.


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Ball InfraRed Black Coating

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