.  Struts / Bars / Beams

Hybrid Struts

Hybrid Struts consist of composite material tubes an metallic fittings and are the industry-standard struts with the best value-for-the-money.
At Space Structures of course "space qualified".
Such struts can be made of a combination of the following options:

  • Composite material tubes (CFRP, GFRP)
    • Material selection according to the application and desired properties.
    • Layup according to the desired properties.
    • In filament winding technology or prepreg hand-layup.
    • Circular, rectangular or other cross section geometries.
    • Optional pultrudet off-the-shelf tubes for minimum cost (limitations on material, geometry and layup apply).
  • Metallic fittings (aluminium, titanium, invar, etc.)
    • Bonded and/or riveted to the tubes.
    • With threads, close-tolerance holes, bearings or other features on demand.
    • Surface treatment, special threads (e.g. Helicoil) and heat treatment of the metal parts on demand.
    • Off-the-shelf DIN standard single and fork lug fittings possible for minimum cost (limitations on material and geometry apply).

Integral Full CFRP Struts

Struts attachment fittings are very difficult to manufacture with lightweight FRP (fibre reinforced polymer) materials, especially with continuous fibres, due to limitations of the FRP manufacturing technologies.

The full CFRP struts developped by Space Structures are a true innovation and World First. They are manufactured as an integral single CFRP piece including the fittings!

That part of the SpaceStrut™ family of struts has the following unique characteristics:

  • Full CFRP . including the interfaces
  • Maximum ultra-lightweight . up to 80 % mass saving depending on length and application
  • Dimensionally stable . No thermal expansion, insensitive to thermal cycling. Special DoubleZero™ variant with zero CTE and CME. CTE can also be customised.
  • Reduction of number of parts . By integration of attachment brackets into strut design

Other properties and options of the full CFRP struts include:

  • Variety of interfaces . Single lug, fork lugs, inclined, threaded, implementation of metal bushings or even bearings possible.
  • Customisable . Almost any custom performance and geometry possible
  • Space qualified . Suitable for any industry with high performance requirements
  • Environment friendly . Smaller footprint because the energy intensive manufacturing and chemical bonding of metallic fittings (often Titanium or even Invar) is removed from the process. Ultra-light structures also reduce the propellant consumption during launch of space vehicles.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 650018 (Phase 1) and No 696376 (Phase 2).

Example applications for struts:

  • Spacecraft primary structures
  • Mounts of optical equipment
  • General truss / lattice structures
  • Robot arms and legs
  • Panel-to-panel supports
  • Deployable structures (e.g. reflectors)
  • Bipods / Hexapods
  • Tie-Rods
  • Rocket inter- /upper-stage structures
  • Optical benches
  • Booms
  • Lunar and planetary Lander structures
  • Telescope structures
  • Lunar and planetary rover structures