Assessing the Long-Term Performance of Adhesive Joints in Space Structures during Interplanetary Exploration

G.V.M. Charpentier, Ugo Lafont, S. Teixeira De Freitas

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Spacecraft experience minimal mechanical loads in space, but with the development of reusable spacecraft for interplanetary exploration and repeated landings, structures will be subjected to increased mechanical stress. The impact of the space environment on the aging of adhesive materials used in space structures over long-term applications is not well understood. This study investigates two commonly used adhesives in spacecraft assembly, namely Scotch-Weld™ EC-2216 and Scotch-Weld™ EC-9323-2, under two aging conditions: (1) high-energy electron irradiation using a Van de Graaf accelerator, and (2) thermal vacuum cycling. The research evaluates the evolution of intrinsic adhesive properties and adhesion to CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced polymer) and aluminum adherents before and after exposure to these environmental conditions through tensile tests, peel tests, double-cantilever beam (DCB) tests, and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA).
Original languageEnglish
Article number4978
Number of pages15
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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