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MEMORANDUM

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COMPOSITELATTICE STRUCTURE

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Marvin D. Rhodes and Martin H. Mikulas, Jr.

September, 1975

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Thli Informal documentation medium Is .sod to Novlde accelerated or ape¢lll rellaee of t=chnlcal Inlormatie_ to selected users. The contents n_y not meet NASA formal editing and pMblicatlon ut_mderd|, my be revlIIKI, or may be Incorporated m another publl(:'ztion.

NATIONAL A|IOHAUTR! SPACE AND ADMINGTRAgON LAN6LEY IESI_4ifCH HAMPTON, CENTER,, YBGINIA,tLH_ 2

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1. Repot! Nn,

2, Government AcclMlan No_-

3, Ra'J.ipimf_t's atalog No. C

NASATM X-7277l
4, T_*:_l!al_d Subtitle _ Report D_10

COMPOSITELATTICESTRUCTURE

_P_.HBEI(197_
6. Performin@ Orglnizatmn Code

73.620
7. Author(s1 8 P_rl(JrlniNg Or,j_nl/dl,o,) I|e|Jr_TtNO.

Marvin D. Rhodesand Martin M. Mikulas, Jr.
............... 9. I_tf_rmingOrganiLazior= N,,me and Address 10. W,)rk Un;t No,

NASALangley Research Center Hampton, Va. 23665
,,,

11. (;ontr_ct or _i'ctlrt NIJ.

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

12. po._=,i._ _,,_. =,_A,_d,_, s A_.=y National Aeronautics and Space Administration Washington, D. C. 20546
15, Supplementary Note_

TechnicalMemorandum t4 spo._,,n_ _e,cV _d_ A C

16.

Abstract

.....

A lattice unidirectional lattice

type scructural character

panel concept is described which exploits advanced composite materials. where stiff lightweight structures

the are

of filamentary

This

has potential

for applications

needed such as large area panels for space satellites.

Formulae are presented

to calculatethe panel weight and plate bending stiffness. This analysis indicates that structure_with significantly lighterweight than conventional minimum gage sandwich const,'uction be fabricated, A suggestedfabricationprocedureis can also presentedalong with photographsof some typicalpanels.

17. Key Words (Su_lf_!_tud by Author(s))

lB. Distribution 5tate.lU,lt

space strv,._ures,

composite materials, fail safe design

Unclassified

- Unlimited

sandwich structures,

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V irW[l|_ ;7/2116_1= ................. .

Relativelyrecent advances in filamentary comp :itematerials (ref. Although sandwich construction is very efficient from a weight standpointfor moderate to heavilyloaded structures. 2) that will severely tax the load carryingcapabilityof '. Rhodes !_ INTRODUCTION aerospace to Contemporaryand future vehicle requirements continue providechallengesto the structuraldesigner for reducingstructuralweight.severe weight penaltiesresult for very lightlyloaded sandwich _' structuresdue to minimum gage constraintson skin thickness. In an attempt to circumventthese minimum gage problems a very J J i i 'J q . In aircraft. _ L_ L. Mikulas. In ti(e presentpaper a latticetype structuralpanel is describedin which an attempt is made to fully exploit the unidirectional characteristics of filamentarycomposites.fuel econon_y putting a premiumon structuralweight (ref. The main motivationfor the developmentof such a concept is the requirementfor large area space structureswhich are designed on the basis of stiffnessrather than strength. Langley ResearchCenter Marvin D.glue weight and core density. I) is while in spacecraftthere are anticipatedneeds for very large area space structures(ref._ )_ any conceivableboostersystem. the highly unidirectional i = 5 I nature of the advanced filamentarycompositematerials. 3) have providedthe structuraldesigner improvements of a factor of 2 to 3 in strengthto density ratiosand a factor of 3 to 4 in modulus to density ratios when comparedwith commonlyavai]ablemetals.COMPOSITELATTICE STRUCTURE By and Martin M. To take full advantageof these improvements.Jr. however.structuraldesign concepts must be originatedwhich consider from the outset.

Carpet plots are presentedwhich give the weights and bending stiffnessesof lattice panels for a wide range of 9eometricvariablesand a weight comparisonis made with san_iichpanels.i 2 sophisticated elcctroformed. For specificapplications other" compositematerial systems couldwell be appropriateand the geometryof the latticenetworkcould be tailoredto suit the stiffnessor loadingrequirements.the cost for producingsuch structuresmay be very high. The material system consideredis graphite/epo_ and the latticenetwork is taken as isotropic. lhe lattice conceptof the presentpaper has the potentialof being as low or even lower in weight per unit area than the electroformedconcept and should be at least an order of magnitudecheaper to produce. The conceptdevelopedin reference4 has a resultantweight per unit area that Is impressivelylow.it also appears to have weight advantagesfor structures which are designed by moderate loads. hollow core aluminum structure was developed in reference4. however. . Although the latticeconceptwas originallyconceivedfor stiffness criticalstructures. In this paper a descriptionis given of the concept.and the construction techniquesare discussed.

i 1 3 SYMBOLS A a Pea a D E t W width of lattice strips (see sketch a) see equation 5 (s_e sketch a) plate bending stiffness. The lat. elastic modulus spacing of lattice thickness mas_ strips v p Poisson's ratio density Subscripts 1. network which generally relieves because two additional Figure 1 has a one ply.)tce concept on an open grid honeycon_ core.2 a C indicate size relation. (0. _ 60) pseudo-tsotropic spacing and width of the lattice .ers are introduced.e concept is shm_ in Figure 1. of advanced composite material efficiency. It It consists of a regular geor_etrtcal arrangement of strips have _tgh structural penalties strips. adhesive cote see equation g e f p t effective total or smeared sandwich face sheets plate composite materlal tape Basic Concept The basic _:on_ostte lattt.. The lattt(:e paramel. designers of might resembles a h_gh]y redundant truss imposed by nintmom gage requirements These parameters are the network shown in f_ce sheet.

it may have applicationsfor more selectivelytailored.those associatedwith the lattice face _ ) sheets and those relatedto the hor."iple shown have pseudo-isotropic face sheets. The sketches shown in Figure 3. due to the high degreeof redundancy where fail-safetyis considered. Also. I and diagonal supports (truss framework)the conceptmay have appiicatlons . strength and stiffnessof a panel can oe The compositelatticepanel conceptwas concelvedfor lightly loaded applicationssuch as space structureswhere stiffnessrather than strength is M . by using me. gO) pattern (_ 45) omitted or _ combination of multiple laminatesa_id omitted diagonalstrips and still maintaina regularnetwork patternas shown in Figure 4. For applications requiringthe structureto support a low pressure lateral load a fil_ could be bonded to one face sheet as in Figure 5a or one side of the panel could be a full multi-plylaminate (Figure5b) with the opposite side and core of latticeconstruction. 4. By appropriateselectionof c the desig_l parameters. and 5 13Iustratethe design latitudeavailable using the compositelatticeconcept.However._ the predominantdesign para¢_.eycombore. moderatelyloaded structures. t 45. composer:. isotropic limited specific direction The pattern nature can also he considerad such as the shown in this sketch is also a pseudo_lthough both concepts structures are not a to suit laminate of (0.ter. t 60) face sheet. These parametersfail into two grou_s. )_ttice thickness Panel design may be tailored laminates in any specific could thickness or on selected strips. examples are shown in Figure 3 for the (0. to isotropic application type laminates. gO) orientation. Sometypical In addition. Some of the design parametersior latticestructureare given in Table !.the weight. _ 45. have somediagonal strips the (0.Other concepts of a similar one _hown in Figure 2.

Typical within triangular element the mass of a typica| Considering on|y the material triangular the dashed line ele:nent can be found to be N " 3 a* Pttt + (Pctc + 2 Pata)(_ 3_1_a2) 1 The a_ fQr this sam. both are pseudoisotroptc configuration typical laminates and are viable lattice section.I I 5 ANALYSIS In the pr_vtous section two concepts were proposed. _ 45.The mass of composite lattice triangular element as shown in sketch a. . thickness laminates is considered. Althouoh only this panel candidates. panels can be determined using a Hass . spaced single The first was (0. Sketch a . _ 60) and the second was a (0. ± 60) is examined in this with uniformly Furthemore. only the (0. 90) face sheet latttce.)element i_ given by A _ "_3_2 q. 2 .

sss are given t in Table 2 and are considev'edo be representative availablecommercial t of products._. _ _ i_ of spacing (_L) for 'two thickne'_ses of tape materl_l. 3 These equations apply only when the spacing _.. if the spacing of composite the lattice wi]l hove no triangular cutouts . material the unit however.:e strip has more. is reduced to standard sandwich construction with face sheets of three continuous larntna. thick thick . as the spacing is reduced the _tructura] sandwich construction ma:_sincreases to the mass of standard It should also be observed that if design r which 1_ app_'oxtmately 0. a -it'3'.a2 ott t . it mass of" lattice panels as a function The 0. tape is the standard commercial prepreg materta! while the 0. Shownin Figure 6 is the u..n the honeycomb FGr this configuration r3re or adhesive.3(_-)2 (Pctc + 2 Petal ( _t _.003 in.:. It can be noted that with a large spacing (_) a very low mass structure can be fabrica"-ed using the lattice concept. requirementsdictate . The propertiesof a11 materialsused to ca'lculate he structural. 7- " :_ i_ N/A = 4 1/3_ Pitt +Pctc + 2%t a where 4 !_ 2a Whenthe spacing becomes equal to _ tim latti¢.Pctc + 2 Petal .e wider latti.25 and 0. it will also not have adjac_at strips touching as if a full mass is given by three ply laminate.¸ 6 Therefore the unit mass of a panel is given by & !:_ W/h = 27_ .37 ibs/ft 2 for the ) two thicknesses of tape consider. However. .:=¢ i .. a't_'.Jspecificcross sectionalarea of material.d.honeycombweight included. ). m_terial is also commercially availablebut is _ot as commonlyused.0L)55 in...then a thickertape rather than a wider 'lattice trip (a) will yield the lowermass s • structure because t.

2 inches and other material parameters given in Table 2. If t e << t c then D = Eftcte ' Bending stiffness were calculated 2 (1-vf 2) (2t e + to) 8 as'a function of strip spacing (_) for several rib These results widths and two composite tape thicknesses is shown in Figure 7.(tp 3 " tc3) 12 (1 . .i ' I I I ' IL Plate Bend]d Stiffness _ can be calculated .vf 2) 5 when Ef >> Ec the entire If the latttce facings are considered to be _mea_ed over face sheet thickness can be found to be face sheet an effective = a te Plate bending stiffness 2 "1_ _ tt 6 face sheet thickness can be in terms of effective determined by substituting tp = 2t e + t c 7 into equation 5 and expanding tp 3.The b_ndlng stiff'hess of sandwich structures from the equattm. (reference 5) D = F'. As the lattice spacing increases the stiffness decreases from that of conventional sandwich structure to |ower values as one would expect from an examination of equation 8. using a core thickness of U.

thickness has been found to be The relation between tape and core = t t2c _t_t 1c. panels of equal bending stiffness.atios of construca/£ is shown in Figure 8. For a given ratio o_ weight saving potential when compared with sandwich a/£ and tape the T!e point increases due to increases in core depth. The strips _re laid in (.from unidirectional p_Jmpregnated tape that is cut into strips of the desired width. of fabrlcatic. bending stiffness However. many other methods.sstnn however. mold machined from aluminum and overcoated with a re]ease agent. tion offers significant Also shownon the figure are curve_ indicating lattice constant honeycon_core depth.! t2t 9 tic = 4pt (t2t . Fabrication Cempostte sandwich lattice m_tartals and adhesive systems.tlt)IP (2 -_'3 al£) (I _ c "|t-_-tl 10 where Therefore. oFaceSheets. cores the _'Jss can be reduced by increasing thickness of the face sheet instead of the thickness of the core. alJgnme_it _nd positioning . for very thick Based on these calculations. thickness. or variations The face sheets are fabricated _etho_Jare possible.i I _ ' I 8 A carpet plot giving the mass of a panel as a function of plate bending stiffness for sandwich panels and lattice panels having various _. at which face sheet thickness should be increased instead of increasing the thickness of the core can be determined from the simultaneol:s solution of the equations for mass and stiffness. can be fabricated from commonly available suggests one method of the proposed The following dtsc. A m_ctHned mold such as the one shown in Figure g permits accurate of the tape with minimum effort. all t2t • tlt design variables need be considered when examining require- ments for a particular application.

placed in an oven to cure the resin in the d graphite. In order to remove the triangularsectiom_. The templatewas fabricateJfrom thin alumhmm sheet stock and the grid pattern was cut on a numericalcontrolledmil!h_g machine. after bondlng t(_the lac_.Bondin_Face__ Sheets._mag(). If they are removedafter L.9 lloneycom Core. FJ1eets.is p_rpose is shown in F_gure II and a photo showingthe template and cutter In use is shown in Figure 12.itiun core on p tbe the lattice strips. _he panels fabricatedto dat_ have been made by precuttingthe honeycomb corp. Molds machlned from a materialwith low thermalexpansion characteristics such _s graphiteor a ceramicwould allow the latticeto he completelybonded ars_ cured in the a_Id i_ ow_e opc.paction. and Silicon rubber blanketswere also cu'_ with the template and placed iu the base of the mold._ot the center ream)yes in the tri-egul_rsection from the cutter.)plate cutter to precut the honeycombcore._'ation without d._tlown Figure I0. Curin_ and . It was necessaryto cure the graphiteprepreg outside the aluminum mold due to the differentialthermalexpansionbetween the alumi_:umnd the a graphitecomposite.-h lhe trJanqularpattern illtPle h(ineycomb ore may he c r_lllOVedeither before m' .w and give good joint co_. bending care must l_etaken t() accl4raLely()_. li tllf_y are r(:iiioved hefore.25 inch _nd a latticespacinqof 1. This panel has a strip width of 0. The low temperature also allowed the resin in the graphite to fl(. A completedpanel fabricatedby the.aaterial face sheets were the_ plac_. A photographof this cutter is . A spring loadedplunger _. The latticewas then removed from the mold. The composite.. ._rom the core a novel cutter was devised. Panel fabricatedin this investigation s were made by using the tea. The cutter in is fabricatedfrom aluminumwith conventiona'_ single edge razor blades as the cuttingedge. .5 inches. vacuum bagged ar. A special templatedesigned for t:.o'_(ling there is danger of damage to the faces _hen the core if_ heing cut.d in the mold followedby the honeycombcore whose faces had been coated with an epoxy resin system to permit bondingto the core.The totaI sy'_tem was heated to a low temperatureto cure the bonding resin. _thod outlinedabove is shown in Iiq_re 13. The molds were closed and loaded with lead weights to get good contactpressure between the face sheet and the honeycoil_.

10 SUMMARY Future space missions may require designed on the basis of stiffness are generally very efficient. Carpet plots which give the weight and bending stiffnessfor a wide varietyof geometricvariablesare also presented.Although conceivedfor stiffness critical structures. A suggested fabricationprocedureis describedalong with photographsof some typical panels. for lightly loaded applications weight penaltiesresult from minimum gage constraints.the conceptmay have weight advantagesfor structures designed by moderate loads or applications where fail-safetyis important. . rather larg_ area structures tllan strength. Formulae are presentedto calculateboth weight and plate bending ctiffnessof the latticestructure. The compositematerial system consideredis graphiteepoxy and the lattice network is isotropic.however_the analysismay be modified to considerother material systemsor nonisotropic networkswhere appropriate. A latticetype structuralconcept has been describedwhich exploits the unidirectional characterof filamentarycompositematerialswhile relievingthe designer of conventionalminimum gage considerations. which are severe Sandwich structures however.

: Mechanicsof ComvositeMateria'Js. _.. M.F(.. Jr.M._k R.J.e l&t-Stiffened l Panels L'j_.ental J and Study of Structurally EfficientComposiC.ightweight Solar Panels. Jorles.Srript_ Bc.}.r.R°F.. 2. G...d in developingfabrication techniques.3832 5.W. 3... and Alford. M ACKNOWt. AIAA Pel)er No.196_.ay 1975. Jr.ai Experir. E_'.nalyti_.and to _light Stroupeof the MechanicalDevelopt_ntSection for his suggestionson the molds and honeycombcutter.I J.pect_ ()r F ImprovedFuel Efficic'ncy. 'r . NASa. 1975. P. llalpin. C. _lilliams.. M. TechnomicPublish'ingo. Ce. Ashton.. L..decl in Axial Compression. 75-/.=ite Materials: Analysis.. _'_)75. . I()74.. A.. an_ Petit.. et Studyof a SatelliteSolar Power Station.: Developmentof t. C 6. Feb. Carlson._(.d).J....RLI:LRr S NCII I._4.. NASA TM X-12659. _. A.. Joseph Power and E1vin Ahl of the CompositeModel Developmet_t Shcp for their a.: Pr_cr c. NASA CR-2357.. . E. al: l'easibility ?.E D_tRENI'S Appreciationis expressedto IVlessrs.I.: Future Long-RangeTranspogtPro. H.. 4. and Mikulas. Nagel.. (iia..

_ Lattice Design Variables LatticeComponent HoneycombCore Design Variab'le Density ThicKness Shear Modulus Face Sheet Design Configuration MaterialModulus Material Strength Strip Width Strip Thickness Strip Spacing Density Bond Strength Adhesive .12 Table 1.

001 in EL See reference6 for propertiesof graphiteepoxy tape material. H .! t I i 13 Table 2.0 Ib/ft 3 t = 0.2 in c Graphiteepoxy Face sheet* tt = 0.003 in Pt = 0..96 x 107 psi Ef = 7.326 Et = 1.208 Ib/in 3 t = 0.MaterialPropertiesUsed to CalculatePanel Mass and StiffnessParameters ComponentMaterial Property Honeycombcore % = 3.0563 Ib/in 3 vf --0.84 x 106 psi • L Bonding Adhesive % = 0.

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