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Development of a Compact, Low Cost Test Fixture to Evaluate Creep in High Strength Softgoods Materials under Constant Environmental ControlSpace exploration is typically driven by two key factors: cost and payload mass. Therefore creating relatively low cost, low mass space hardware is critical. With the advancement of new high-strength flexible materials, a new chapter is opening in the evolution of pressurized space structures. Space-rated inflatable structures are attractive due to their low mass, compact stowage, and capability of performing as well, or better than, their rigid counterparts for applications such as habitats and airlocks. The lifetime properties of materials used for inflatable structures are not as well characterized as heritage composite and metallic materials; therefore, they require extensive testing to increase the level of confidence in their use. Creep testing is one method of evaluating the expected lifetime of materials that may be under constant load for many years in operational use. Conventional creep testing of high-strength softgoods webbings or cordage requires a large, temperature-controlled facility, with structural frames capable of supporting large dead weights, weighing thousands of pounds on each specimen. This is expensive and takes up a significant amount of volume in a facility for a long time. This paper describes the design and analysis of a low-cost, low-volume creep test stand that can be locally environmentally controlled, so that smaller, cheaper facilities can be used for characterizing the creep life of the softgoods materials used in inflatable space structures.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Vincenzo M. Le Boff
(Langley Research Center Hampton, Virginia, United States)
Thomas C. Jones
(Langley Research Center Hampton, Virginia, United States)
Winfred S. Kenner
(Langley Research Center Hampton, Virginia, United States)
Date Acquired
July 24, 2020
Publication Date
August 1, 2020
Publication Information
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 089407.09.88.23
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
NASA Peer Committee
Creep Testing
Test Design
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