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Structural Benchmark Tests of Composite Combustion Chamber Support CompletedA series of mechanical load tests was completed on several novel design concepts for extremely lightweight combustion chamber support structures at the NASA Glenn Research Center ( The tests included compliance evaluation, preliminary proof loadings, high-strain cyclic testing, and finally residual strength testing of each design (see the photograph on the left). Loads were applied with single rollers (see the photograph on the right) or pressure plates (not shown) located midspan on each side to minimize the influence of contact stresses on corner deformation measurements. Where rollers alone were used, a more severe structural loading was produced than the corresponding equal-force pressure loading: the maximum transverse shear force existed over the entire length of each side, and the corner bending moments were greater than for a distributed (pressure) loading. Failure modes initiating at the corner only provided a qualitative indication of the performance limitations since the stress state was not identical to internal pressure. Configurations were tested at both room and elevated temperatures. Experimental results were used to evaluate analytical prediction tools and finite-element methodologies for future work, and they were essential to provide insight into the deformation at the corners. The tests also were used to assess fabrication and bonding details for the complicated structures. They will be used to further optimize the design of the support structures for weight performance and the efficacy of corner reinforcement.
Document ID
Document Type
Krause, David L.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Thesken, John C.
(Ohio Aerospace Inst. OH, United States)
Shin, E. Eugene
(Ohio Aerospace Inst. OH, United States)
Sutter, James K.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Research and Technology 2004
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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