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Thermoplastic matrix composites for SPACE SOLAR POWER TRUSS (SSP)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Hao Zhang
Affiliation:
MC. Gill Composites Center, University of Southern California, 3651 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089–0241
Koorosh Guidanean
Affiliation:
L'Garde Inc., 15181 Woodlawn Av., Tustin, CA 92780
Steven Nutt*
Affiliation:
MC. Gill Composites Center, University of Southern California, 3651 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089–0241
*
* To whom correspondence should be addressed
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Abstract

Thermoplastic matrix composites with a low glass transition temperature (Tg) have been developed for the Space Solar Power Truss (SSP). In this application, the truss is folded and packaged for launch, then expanded and deployed in space using a heat source. The present paper describes a resin film infusion process (RFI) used to fabricate laboratory-scale laminate tubes consisting of polyurethane and plain weave carbon fabrics. Subscale (1:5) sample tubes were formed to approximate the real tubes. The performance of the folded and unfolded tubes was measured under compression loading and compared with as-fabricated tubes at 25 and -75°C. Results show that elastic modulus was restored and even increased after bending. Stitched samples were also examined to evaluate the potential for reducing delamination at folds.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2005

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