Asteroid Safety: SUSU Summer School Attendees Study Rocket Engineering Materials

Work at the International Summer School on Asteroid Safety is in progress at South Ural State University. The topic of the third day is the “Materials of Rocket and Space Equipment. Structure Stability”.

The program included a lecture on the Introduction to the Mechanics of Composite Materials and Structure Stability, by Candidate of Sciences (Engineering), Associate Professor of the Department of Engineering Mechanics of the SUSU Institute of Engineering and Technology Alla Scherbakova, as well as a seminar class and laboratory work.

“What is a composite material? It’s a non-homogeneous material composed of several components with a clear interface between them. Each of these components features different properties, but in general the obtained material has properties, which none of its components cannot have separately. I would like that our students and school pupils get a general idea about composites. The lecture was devoted to modern composite materials, which are used in aviation and rocket engineering. We also spoke about the history of their use by the humankind, the fields of their application, and the specifics of these materials,” shares Alla Scherbakova.

After the lecture, the summer school attendees were grouped into three teams and took part in the seminar class and laboratory work. In the seminar class, they were performing calculations for the stability of constructions’ shells. The skill to perform such work is necessary both for creating composite materials and for using such materials and engineering constructions based on them.

During the laboratory work guided by Candidate of Sciences (Engineering), Head of the SUSU Department of Engineering Mechanics Pavel Taranenko , the students and school pupils were studying the “Paper Resistance of Materials”:

“At this class, I’ve been sharing on how to make a construction strong and stable; and how, using such seemingly frail material as paper, create constructions, which will hold up to several dozens of kilograms. The school attendees were building structures from paper loading them with weight plates. This is a very demonstrative type of work, which allows people, who have never built constructions before, to understand how it is done,” notes Pavel Taranenko.

At the class taught by Dean of the Part-Time Studies Faculty of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Doctor of Sciences (Engineering), Professor Sergei Sapozhnikov , the school attendees learned about different composite materials and their properties, as well as engineered a model of a rocket fuel tank. In the end of the summer school’s third day, a quiz was held for school pupils and students so that they could test their knowledge on the studied topic.

Viktoria Matveichuk; photo by the author
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