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Proceedings Paper

Probabilistic model of the thermal dimensional stability of composite structural components
Author(s): William W. Sable
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Paper Abstract

Theoretically, the use of composite structural materials with a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and a careful choice of a laminate should yield a structure which is nearly insensitive to thermal loading. However in reality experience has shown that tolerances associated with parameters such as layup angles, layer thicknesses, and basic properties such as Young's modulus and fiber CTE can combine to yield a variation in CTE that can be as large, or larger, than the predicted nominal value. It is difficult and very expensive to measure and verify the CTE of structures which nominally possess a CTE in the range of +/- 0.1 x 10 exp -6 in/in/F. This paper presents a statistical approach which is based on the measured variation of physical properties of the materials used and discusses a method for making an assessment of the statistical CTE property variation. Using these statistics, a finite element based Monte Carlo methodology is discussed. A composite parabolic reflector numeric example is provided.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 1992
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 1690, Design of Optical Instruments, (16 September 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.138007
Show Author Affiliations
William W. Sable, Lockheed Missile & Space Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1690:
Design of Optical Instruments
David M. Aikens; Victor L. Genberg; Gary C. Krumweide; Michael J. Thomas, Editor(s)

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