Modelling of hypervelocity impact on foam-core sandwich panel with enhanced capability for orbital debris protection
Jones, Alexander James Bryan
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Many commonly-used orbits are increasingly cluttered with orbital debris, posing a significant threat to space assets, which require enhanced protection. Recent studies demonstrate that foam-core structural and orbital debris protection panels are a promising alternative to single-function shields. The objective of this thesis was to develop a two-dimensional model capable of simulating orbital debris impacts with foam-core panels cheaply and quickly, for initial shielding evaluation. The selected strategy combines explicit time integration, SPH, and FE methods, found by comparison of numerical and physical experiments. It was found that the Johnson-Cook strength and failure equations, with the Mie-Gruneisen equation of state provide the best fit with selected test data. It was suggested that the multi-shock effect of open-cell foam ligaments could be replicated using a multi-layered structure of equivalent mass. The developed model predicted the outcome of all simulated NASA tests while completing the numerical analysis significantly faster than three-dimensional models.