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Experimental and computational study of hypervelocity impact on brittle materials and composites

Taylor, Emma Ariane (1998) Experimental and computational study of hypervelocity impact on brittle materials and composites. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86024) (KAR id:86024)

Language: English

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Retrieval and analysis of space-exposed surfaces from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) can lead to an improved understanding of the space debris and micrometeoroid particulate environment. A large volume of data has been accumulated from analysis of space-exposed ductile materials, including the LDEF satellite. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and EURECA solar arrays provide a large, new source of information on the LEO particulate flux. Below a certain crater diameter, these solar arrays are equivalent to semi-infinite brittle material targets and thus the impact crater fluxes are analogous to impact fluxes on returned lunar rocks and Apollo/Gemini windows. An extensive shot programme has been executed onto glass, aluminium and spacecraft honeycomb (used as exterior spacecraft wall and solar array support structure). The data supplement the large database of brittle material hypervelocity impact tests used in this thesis. These data have been used to (i) develop new, target-dependent, empirically-determined brittle material damage equations, (ii) derive a conversion factor between the brittle material ,) conchoidal diameter( D, and the ballistic limit in aluminium for a particular exposure and shielding history (Fmax)a, nd (iii) investigatet he ballistic limit of spacecrafth oneycomb. In addition, the response of brittle materials to, hypervelocity impact has been explored via hydrocode modelling, including the implementation and validation of the Johnson-Holmquist brittle material model at velocities beyond the experimental calibration regime. The converted semi-infinite brittle material fluxes from the HST and EURECA solar arrays have been directly compared with both an experimentally-measured LDEF mean flux and a modelled flux prediction for meteoroids (excluding space debris). The solar array fluxes are in good agreement with the LDEF data and modelling results for F. greater than 20-30 μm. Below this value of F,,,, the data do not reproduce the space debris flux enhancement shown by LDEF.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86024
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( Open Access policy.pdf). If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Unmanned spacecraft; satellites
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB460 Astrophysics
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:25 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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