Friday, 2 December 2011

Vacuum test of first prototypes

The first vacuum test of SAM’s hexagon elements was performed yesterday in the physics department of the University of Strathclyde. This vacuum test should prove if the residual air approach is working as expected. Furthermore, the test was used to validate the usability of various membrane materials and manufacturing techniques. The vacuum test showed that the residual air inflation works quite well and that the deformations observed are similar to the LS-DYNA simulation. The single hexagon seen in the picture is manufactured of two thin sheets of Mylar joined together by applied heat. Other prototypes were manufactured out of Kapton, polyethylene and solar film. Further research will focus on the improvement of the reliability of the seam lines.

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