Title Resin and Manufacturing Development for Light Curing Inflatable Composite Booms
Source Proc. 45th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conf., paper 2004-1659
Year 2004
Author(s) Harrah, L. A. ; Hoyt Haight, A. E.; Sprouse, M. R.; Allred, R. E.; McElroy, P. M.; Scarborough, S.; Dixit, A.
Abstract Inflatable structures that become rigid after reaching the required shape are a promising approach for fabricating large space structures. A need exists for a controlled, clean rigidization technology to harden inflatable spacecraft after they have achieved the required shape. This program is addressing that need through the development of a family of radiation (ultraviolet [UV] and visible light) curable resins for structural composite matrices termed Rigidization on Command (ROC). These resins are being formulated to cure in low-temperature conditions with varying kinetics at low power inputs and at various wavelengths. This program is investigating cure using internal light sources under a blanket of multi-layer insulation (MLI). A study of using visible light emitting diodes (LEDs) for the internal light sources is presented in this paper. Topics covered include selection of LEDs and resin sensitizers that are active at those wavelengths, modeling of resin cure kinetics, measurement of resin mechanical properties after curing with LEDs, modeling of LED placement in isogrid booms, and manufacturing of isogrid booms using internal LEDs. Results show that the use of internal cure with LEDs is a viable approach for rigidizing inflatable space structures with low power in cold conditions. When optimized, the ROC technology will provide a versatile rigidization technology for the inflatables community.
Keywords Inflatable booms, composite booms, ROC, rigidization, UV cure, LED cure, resin sensitizers, isogrid booms, inflatable space structures, low temperature cure

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