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Fragmentation of hypervelocity aluminum projectiles on fabrics

: Rudolph, M.; Schäfer, F.; Destefanis, R.; Faraud, M.; Lambert, M.

International Astronautical Federation:
61st International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2010. Vol.6 : Prague, Czech Republic, 27 September - 1 October 2010
Red Hook, NY: Curran, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61782-368-8
International Astronautical Congress (IAC) <61, 2010, Prague>
Fraunhofer EMI ()

This paper presents work performed for a study investigating the ability of different flexible materials to induce fragmentation of a hypervelocity projectile. Samples were chosen to represent a wide range of industrially available types of fabrics like ceramic, aramid, metal and carbon fabrics. Impact conditions and areal density were kept constant for all targets. Betacloth and Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) are mounted onto the targets to account for thermal system engineering requirements. All tests were performed using the Space Light Gas Gun facility (SLGG) of the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut (EMI). Projectiles were aluminum spheres with 5 mm diameter impacting at approximately 6.3 km/s. Fragmentation was evaluated using a witness plate behind the target. An aramid and a ceramic fabric lead the ranking of fabrics with the best projectile fragmentation and debris cloud dispersion performance. A comparison with an equal-density rig id aluminum plate is presented. The work presented can be applied to optimize the MM/SD shielding structure of inflatable modules. It was funded by the European Space Agency with Thales Alenia Space being the prime contractor.