Research Papers

Effects of Long-Term Stowage on the Deployment of Bistable Tape Springs

[+] Author and Article Information
Alex Brinkmeyer

Department of Aerospace Engineering,
Advanced Composites Centre for
Innovation and Science,
University of Bristol,
Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
e-mail: alex.brinkmeyer@bristol.ac.uk

Sergio Pellegrino

Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aeronautics
and Professor of Civil Engineering,
Graduate Aerospace Laboratories,
California Institute of Technology,
Pasadena, CA 91125
e-mail: sergiop@caltech.edu

Paul M. Weaver

Professor in Lightweight Structures,
Department of Aerospace Engineering,
Advanced Composites Centre for
Innovation and Science,
University of Bristol,
Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
e-mail: paul.weaver@bristol.ac.uk

1Corrresponding author.

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received May 14, 2015; final manuscript received September 15, 2015; published online November 9, 2015. Editor: Yonggang Huang.

J. Appl. Mech 83(1), 011008 (Nov 09, 2015) (11 pages) Paper No: JAM-15-1249; doi: 10.1115/1.4031618 History: Received May 14, 2015; Revised September 15, 2015

In the context of strain-energy-deployed space structures, material relaxation effects play a significant role in structures that are stowed for long durations, for example, in a space vehicle prior to launch. Here, the deployment of an ultrathin carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) tape spring is studied, with the aim of understanding how long-duration stowage affects its deployment behavior. Analytical modeling and experiments show that the deployment time increases predictably with stowage time and temperature, and analytical predictions are found to compare well with experiments. For cases where stress relaxation is excessive, the structure is shown to lose its ability to deploy autonomously.

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Fig. 1

MARSIS antenna boom structure. The boom consists of a single tubular structure with several flatennable slotted sections which act as elastic hinges (courtesy of Astro Aerospace).

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Fig. 2

Bistable tape spring geometry with (a) the side view of partially coiled spring, (b) the front view of fully deployed spring; r is the coiled radius and R is the deployed radius, with β the subtended angle of the deployed spring

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Fig. 3

Flow diagram of the tape spring analytical models

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Fig. 4

Relaxation experimental apparatus, consisting of: (a) a DIC imaging system and (b) a thermal chamber mounted inside an Instron testing machine

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Fig. 5

Normalized transverse modulus fitted with a Prony series for relaxation at 60 °C for 3 hrs

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Fig. 6

Evolution of the bending stiffnesses Dij for relaxation at 60 °C. The D11, D22, and D66 terms decrease with relaxation time, while the D12 term increases. The D16 and D26 components are zero and are therefore not shown.

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Fig. 7

Evolution of the nondimensional parameters for relaxation at 60 °C. The D̂12* and D̂66* terms increase with relaxation time, while D̂22* remains approximately constant.

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Fig. 8

Evolution of the stability criterion for relaxation at 60 °C. S increases monotonically with time, which suggests that the tape spring remains bistable and does not autonomously unfurl.

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Fig. 9

Plot of the ejection force with stowage time for relaxation at 60 °C. The ejection force available for deployment decreases as the structure relaxes during stowage.

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Fig. 10

Manufacturing technique and demolding issues. (a) The tape spring rests on a cylindrical mandrel and is vacuum bagged prior to cure in autoclave. (b) Twisting of tape springs is observed after demolding, decreasing in magnitude after exposure to air.

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Fig. 11

Snapshots of the deployment of the tape spring withzero stowage time, with (a) t = 0.10 s, (b) t = 0.28 s, (c) t = 0.38 s, (d) t=0.42 s

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Fig. 12

Comparison of the deployment without stowage and after stowage at 60 °C for 3 hrs, and sensitivity of the analysis to changes in the μ friction parameter. Stowage of the structure causes an increase the deployment time.

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Fig. 13

Sensitivity of the deployment analysis to a change in relaxation of the material. The curves 5%, 10%, 15% represent the additional relaxation, compared to the behavior obtained in Table 3.

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Fig. 14

Deployment after stowage at 60 °C for 3 hrs. Deployment here consists of a latent region with little or no deployment, immediately followed by full deployment. The latent region significantly increases the total deployment time; herethe total deployment time is double that of a normal deployment.

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Fig. 15

Photographs of the spring overlaid at various deployment stages. The spring remains stable at any extended position.

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Fig. 16

Comparison on deploying the structure without stowage on successive days. The deployment time increases with the “age” of the specimen. This behavior is most likely attributed to hysteresis effects. It is noted that the days are not consecutive.




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