Nonlinear buckling and folding analysis of a storable tubular ultrathin boom for nanosatellites

Barbera, Daniele and Laurenzi, Susanna (2015) Nonlinear buckling and folding analysis of a storable tubular ultrathin boom for nanosatellites. Composite Structures, 132. pp. 226-238. ISSN 0263-8223

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    Abstract

    In this work we investigated the stability behavior and the folding capability of an ultrathin tubular composite boom with C-cross section to be used in nanosatellites applications. A nonlinear buckling analysis was performed using the Riks method, adopting a perturbed finite element model to study the influence of the unavoidable geometrical variations of the boom thickness, arising from the composite manufacturing processes, on the stability behavior of the tubular structure. The effect of several levels of geometrical imperfection on the buckling behavior was analyzed. The minimum coil radius that can be used for a safe storage the boom was determined by quasi-static explicit analysis. The boom folding process was considered as formed by two sequential steps, the flattening and the coiling. The stress fields associated with both steps were investigated.