Research Papers

A Model of Packaging Folds in Thin Metal-Polymer Laminates

[+] Author and Article Information
Gabriel Secheli

Surrey Space Centre,
University of Surrey,
Surrey GU2 7XH, UK

Andrew Viquerat

Department of Mechanical
Engineering Sciences,
University of Surrey,
Surrey GU2 7XH, UK
e-mail: a.viquerat@surrey.ac.uk

Guglielmo S. Aglietti

Surrey Space Centre
University of Surrey,
Surrey GU2 7XH, UK

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received June 16, 2017; final manuscript received July 31, 2017; published online August 22, 2017. Assoc. Editor: A. Amine Benzerga.

J. Appl. Mech 84(10), 101005 (Aug 22, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: JAM-17-1324; doi: 10.1115/1.4037503 History: Received June 16, 2017; Revised July 31, 2017

Thin metal-polymer laminates make excellent materials for use in inflatable space structures. By inflating a stowed envelope using pressurized gas and by increasing the internal pressure slightly beyond the yield point of the metal films, the shell rigidizes in the deployed shape. Structures constructed with such materials retain the deployed geometry once the inflation gas has either leaked away, or it has been intentionally vented. For flight, these structures must be initially folded and stowed. This paper presents a numerical method for predicting the force required to achieve a given fold radius in a three-ply metal-polymer-metal laminate and to obtain the resultant springback. A coupon of the laminate is modeled as a cantilever subject to an increasing tip force. Fully elastic, elastic–plastic, relaxation, and springback stages are included in the model. The results show good agreement when compared with experimental data at large curvatures.

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Fig. 6

Images taken at various height increments during a laminate coupon compression and springback: (a) 2D = 60 mm, |F| = 0.1 N/m, (b) 2D = 50 mm, |F| = 0.15 N/m, (c) 2D = 40 mm, |F| = 0.25 N/m, (d) 2D = 30 mm, |F| = 0.4 N/m, (e) 2D = 20 mm, |F| = 0.68 N/m, (f) 2D = 15 mm, |F| = 1.03 N/m, (g) 2D = 10 mm, |F| = 1.61 N/m, (h) 2D = 8 mm, |F| = 2.15 N/m, (i) 2D = 6 mm, |F| = 2.71 N/m, (j) 2D = 4 mm, |F| = 5.3 N/m, (k) 2D = 1.5 mm, |F| = 16.66 N/m, and (l) springback, |F| = 0 N/m

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Fig. 5

Experimental configuration, replicating the introduction of a single longitudinal crease in the form of a V fold

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Fig. 4

Introduction of longitudinal creases in a typical laminate cylinder. This procedure is the first step in the of the Z packaging method, prior to the introduction of the accordion folds. For clarification, the end fitting has not been attached to this cylindrical shell.

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Fig. 3

Cylinder packaging methodologies

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Fig. 2

Cylinder folding and deployment sequence, initial folded and residual crease [15]: (a) pristine cylinder (top), creased cylinder (center), and rigidized cylinder under pressure (bottom), (b) scanning electron microscope image of a crease in a pristine laminate (top) and a subsequent residual crease (bottom), and (c) residual crease on the surface of a initially origami folded rigidized unpressurized cylinder

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Fig. 1

InlfateSail stowed inflatable mast

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Fig. 7

Numerical model derivation diagrams: (a) cantilever loaded beam with a tip force per unit width, F. Beyond the yield point of force application the beam is neglected, (b) Elementary segment, at location sj, along the beam, and (c) bilinear σ − εr material model for the metal foil.

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Fig. 8

Beam cross section and different stress distributions across a section of a three-ply metal-polymer-metal laminate that is loaded with a pure bending moment

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Fig. 9

Moment relative errors for the numerical models of laminates 1 and 2

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Fig. 10

Applied force and compression distance comparison of the experimental results and numerical simulations

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Fig. 11

Experiment and numerical solutions results of the final increment and resultant springback of laminate 1

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Fig. 12

Experiment and numerical solutions results of the final increment and resultant springback of laminate 2



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