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Impact damage and residual tension strength of a thick graphite/epoxy rocket motor caseImpacters of various masses were dropped from various heights onto thick graphite/epoxy filament-wound cylinders. The cylinders represented filament-wound cases made for the booster motors of the Space Shuttle. Tups of various shapes were affixed to the impacters. Some of the cylinders were filled with inert propellant, and some were empty. The cylinders were impacted numerous times around the circumference and then cut into tension coupons, each containing an impact site. The size of the damage and the residual tension strength were measured. For hemispherical tups, strength was reduced as much as 30 percent by nonvisible damage. The damage consisted of matrix cracking and broken fibers. Analytical methods were used to predict the damage and residual tension strength. A factor of safety to account for nonvisible damage was determined. For corner and rod shaped tups, any damage that resulted in strength loss was readily visible.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Poe, C. C., Jr.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 15, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Volume: 29
Issue: 3, Ma
ISSN: 0022-4650
Subject Category
Structural Mechanics
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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