Development and properties of aluminum-clad graphite/epoxy tubes for space structuresThis paper presents the development and properties of seamless aluminum-clad P75/Epoxy tubes and the unique manufacturing method used in their production. Thermo-mechanical properties of the tubes were determined analytically and verified by tests. These properties were shown to be suitable for space structures that require high stiffness, low weight and thermal expansion, and dimensional stability during operational life. A special feature of the tubes is the ability to tune the tube for thermal expansion after fabrication by a chemical milling process. The tubes are also resistant to atomic oxygen and handling damage. The toughness of the tubes was demonstrated by impact testing. Cyclic thermal testing showed no adverse effects on the expansion and stiffness behavior of the tubes. The paper also includes a discussion of a joining method that uses aluminum end fittings and an efficient scarf joint configuration. Additional studies considered various adhesives and fitting materials. Joint allowables were higher for titanium and B4C particulate magnesium fittings. The effect of different adhesives under static loading conditions favored the high-strength adhesives.
Johnson, R. R. (Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. Sunnyvale, CA, United States)
Kural, M. H. (Lockheed Missiles and Space Co., Inc. Sunnyvale, CA, United States)