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Tethers as Debris: Simulating Impacts of Kevlar Tethers on Shuttle TilesIn a previous paper I examined the effects of impacts of polymer tethers on aluminum plates using the SPHC hydrodynamic code. In this paper I apply tether models to a new target - models of Space Shuttle tiles developed during the STS 107 accident investigation. In this three-dimensional simulation, a short tether fragment strikes a single tile supported on an aluminum backing plate. A tile of the LI-900 material is modeled. Penetration and damage to the tile and the backwall are characterized for three normal impact velocities. The tether is modeled as a bundle of eight 1-mm strands, with the bundle having dimensions 2-mm x 4-mm x 20-cm. The bulk material properties used are those of Kevlar(TradeMark) 49, for which a Mie-Gruneisen multiphase equation of state (eos) is used. In addition, the strength model is applied in a linear sense, such that tensile loads along the strand length are supported, but there is no strength in the lateral directions. Tile models include the various layers making up the tile structure. The outermost layer is a relatively dense borosilicate glass, known as RCG, 0.5-mm thick. The RCG layer is present on the top and four sides of the tile. Below this coating is the bulk of the tile, 1.8- in thick, made of LI-900, a product consisting of rigidized fiberous silica with a density of 9 lWft3. Below the main insulating layer is a bottom layer of the same material that has been treated to increase its density by approximately 69% to improve its strength. This densified layer is bonded to a Strain Isolation Pad (SIP), modeled as a refractory felt fabric. The SIP is bonded to an aluminum 2024 wall 0.1-in thick. The tile and backwall materials use a Me-Gruneisen multiphase eos, with the exception of the SIP felt, which uses a fabric equation of state. Fabrics must be crushed to the full bulk material density before bulk material properties and a Mie-Gruneisen eos are applied. Tether fragment impact speeds of 3,7, and 10 km/s are simulated, with impact velocities normal to the tile face. Damage results are presented in tabular format.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Evans, Steven W.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Meeting Information
Meeting: 45th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: April 19, 2004
End Date: April 24, 2004
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Helicopter Society, Inc., American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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