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Dynamic Deployment of Composite Tape Springs



Deployable aerospace structures are becoming more attractive to researchers due to their light weight and flexible design characteristics. Their ability to easily be deployed after a certain time period of stowage makes them very desirable joints in aerospace structures. Controlling the deployment process by controlling the rate of deployment is critical to the primary application of these structures. One of the most studied components of these deployable structures is a tape spring hinge. In this paper, we present an experimental study and finite element modelling of the deployment process of a tape spring specimen. A three-layered carbon fiber composite tape spring consisting of two ±45o plain weave fabric laminae and an intermediate 0° unidirectional lamina was used for both the experimental and numerical simulations. The deployment displacement of the tape spring was experimentally tracked using a digital high-resolution camera. A finite element model in ABAQUS was developed to predict the dynamic behavior of the tape spring and was validated with the experimental measurements. The experimental and modelling efforts enable the inference of some fundamental aspects of the dynamic deployment of composite tape springs.

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