Overview of ground-based testing of components made from electrically-conducting doped peek for space applications

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Conference article in proceedings
Date
2022-12-12
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Language
en
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Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on Composite Materials - Composites Meet Sustainability, Volume 6
Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM) has shown to be a promising method for creating highperformance plastic components. In space, harsh environmental conditions such as vacuum ultraviolet radiation and significant temperature changes cause the degradation of polymers and static electricity buildup on the surface of non-conductive components. This study explores geostationary orbit communication-satellite parts additively manufactured using doped polyether ether ketone (PEEK). Several spacecraft parts were selected for detailed redesign and additive manufacturing. These parts are commonly used in communication satellites and belong to secondary structures that need not withstand heavy forces. The effects of the space environment on the doped PEEK material and its properties were studied in ground-based laboratories. The printed parts were mechanically and functionally tested. Lowmass space-grade components can be made with this method and material combination while conforming with the stiffness requirements for secondary spacecraft structures. This manufacturing method aims to achieve mass savings of 50% compared to metallic baselines. The analysis showed that that printing parameters used in the fused filament fabrication (FFF) process significantly affect the mechanical performance of the parts. Moreover, the high strength and stiffness of the FFF-printed carbon-fibre doped PEEK brackets was found to make them ideal for joints used in spacecraft honeycomb panel structures, enabling up to 25-50% savings in bracket mass. Overall, the used FFF manufacturing method enables fast, and costeffective low batch-size production runs. ©2022 Nyman et al.
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Keywords
PEEK, Additive manufacturing, thermoplastic composites, spacecraft, material extrusion
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Citation
Nyman , L , Kukko , K , Kestilä , A , Myllymäki , V , Lohilahti , J , Kumpulainen , J , Vehkamäki , M , Salmi , M , Lafont , U & Kallio , E 2022 , Overview of ground-based testing of components made from electrically-conducting doped peek for space applications . in Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on Composite Materials - Composites Meet Sustainability . vol. 5 , École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) , pp. 351 - 363 , European Conference on Composite Materials , Lausanne , Switzerland , 26/06/2022 .