Analysis of Space Suit Mobility Bearings Using the Finite Element Method 911385

During the redesign of the Shuttle Space Suit Waist Bearing, ILC Dover investigated using the Finite Element Method as a means to evaluate a bearings' deflection characteristics. The minimization of bearing torque to reduce crew member fatigue is one of the design goals for the bearings' use in the space suit. A structural analysis method was developed that predicts relative radial deflections, ball loads, and contact angle, some of the determinants of bearing torque. This technique offers deflection and ball load information to the design engineer that have previously not been available until after prototype construction and testing. Having the Finite Element Analysis capability for space suit bearings played an important role in the design of a zero prebreathe suit development bearing.


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