Durability of composite materials in deployable structures for space applications

Yanjun He, Agnieszka Suliga, Alex Brinkmeyer, Mark Schenk, Ian Hamerton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Abstract

Advanced composite materials are an excellent option for flexible deployable space structures, such as deployable antennas and booms. However, the harsh environment in space can degrade the performance of composite materials, thus limiting their wider application. In low Earth orbit (LEO), atomic oxygen (AO) resistance is a key limitation to service longevity. In this work, the AO resistance is examined for three commercial composite materials, which undergo exposure in a ground-based facility which simulates the AO environment of space. The degradation of the performance of the materials is determined by measuring selected properties (e.g. surface chemistry, and flexural stiffness) before and after exposure. The results indicated that the resin on the surface of all laminates has almost been entirely eroded and suffered significant degradation after exposure. The results presented in this work can act as a benchmark for the development of new composite systems or protection technologies which can provide an extended service life for flexible deployable structures in LEO.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECCM 2018 - 18th European Conference on Composite Materials
Publisher Applied Mechanics Laboratory
ISBN (Electronic)9781510896932
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Event18th European Conference on Composite Materials, ECCM 2018 - Athens, Greece
Duration: 24 Jun 201828 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameECCM 2018 - 18th European Conference on Composite Materials

Conference

Conference18th European Conference on Composite Materials, ECCM 2018
CountryGreece
CityAthens
Period24/06/1828/06/18

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Keywords

  • Atomic oxygen
  • Composites
  • Deployable structures
  • Space environment
  • Space materials

Cite this

He, Y., Suliga, A., Brinkmeyer, A., Schenk, M., & Hamerton, I. (2020). Durability of composite materials in deployable structures for space applications. In ECCM 2018 - 18th European Conference on Composite Materials (ECCM 2018 - 18th European Conference on Composite Materials). Applied Mechanics Laboratory.