|Copyright ZipNut Technology, LLC, 2013
ZipTechnology Selected to Hold Space
Station Repair Patches 11/12/1999
NASA engineers are hard at work developing a kit to
patch holes on the International Space Station (ISS)
caused by orbital debris and meteoroid impacts.
Designated KERMIt (Kit for External Repair of Module
Impacts), the system was developed by the Mission
Operations Laboratory at the Marshall Space Flight
Center in Huntsville, Alabama to permit crew members on
EVA to seal penetrations in pressurized, habitable
compartments of ISS. The KERMIt patches would be
installed after the damaged compartment had become
fully depressurized. Installing the patch starts with placing a
clear plastic plate with a foam gasket ring over the hole. A
toggle bolt through the center of the plate and a large
knobbed nut holds it in place against the hull.
In initial tests in June 1999 astronauts approved the
design except they suggested replacing "the standard nut
with a ZipNut® that can be pushed down the length of the
toggle bolt, and then twisted into place."
ZipNut® engineers working with the KERMIt Team during
July and August 1999 developed a 3/8-16 stainless steel
threaded insert ("ZipSert") to be embedded in the knob
that holds the patch onto the repair stud. Astronauts would
thus be able to install the patch more quickly and with less
The ZipSert design has been accepted and approved by
NASA officials. Initial flight hardware delivers will begin in
the first quarter of 2000.
ZipNut Technology, LLC