Functional Characteristics Improvement of Metal Transformable-Volume Structures for Space Applications

ABSTRACT Under conditions of the influence of space environment factors, the thin-walled load-carrying transformable-volume structures are subjected to volumetric deformation and long-time exposure to external loads, close to maximum permissible design values. The required functional properties of transformable-volume structures are ensured on the basis of applying surface engineering methods, whose effectiveness is difficult to confirm as there is no possibility to reproduce the space environment factors complex under the terrestrial conditions. The method for verification of applied technologies regarding the modification of surface properties was described. It was based on the comparison of finite-element and experimental-computational models of displacements in equivalent fragments of the transformablevolume structures surface. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of methods is given, allowing changing the rigiditystrength characteristics of transformable-volume structures for space applications without alteration of their mass and compactness.