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Strength of a thick graphite/epoxy rocket motor case after impact by a blunt objectThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration is developing graphite/epoxy filament-wound cases (FWC) for the solid rocket motors of the Space Shuttle. The membrane region is about 36 mm thick. A study was made to determine the reduction in strength of the FWC due to accidental damage caused by low-velocity impacts. Two 76.2 cm diameter by 30.5 cm long cylinders were impacted every 5 cm of circumference with 1.27 cm radius impacters of various mass. The impacters represented tools and equipment dropped from various heights. One cylinder was empty and the other was filled with inert propellant. Five cm wide test specimens were cut from the cylinder. Each was centered on an impact site. The specimens were X-rayed and loaded to failure in uniaxial tension. The strengths and depths of impact damage were analyzed in terms of maximum impact force. Rigid body mechanics and the Hertz law were used to derive an equation for impact force in terms of kinetic energy and the masses of the impacter and target. The depth of damage was predicted in terms of impact force using Love's solution of pressure applied on part of the boundary of a semi-infinite body.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Proceedings
Poe, Clarence C., Jr.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Illg, Walter
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Subject Category
Composite Materials
Accession Number
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