Rupture Limit Equation for Shielded COPVs


How well a spacecraft component resists the damage that might occur following a high-speed impact by a meteoroid or piece of orbital debris is one of the main design considerations for earth orbiting spacecraft. Most spacecraft have at least one pressurized tank on board, such as a liquid propellant tank. In addition to a hole, it is possible that, for certain tank designs, construction materials, operating conditions, and impact parameters, a pressurized vessel may experience catastrophic failure (i.e. rupture) as the result of such a high-speed impact. Risk assessments performed during the design phase of a spacecraft typically consider and weigh the likelihoods and consequences of various failures that might occur following a MOD particle impact, including whether or not such a tank rupture might occur. In this paper, the datasets from several test programs involving shielded and unshielded composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) are combined to yield a single, new equation that can be used for this purpose. Comparison with test data shows that this new equation is able to correctly discriminate between the COPV rupture and non-rupture data points for the full high-speed impact test database considered herein.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

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Article - Journal

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© 2021 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2021