Carbon fibre reinforced shape memory polymer composites for deployable space habitats

Herath, H. M. C. M. and Epaarachchi, J. A. and Islam, M. M. and Leng, J. (2019) Carbon fibre reinforced shape memory polymer composites for deployable space habitats. Engineer, LII (1). pp. 1-9.

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Intelligent material shape memory polymers (SMPs) and their composites are capable of memorizing and recovering the original shape upon exposure to a particular external stimulus. This paper presents the mechanical properties, thermomechanical behaviour and the shape memory characteristics of 0/90 woven carbon fibre reinforced shape memory composite. The results revealed that the superlative mechanical properties of carbon fibres as a reinforcement has enhanced the strength of the SMP composite (SMPC) to be applicable for space engineering innovations. Furthermore, the recovery behaviour of 90º bended SMPC specimens have been investigated by exposing to heated air and near infraredradiation. Both stimulus methods have shown almost 98% shape recovery. In addition, a model of a cubic deployable structure has been fabricated and respective shape programming and recovery behaviours have been investigated based on the enclosed volume. Interestingly, the deployable structure has been programmed in to almost three times smaller volume and very nearly recovered to its original shape under vacuumed conditions. Accordingly, the carbon fibre reinforced SMPCs can be used to produce deployable space habitats to fabricate on earth, compress and pack in a spacecraft, transport to an outer space location and ultimately deploy in to the original shape.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version made available in accordance with the Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 licence.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences - Centre for Future Materials
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 01:33
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 05:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: shape memory polymer composites, carbon fibres, deployable structures, space habitats
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0901 Aerospace Engineering > 090103 Aerospace Structures
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
09 Engineering > 0901 Aerospace Engineering > 090102 Aerospace Materials
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091205 Functional Materials
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
Identification Number or DOI: 10.4038/engineer.v52i1.7323

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