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Hypervelocity impact testing of advanced materials and structures for micrometeoroid and orbital debris shielding

journal contribution
posted on 2022-12-01, 03:37 authored by Shannon RyanShannon Ryan, E L Christiansen
A series of 66 hypervelocity impact experiments have been performed to assess the potential of various materials (aluminium, titanium, copper, stainless steel, nickel, nickel/chromium, reticulated vitreous carbon, silver, ceramic, aramid, ceramic glass, and carbon fibre) and structures (monolithic plates, open-cell foam, flexible fabrics, rigid meshes) for micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) shielding. Arranged in various single-, double-, and triple-bumper configurations, screening tests were performed with 0.3175 cm diameter Al2017-T4 spherical projectiles at nominally 6.8 km/s and normal incidence. The top performing shields were identified through target damage assessments and their respective weight. The top performing candidate shield at the screening test condition was found to be a double-bumper configuration with a 0.25 mm thick Al3003 outer bumper, 6.35 mm thick 40 PPI aluminium foam inner bumper, and 1.016 mm thick Al2024-T3 rear wall (equal spacing between bumpers and rear wall). In general, double-bumper candidates with aluminium plate outer bumpers and foam inner bumpers were consistently found to be amongst the top performers. For this impact condition, potential weight savings of at least 47% over conventional all-aluminium Whipple shields are possible by utilizing the investigated materials and structures. The results of this study identify materials and structures of interest for further, more in-depth, impact investigations. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

History

Journal

Acta Astronautica

Volume

83

Pagination

216 - 231

ISSN

0094-5765

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal