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Composite materials are attractive for spacecraft use because of their high stiffness-to-weight ratios and significant improvements in dimensional stability over structural metals and alloys. A recent review of this topic (Ref. 1) discusses the state of the art of dimensional stability of composites. It also introduces the potential range of spacecraft applications for various composite systems, principally pseudo-isotropic graphite-fiber-reinforced resin matrix laminates. The range of factors which must be considered when evaluating the stability of spacecraft materials is illustrated by considering the sum of the allowable engineering strains: ε = Sσ + αΔT + βΔM + γΔT + ϑΔt + ρΔR.
The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA
Stock #: CTR10689J