One of the most visible symbols of American ingenuity and exploration over the past 50 years has been the progress and perseverance of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It is the epitome of human curiosity. It is a constant example of how we live with unknowns for only as long as technology limits our ability to explore; and sometimes we try and explore those unknowns before technology is ready.
Topics: Composite Design
The transportation industry is increasingly adopting advanced materials, which, as a result of increases in specific strength, offer improved efficiency, lower emissions, and decreased fuel consumption compared to traditional metal components. However, the transition to advanced materials has been slowed as structural analyses have become more complex and demanding.
Thin-ply HSCs are being used by Opterus in several commercial, NASA and DoD missions that achieve unprecedented packaging and deployed stiffness performance. Compared to traditional composites, HSCs exhibit improved damage tolerance, resistance to microcracking, improved aging and fatigue resistance, reduced minimum-gage thickness, and increased scalability.
Microstructural modeling is often viewed as an extraneous activity when analyzing the behavior of composites. Many engineers use the "system" properties as the inputs for their part design without considering what contributes to that overall system response.
Many companies that develop new composite materials are surprised when their product does not perform as expected during the physical testing and certification process. In addition to the many years wasted on developing the material, companies often spend more than $50M on developing and testing a single new material concept.
Have you ever experienced your car breaking down due to part failure, with little or no warning? This could be because the part was designed without taking into account how it would be affected by material behavior or manufacturing variability.