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Published January 10, 2014 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Deployment mechanics of highly compacted thin membrane structures


We studied the effects of membrane thickness and crease density on the forces required to unfold creased membrane structures. 26 cm-diameter models were made using two different thicknesses (7.5 μm and 25 μm) of polyimide film, and wrapped around a 4 cm-diameter hub using two different crease densities. They were deployed quasi-statically, and the deployment forces were measured. Two regimes were observed: an initial phase (up to about 85% deployed) of low and variable stiffness, and a second phase (above 85% deployed) of high stiffness. The thinner membrane models required higher deployment forces than the thicker membrane models during the initial phase.

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© 2014 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Published Online: 10 Jan 2014.

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