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Polybenzimidazole (PBI) film coating for improved hypervelocity impact energy absorption for space applications

This paper deals with how the use of Polybenzimidazole (PBI) as a film coating over conventional composite designs could help improve the hypervelocity impact ballistic performance of the system. PBI coated composite samples were studied for resistance to Low Earth Orbit environment conditions like high vacuum, thermal cycling, Atomic Oxygen and Ultraviolet Radiation in a simulation facility. It was observed that the PBI coated composites reduced mass loss and surface erosion compared to the non-coated samples after LEO exposure. Hypervelocity impact experiments were conducted on the PBI coated composites for impact velocities between 2.5 to 3?km/s. The experiments showed that the PBI film coating significantly increased the energy absorption of the composite system. The effect of thickness increase as a result of the film application on energy absorption was also found to be negligible confirming the effectiveness of PBI coating as a hypervelocity shield.

» Author: Sarath Kumar Sathish Kumar, Edwin Antonio Jurado-Manriquez, YunHo Kim, Chunghyeon Choi, Abrar H. Baluch, Chun-Gon Kim

» Reference: Composite Structures, Volume 188

» Publication Date: 15/03/2018

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [609149].

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