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Publication Date




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796 (1-17)


To maximize the capabilities of nano- and micro-class satellites, which are limited by their size, weight, and power, advancements in deployable mechanisms with a high deployable surface area to packaging volume ratio are necessary. Without progress in understanding the mechanics of high-strain materials and structures, the development of compact deployable mechanisms for this class of satellites would be difficult. This paper presents fabrication, experimental testing, and progressive failure modeling to study the deformation of an ultra-thin composite beam. The research study examines the deformation modes of a post-deployed boom under repetitive pure bending loads using a four-point bending setup and bending collapse failure under eccentric buckling. The material and fabrication challenges for ultra-thin, high-stiffness (UTHS) composite boom are discussed in detail. The continuum damage mechanics (CDM) model for the beam is calibrated using experimental coupon testing and was used for a finite element explicit analysis of the boom. It is shown that UTHS can sustain a bending radius of 14 mm without significant fiber and matrix damage. The finite element model accurately predicts the localized transverse fiber damage under eccentric buckling and buckling stiffness of 15.6 N/mm. The results of the bending simulation were found to closely match the experimental results, indicating that the simulation accurately shows deformation stages and predicts damage to the material. The findings of this research provide a better understanding of the structure characteristics with the progressive damage model of the UTHS boom, which can be used for designing a complex deployable payload for nano-micro-class satellites.


© 2024 by the authors.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

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Original Publication Citation

Bhagatji, J. D., Kravchenko, O. G., & Asundi, S. (2024). Mechanics of pure bending and eccentric buckling in high-strain composite structures. Materials, 17(4), 1-17, Article 796.


0000-0001-7228-811X (Bhagatji), 0000-0002-8573-7540 (Kravchenko), 0000-0003-0989-682X (Asundi)