Carbon fiber material behavior in space

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by draqon, Nov 7, 2008.

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  1. draqon Banned Banned

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    Anyone knows if carbon fiber is a good material to be used in space? Will it crumble, will its strength hold? :bugeye:
     
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  3. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    As I recall NASA Was planning to make quite a bit of the x-33 with carbon fiber (before funding was cut), so I assume there aren't any known major problems.
     
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  5. draqon Banned Banned

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    X-33? hmmm Ill check it out
     
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  7. draqon Banned Banned

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    hmm yup they built a working carbon fiber tank for X-33, for liquid oxygen...but it was never tested for space...
     
  8. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

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    They have been concepts of a plastic composite for use on space craft. Very easy to make, light weight, and durable.
     
  9. draqon Banned Banned

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    USS Exeter, question is whether the carbon fiber when exposed to space vacuum and cold, does it corrode, does the material retain its properties?
     
  10. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

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    I don't see how it could corrode. I am curious as to whether it can stand extreme cold. i.e, -250C.
     
  11. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    Carbon fiber in space? No problem! The strength will hold, and it should stand up chemically as well.

    The problem is that you can't use epoxy, because that will outgas and degrade in high vacuum conditions, not to mention the umpteen-fold greater exposure to solar radiation.

    The plastic that is compatible is polyetherketone resin (PEEK, PEKEKK, etc). The PEEK resin has so many outstanding properties that I just like to call it the "plastic that's good at everything." Except price - it costs around the range of titanium metal.
     
  12. PieAreSquared Woo is resistant to reason Registered Senior Member

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    I'd be curious about the hypervelocity test results for composites
     
  13. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    How did you know that? Yes, epoxy will degrade readily when exposed to UV. On kayaks you have to coat it with varnish or paint or it turns cloudy.
     
  14. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    Epoxy degrades and swells when immersed in water - the cloudiness you see on kayaks is due to water swelling. That also degrades mechanical properties to a certain extent.

    PEEK has no problem with swelling, but is too expensive. Maybe a hydrophobic thermoplastic like HDPE could work, but it is harder to process composites unless you had a large press and mold w/ a heating source. The best bet is probably some sulfur-polymeric matrix for the composite, but that might be expensive as well. Actually, thermoplastics might be better since its is easier to repair them.

    My research focus is not on composites, but my university dept. has a lot of intense research in this area under several faculty members, and offers classes on composites. I took a class on composites, and another one on polymers.
     
  15. draqon Banned Banned

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    What is the class about? have details?
     
  16. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    Classical lamination theory - basically a development of classic solid mechanics for composites.

    There are two more classes for mechanics, mostly on plate theory, and another one on fabrication, and yet another one on rehabilitation/repair.
     
  17. weed_eater_guy It ain't broke, don't fix it! Registered Senior Member

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    Doesn't the space shuttle use a form of carbon composite on the leading edges due to their ultra-high temperature resistance?

    I really don't know what the composite is made of, carbon/epoxy, maybe a carbon ceramic mix of some kind, I dunno?
     
  18. draqon Banned Banned

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    there are carbon composites? resistable to temperature? no way...I always thought carbon fiber burned too well to be used for anything involving fire.
     
  19. PieAreSquared Woo is resistant to reason Registered Senior Member

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    Reinforced Carbon Carbon, or RCC.

    RCC covers the highest temperature areas of the Shuttle and is also used on the leading edges of the wings.
     
  20. draqon Banned Banned

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    Why does Space shuttle use this thing? it has no impact resistance, shatters really easily...isnt there a non-shattering.
     
  21. weed_eater_guy It ain't broke, don't fix it! Registered Senior Member

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    Wikipedia, oh how I love you...

    The brittleness of carbon-carbon is actually it's strength in this application. It doesn't expand or contract very much under changes in temperature or temperature flux, so it retains it's structure very well in high-heat.

    Not sure why a carbon-fiber with graphite matrix composite isn't flammable as hell though... but hey, it works. Tough enough to be used as break pads in F1 race cars, which is a salute to their strength under high temperatures.
     
  22. PieAreSquared Woo is resistant to reason Registered Senior Member

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    they try and not run into things

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