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Manufacturing Launch Vehicle Adapter Structures Using Out-of-Autoclave Technique
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

RUAG Space in Linköping is the world’s biggest supplier of adapter structures and separationsystems for satellites. The purpose of an adapter structures is to provide some means bywhich the satellite can be attached to the rocket. Some of the adapters are made fromcarbon fiber reinforced plastic and the object of this thesis is to investigate alternativeproduction methods and to construct and test a prototype adapter made with chosenmethod.The selected method (vacuum bag only) was used to manufacture a prototype between thediameters 298 mm and 437mm with a height of 104 mm using VTM264 epoxy reinforcedwith 5HS (3K) 283 g/m2 carbon fiber weave supplied by CYTEC Ind. Materials. The adapterprototype was designed and simulated using Nastran Software and the lay-up chosen so thatit could support a 200 kg satellite mounted 450 mm above the upper edge of the adapter.Several test plates were manufactured using an identical matrix but a different weave toestablish cure characteristics and optimal design of the edge dams so that the void contentcould be kept at a minimum. The best edge-dam design was found to consist of generalsealant, unperforated film and woven glass fiber. The finished adapter prototype wasdetermined to have a fiber volume fraction of 49.7 % and a void content of roughly 1.5-2 %in the radii and 0.5 % in the flat areas which is not far from the current material whichtolerates voids up to 0.5 %. The adapter also showed a slight thickening effect in the concaveradius and a thinning effect in the convex; these were expected and are also present tosome extent in current structures.The adapter was installed in the testing rig where it was exposed to some of the loadsrepresenting the design criteria used. The test loads were increased all the way to failureand the fatal load in a combined (compressive and lateral) load was determined to beroughly 87 kN which is several times above the required load limit.The material was also tested in respect to ILSS and 4-point bending at Exova in Linköpingwhere the initial results show a 9.7 % increase in interlaminar shear strength and a 28.5 %decrease in flexural strength compared to current materialOverall the results are very promising, indicating a high potential in the selected method.However, further studies should be performed to optimize the manufacturing method andmore extensive tests should be carried out on more material systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 168 p.
Keyword [en]
Technology, Composites, Carbon Fibre, Autoclave, Out-of-Autoclave, VBO, Prepreg, Laminate, Launch Vehicle Adapter, Oven curing
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-59235Local ID: fc37375c-37ef-4fab-86f8-1ed41f1c6ba7OAI: diva2:1032623
External cooperation
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Materials Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20141126 (global_studentproject_submitter)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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