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Failure Simulation Testing of the Z-1 Spacesuit Titanium Bearing Assemblies
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Author and Affiliation:
de Baca, Richard C.(NASA White Sands Test Facility, NM, United States)
Juarez, Alfredo(Jacobs Technology, Inc., Las Cruces, NM, United States)
Peralta, Stephen(NASA White Sands Test Facility, NM, United States)
Tylka, Jonathan(NASA White Sands Test Facility, NM, United States)
Rhodes, Richard(NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States)
Abstract: The Z-2 is a candidate for NASA's next generation spacesuit, designed for a range of possible missions with enhanced mobility for spacewalks both on planetary surfaces and in microgravity. Increased mobility was accomplished through innovations in shoulder and hip joints, using a number of new bearings to allow spacesuit wearers to dip, walk, and bend with ease; all important tasks for a planetary explorer collecting samples or traveling over rough terrain. The Advanced Spacesuit Development Team of NASA Johnson Space Center requested that the NASA White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) perform a series failure simulation tests on three titanium bearing assemblies, an elemental part of the joint construction used in new spacesuit designs. This testing simulated two undetected failures within the bearings and as a result the objective of this test program was to evaluate whether a failed or failing bearing could result in ignition of the titanium race material due to friction. The first failure was an inner seal leak sufficient to pressurize the race with +99 percent oxygen. The second failure was an improperly installed or mismatched ball port that created a protrusion in the ball bearing race, partially obstructing the nominal rolling path of each ball bearing. When the spacesuit bearings are assembled, bearing balls are loaded into the assembly via a ball port. The ball port is specific and unique to each bearing assembly (matched pair). The simulated mismatched ball port is a significant source of friction, which would be caused by an assembly error. To evaluate this risk, the bearings were cycled in a simulated worst-case scenario environment, with operational loads, and potential flaw conditions. During test the amount of actuation torque required and heat generated through continuous operation were measured and the bearings were observed for sparks or burning events. This paper provides detailed descriptions of the test hardware, methodology, and results.
Publication Date: Jul 10, 2016
Document ID:
20170009435
(Acquired Oct 11, 2017)
Subject Category: METALS AND METALLIC MATERIALS; MECHANICAL ENGINEERING; MAN/SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY AND LIFE SUPPORT
Report/Patent Number: ICES-2016-298, JSC-CN-36631
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: International Conference on Environmental Systems; 46th; 10-14 Jul. 2016; Vienna; Austria
Meeting Sponsor: International Conference On Environmental Systems, Inc.; Stafford Springs, CT, United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Description: 13p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Public use permitted
NASA Terms: BALL BEARINGS; EXTRAVEHICULAR ACTIVITY; FAILURE; FRICTION; IGNITION; INSPECTION; LOADS (FORCES); MOBILITY; SPACE SUITS; TITANIUM; DEFECTS; LEAKAGE; MICROGRAVITY; RISK ASSESSMENT; SIMULATION
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