The Effects of Simulated Space Environmental Parameters on Six Commercially Available Composite Materials.
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION HAMPTON VA LANGLEY RESEARCH CEN TER
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The effects of simulated space environmental parameters on microdamage induced by the environment in a series of commercially available graphite fiber reinforced composite materials were determined. Composites with both thermoset and thermoplastic resin systems were studied. Low-Earth-orbit LEO exposures were simulated by thermal cycling geosynchronous orbit GEO exposures were simulated by electron irradiation plus thermal cycling. The thermal cycling temperature range was -250 deg F to either 200 deg F or 150 deg F. The upper limits of the thermal cycles were different to ensure that an individual composite material was not cycled above its glass transition temperature. Material response was characterized through assessment of the induced microcracking and its influence on mechanical property changes at both room temperature and -250 deg F. Microdamage was induced in both thermoset and thermoplastic advanced composite materials exposed to the simulated LEO environment. However a 350 deg F-cure single phase toughened epoxy composite was not damaged during exposure to the LEO environment. The simulated CEO environment produced microdamage in all materials tested.
- Laminates and Composite Materials