Thesis Proposal Presentation by Alastair Komus on April 10th
Space Studies master’s student, Alastair Komus, will give his thesis proposal presentation as follows. All Space Studies students and faculty are encouraged to attend.
When: Monday, April 10th at 10 a.m.
Where: Ryan Hall, Room 111
Title: Outgassing of Out-of-Autoclave Composite Primary Structures for Small Satellites
About the topic: Composite materials, especially carbon fiber, have the potential to decrease the mass of satellite structures, and therefore significantly reduce launch costs. Although composites have seen increasing use in spacecraft structures, there has been little adoption of the technology for small satellites. Vacuum bagged, oven cured composite processing requires less expensive tooling and eliminates the high operating costs and potential size limitations of autoclaves. However, out-of-autoclave processing can lead to higher void contents that decrease mechanical properties and result in outgassing when the material is exposed to the space environment. In this study vacuum bagged, oven cured processing steps will be investigated to determine optimal conditions for producing low-cost out-of-autoclave components with vacuum environment outgassing performance equivalent to autoclave parts. Two carbon fibre material systems will be investigated; CYCOM 5320-1 T650/35-3K 8HS available from Cytec and TC275-1 2x2 twill available from TenCate. Manufacturing factors that will be examined include humidity level, vacuum dwell time, and ideal curing conditions based on current out-of-autoclave best practices. Degree of cure, glass transition temperature, and void content will be measured. The samples will then be tested according to ASTM E595 to measure their outgassing performance in a vacuum environment. The out-gassed substances will then be identified using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The results of the out-of-autoclave test specimens will be compared to autoclave processed baseline specimens to determine their equivalency and suitability for small satellites.
About the presenter: Alastair graduated with his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Manitoba in 2006 and 2011 respectively. During that time he investigated the fatigue life of composite materials from an experimental and analytical perspective. Alastair has worked for the Composites Innovation Centre since 2005. He is now the Principal Engineer for the Ground Transportation and Design team at CIC, performing research and stress analysis on composite material systems. He has been involved in the design and analysis of a wide range of parts from the space, bus, automotive, aerospace, and industrial sectors.
******Those unable to attend in person may view the live webcast******
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