1106. Space Applications of Composites


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D R Linsenmann, J P Waszczak: 1106. Space Applications of Composites. 1976.



IN the last few years there has been a shift in emphasis in the development of composite structures away from extreme weight reduction toward more cost-conscious, practical designs. The approach taken is to trade away some, but not all of the weight reduction potential of composites for lower cost, longer life, and greater reliability.
This paper emphasizes the importance of fully integrating all disciplines into a team effort that will effectively result in a cost-competitive design. Because of the many facets of a composite design, this team principle must be adopted when considering composites, to a greater extent than when considering conventional materials.
Specific examples of such cost and performance tradeoffs made at General Dynamics Convair are discussed. In addition, general guidelines for selecting composite material systems for particular space applications and design data for a number of popular systems are presented.


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