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Impact damage on shielded gas-filled vessels

Schäfer, F. 1, Schneider, E. 1, Lambert, M.1
Affiliation data not available1

Document details

Publishing year2001 PublisherESA Publishing typeConference Name of conference3rd European Conference on Space Debris
Pagesn/a Volume
H. Lacoste


This paper gives a summary of the findings from impacts on shielded gas-filled cylindrical aluminium alloy (A12219 T851) and titanium alloy (Ti6A14V) pressure vessels that were performed at the Ernst-Mach-Institute in the frame of an ESA contract. The effect of impacts on shielded vessels with projectiles that have a kinetic energy close to the ballistic limit of the combined system of shield and vessel's front wall was investigated. The shields were single Al-bumper plates, unreinforced MLI and MLI reinforced with 2 layers of Betacloth. The threshold diameters that cause leakage from the vessel's front wall were determined experimentally as a function of shield material and shield spacing. For Al-shielded Al- and Ti-vessels, a safety design factor to avoid leakage is presented based on existing Whipple shield equations.