Global static testing and model validation of stiffened thin film polyimide panels

Jonathan T. Black, Jack Leifer, Suzanne Weaver Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Stiff, thermal-formed polyimide panels are examples of next generation space structures that address some of the issues of membrane-dominated ultra-lightweight structures while maintaining their low mass and low stowage volume characteristics. The research presented here involved statically characterizing and modeling two of these panels - both 0.0625 m2, one with a mass of 38 g and one with a mass of 25 g - to develop validated computer models which can be used to determine the effects of changing manufacturing parameters and scalability. Static bending tests showed linear full-panel behavior over a range of applied loads for two different polyimide film thicknesses. These data were replicated by simple, coarsely-meshed shell element finite element models that are substantially smaller than three-dimensional models that faithfully represent the detailed internal geometry of the stiffened panels.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference
StatePublished - 2008
Event49th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference - Schaumburg, IL, United States
Duration: Apr 7 2008Apr 10 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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