Gas permeability through damage networks in composite laminates is the key issue for the applicability of high‐performance composites to the cryogenic propellant tanks of space launch vehicles. A simple model for the gas permeability induced by multilayer matrix cracks in composite laminates is proposed based on the leak conductance at crack intersections, which is an extension of the model by Kumazawa et al (AIAA J. 41, 2037‐ ‐2044, 2003). Experimental evidence on the gas permeability mechanisms is summarized and reflected in the present model. In order to include the effects of applied loadings and damage sizes on the gas permeability, the leak conductance is assumed to be a function of the average crack opening displacements of the matrix cracks and the crack intersection angles. The leak conductance factor was empirically obtained as a function of the crack intersection angle, and the comparison of the gas permeability between the predictions based on the developed model and the experimental results is presented for the validity of this model.
Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2007
Keywords: Composite laminates; Propellant tank; Gas permeability; Matrix cracks
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