Digital Repository, ICF12, Ottawa 2009

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Experimental verification of structural integrity for bellows as spacecraft components
S. Kébreau, P. Cambrésy

Last modified: 2013-05-07


In space vehicles’ design, bellows are indispensable components in pressurizedsystems combining functional features with structural requirements. Theirstructural integrity has to be demonstrated as failure of the bellows would havecatastrophic consequences for the mission.Due to both the complexity of the multi-ply bellows under investigation and theirnominal life spectrum, the structural integrity verification was performedexperimentally by fatigue test. The test set-up was designed to simulate the realloading conditions of the bellows: axial compression and pressure peaks appliedin different combinations.The structural health state was monitored in real-time by stiffness measurements,indicating changes of the bellows’ structural characteristics. Helium leakage testswere furthermore performed to screen for the presence of through cracks resultingfrom the fatigue loading.

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