Post-flight testing and analysis of zero-G foam rigidized struts

K. Patrick Hobbs, Todd Griffith, Suzanne Weaver Smith, John A. Main

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Strengthening inflated structures through rigidization of the enclosing membrane has been suggested as a way to improve robustness. Toward this end, rigid foam appears to hold significant promise as a replacement for the pressurized gas of early inflatables. In March 1998, an experiment designed to manufacture foam rigidized struts was flown on the NASA KC-135 aircraft. This paper presents a description of the experiment and a comparison of properties of foam rigidized struts manufactured in the microgravity environment to those of struts manufactured in a 1-G environment. The density profile of the rigidizing foam and other morphological characteristics were not significantly affected by gravity in this experiment. This is due in part to the small struts required by the short duration of 0-G in the NASA KC-135. Adhesion of the foam to the Kapton, however, was significantly different in the 0-G struts than in the 1-G struts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2555-2561
Number of pages7
JournalCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structrures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference and Exhibit - St. Louis, MO, USA
Duration: Apr 12 1999Apr 15 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Post-flight testing and analysis of zero-G foam rigidized struts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this