Composite Materials for Structures on Planetary Surfaces

by Donald W. Radford, CMMS Lab,
Willy Z. Sadeh, CMMS Lab,
Boyle C. Cheng, CMMS Lab,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


Development of structures for planetary surface environments depends upon the use of the most appropriate materials. Advanced composite materials are apparently the best candidates for the use in structures on planetary surfaces and in space in view of their unique tailorability, properties and light weight. The physical and mechanical properties of advanced composite materials as related to their use in structures are reviewed. Polymer matrix composites are recommended as the best materials in the first exploration stages. Increased use of ceramic and metal matrix composites is expected in the more advanced exploration stages.

Subject Headings: Composite structures | Construction materials | Composite materials | Matrix (mathematics) | Plasticity | Surface properties | Fiber reinforced composites | Structure reinforcement

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