Published: Jan 1982
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In a study of T300/934 graphite/epoxy composite, which forms the composite skin of the space shuttle cargo bay doors, the following composite properties were investigated as a function of increasing gamma-radiation exposure dosages: directional moisture absorption/desorption kinetics, glass transition temperatures, interlaminar shear strength and damping peaks (tan δ). Irradiation conditions were: open to atmosphere and vacuum, ambient and high temperature (100°C).
Four dosage levels were investigated: 4 × 107, 8 × 107, 1.4 × 108, and 3.2 × 108 rads, the final dosage level being equivalent to a three-year orbit life. Directional moisture diffusion studies indicate anomalies in the three diffusing axes (translaminar, transfibrous, and interlaminar). Interlaminar shear strengths showed an initial increase, followed by a decrease, as the dosages increased. Although the glass transition temperatures remained essentially unchanged, the peak heights of the tan δ measurements also showed an initial increase, and then decreased as radiation dosages increased.
space environments, gamma radiation, moisture diffusion, dynamic properties, interlaminar shear strength, composites
Technical staff member, Rockwell International,
Paper ID: STP29355S