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The Effects of Foam Thermal Protection System on the Damage Tolerance Characteristics of Composite Sandwich Structures for Launch VehiclesFor any structure composed of laminated composite materials, impact damage is one of the greatest risks and therefore most widely tested responses. Typically, impact damage testing and analysis assumes that a solid object comes into contact with the bare surface of the laminate (the outer ply). However, most launch vehicle structures will have a thermal protection system (TPS) covering the structure for the majority of its life. Thus, the impact response of the material with the TPS covering is the impact scenario of interest. In this study, laminates representative of the composite interstage structure for the Ares I launch vehicle were impact tested with and without the planned TPS covering, which consists of polyurethane foam. Response variables examined include maximum load of impact, damage size as detected by nondestructive evaluation techniques, and damage morphology and compression after impact strength. Results show that there is little difference between TPS covered and bare specimens, except the residual strength data is higher for TPS covered specimens.
Document ID
20110008313
Document Type
Technical Publication (TP)
Authors
Nettles, A. T.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Hodge, A. J.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Jackson, J. R.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2011
Subject Category
Composite Materials
Report/Patent Number
NASA/TP-2011-216457
M-1306
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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