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Mechanics in Engineering ›› 2009, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (3): 16-22.doi: 10.6052/1000-0879-2008-043

• Application study • Previous Articles     Next Articles

SIMULATION AND EXPERIMENT OF DEPLOYMENT PROCESS OF INFLATABLE Z-FOLDED TUBES

  

  • Received:2008-01-22 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2009-06-08 Published:2009-06-08

Abstract: The inflatable deployment tube is a basic support component of space inflatable structures, and a Z-folded configuration is one of the basic folding ways of the inflatable deployment tube of the inflatable solar array discussed in this paper. A model of segments inflatable control volume for deployment process of inflatable tubes is proposed. The inflatable deployment of the Z-folded tube is simulated by finite element method under zero gravity condition. The variations of the volume and pressure in each folded segment are analyzed. Influence of inflation rate on deployment dynamic characteristics is discussed, and compared with those in literature. An inflatable deployment experiment on an air track is conducted. The results demonstrate that variations of inflation rate have a great influence on the deployment process, and increasing the reduction factor of the inflation rate can decrease the impact force action of the tube at the full deployment.

Key words: Z-folded tubes, inflatable, deployment dynamics, air