SUPPLIERS

Phase Four believes that strong relationships with suppliers and manufacturers are key to our success. We take pride in building and maintaining these relationships, and hope the tools here will help you begin one with us.

SUPPLIER SURVEY

At Phase Four, we are building the future of space. Through unprecedented innovation and cost effectiveness, Phase Four’s plasma propulsion technology is the keystone that enables satellite missions to achieve their full potential. 

SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: SAINT-GOBAIN

Cozy up with a pumpkin spice latte, we’ve got a new story from the supply chain. This month, we’re spotlighting ceramics powerhouse Saint-Gobain. Ceramics… in space? For a refresher, spend a couple minutes with Phase Four mechanical engineer Dave Tsai’s three-part series on ceramics on the P4 podcast.

Believe it or not, Saint-Gobain wasn’t always a partner to the aerospace industry. That’s because their history traces back to the 17th century, when their core product was glass, before there even was an aerospace industry–and certainly before private companies began dominating the race for New Space investment over the past decade.

Ever since Saint-Gobain entered the high tech materials game, it has prioritized building longstanding relationships with the scientific research community. So when Phase Four CTO Umair Siddiqui was building up Phase Four’s capabilities, he turned to Saint-Gobain, a trusted company he’d worked with in grad school.

Many of Saint-Gobain’s partnerships follow this trend: patient investment in research labs blossoms organically into partnerships with NASA and private space as those same scientists leave academia to lead government agencies and start their own companies.

“We follow growth sectors, and we look at the technology and the potential of the company that our products can support,” said Neelam Kumar, Saint-Gobain market manager. “We started noticing the growing private sector in the satellite space, and that’s when we started engaging with Phase Four.”

Saint-Gobain manufactures boron nitride in its Amherst, New York plant, from synthesizing of the raw materials into boron nitride powders to pressing boron nitride machinable ceramic to machining final components. Phase Four uses machinable boron nitride in its RF thruster liner. “While there are other suppliers of boron nitride in the U.S., we went with Saint-Gobain because of their consistency. Their grades don’t change from batch to batch, and they have a long history of success with general aerospace applications, in thermal insulation and in other electric propulsion applications like Hall thrusters,” said Tsai.

Saint-Gobain’s products are used in the production and development of Phase Four’s Maxwell.

“Neelam understands that this technology is pushing the forefront of space exploration, and she’s always informative and accommodating,” he continued. “Our relationship is an iterative one. We constantly keep Phase Four’s volume and manufacturability in mind,” added Kumar.

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