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Impact damage on shielded gas-filled vessels

: Schäfer, F.; Schneider, E.; Lambert, M.

Sawaya-Lacoste, H.:
Third European Conference on Space Debris 2001. Proceedings. Vol.2 : 19 - 21 March 2001, European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, Germany
Noordwijk: ESA Publications Division, 2001 (ESA SP 473)
ISBN: 92-9092-733-X
European Conference on Space Debris <3, 2001, Darmstadt>
Fraunhofer EMI ()

This paper gives a summary of the findings from impacts on shielded gas-filled cylindrical aluminium alloy (Al2219 T851) and titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) pressure vessels that were performed at the Ernst-Mach-Institute in the frame of an ESA contract [1]. The effect of impacts on shielded vessels with projectiles that have a kinetic energy close to the ballistic limit of the combined system of shield and vessel's front wall was investigated. The shields were single Al-bumper plates, unreinforced MLI and MLI reinforced with 2 layers of Betacloth. The threshold diameters that cause leakage from the vessel's front wall were determined experimentally as a function of shield material and shield spacing. For Al-shielded Al- and Ti-vessels, a safety design factor to avoid leakage is presented based on existing Whipple shield equations.