Nonlinear buckling and folding analysis of a storable tubular ultrathin boom for nanosatellites

Daniele Barbera, Susanna Laurenzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


In this work we investigated the stability behavior and the folding capability of an ultrathin tubular composite boom with C-cross section to be used in nanosatellites applications. A nonlinear buckling analysis was performed using the Riks method, adopting a perturbed finite element model to study the influence of the unavoidable geometrical variations of the boom thickness, arising from the composite manufacturing processes, on the stability behavior of the tubular structure. The effect of several levels of geometrical imperfection on the buckling behavior was analyzed. The minimum coil radius that can be used for a safe storage the boom was determined by quasi-static explicit analysis. The boom folding process was considered as formed by two sequential steps, the flattening and the coiling. The stress fields associated with both steps were investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-238
Number of pages13
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date14 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2015


  • buckling analysis
  • deployable structures
  • finite element method
  • ultrathin composite


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