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    Evaluation of Reinforced Plastics for High Temperature Structural Applications

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    When reinforced plastics are exposed only briefly to extremely high temperature, their inherent strength-to-weight characteristics may be effectively utilized in hypersonic vehicle structural applications. This paper presents test methods for the determination of the mechanical and thermal properties of molded reinforced plastics under steady-state conditions and under transient conditions which involve rapid heating and loading at the elevated temperature. Data are presented for a commercial phenolic molding material evaluated by these methods. A statistical analysis is used to determine the spread of the data and the mean strength of the material at temperature. Prediction limits are plotted which allow the designer to interpret the suitability of a material for a given design. Structural tests of a plastic wing designed from the prediction limits prove conclusively that the test method yield valid data for design applications. The tests show that phenolic glass fiber reinforced molding compounds now available can be used to meet current and forseeable requirements of hypersonic vehicles designed for short-term flights.

    Author Information:

    Hribar, V. F.
    Hughes Aircraft Co., Culver City, Calif.

    Dowell, A. M.
    Hughes Aircraft Co., Culver City, Calif.

    Committee/Subcommittee: D20.18

    DOI: 10.1520/STP46376S