Joining I: Mechanical/Adhesive

  • Richard J. Switz


The fact that it is sometimes cost effective to spend as much as $20,000 to save a pound of weight in spacecraft systems (1) makes beryllium a very good candidate for reducing overall system weight. Even with the availability of the forthcoming Space Transport System (shuttle), weight savings will continue to be a very important parameter in spacecraft design. To achieve the full potential of beryllium, it is necessary to develop efficient methods for making structural joints, since the structural subsystem usually offers the widest choice of weight-saving possibilities. The joining methods considered here use either mechanical devices or adhesives and have proven application in unmanned spacecraft. TACSAT I, shown in Fig. 1, is representative of such a spacecraft; it is 3 m in diameter, 7.6 in tall, and weighs 726 kg. Three forms of beryllium are considered in its design: block, sheet, and extrusions. The joining considerations and methodology are different for each.


Weight Saving Witness Sample Mechanical Fastener Proof Test Adhesive Cure 
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  1. 1.
    G. Epstein and J..1. Smith, Adhesive bonding requirements for space environments, paper presented at Air Force Materials Symposium, Miami Beach, Florida (May 1970).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    E. F. Bruhn, Analysis and Design of Flight Vehicles Structures,Tri-State Offset Company, Cincinnati, Ohio (1971)Google Scholar
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    R. J. Roark, Formulas for Stress and Strain, McGraw-Hill, New York (1974).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    C. V. Cagle, Handbook of Adhesive Bonding, McGraw-Hill, New York (1973).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard J. Switz
    • 1
  1. 1.Hughes Aircraft CompanyEl SegundoUSA

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