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  Identifying honeycomb insulation segment

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Author Topic:   Identifying honeycomb insulation segment
stsmithva
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Posts: 1636
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 05-02-2010 12:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At a recent auction, I was the top bidder on a piece of metal honeycomb insulation. It's about 6"x6"x4", with dark orange material on one side. There is some red spray paint on most sides, and two holes are drilled/punched in the middle. Finally, a metal tag with a series of numbers has been attached to it.

I'm not going to get my hopes up that it was flown, or if it was it can be identified as such. I'll just be happy if anyone can tell me, by looking at the photos or by the numbers on the tag, anything about it.

Here are some photos:

Here is a close-up of the metal tag. The numbers on it are:

10160-0162-
101
27R1668 0155
BA69VC 31

If anyone knows someone who might be able to look up that number, I'd sure appreciate it if you could let them see this. Thanks very much for your time.

Byeman
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posted 05-02-2010 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Byeman   Click Here to Email Byeman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Being honeycomb does not equate to insulation. Many composites are honeycomb and just are structural elements. The red material is RTV.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3434
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-02-2010 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My take on the red was that it is paint denoting scrapped status and the tan material an unidentified epoxy. I dont think that aluminum (or stainless steel) honeycomb seen in this artifact can be characterized as a "composite" though do agree this is most likely a structural member of sometype

stsmithva
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Posts: 1636
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 11-18-2013 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm still puzzling over my item three years later, and I just noticed this lot at RR Auction. Does anyone else think it looks like a close match? The RR description doesn't quite clear up exactly what it was used for - absorb the shock of the launch? In what specific area, and for what purpose? Thanks for any opinions.

Tom Dahl
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Posts: 21
From: MA, USA
Registered: Jan 2012

posted 11-19-2013 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom Dahl   Click Here to Email Tom Dahl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Honeycomb material in shock-absorber roles is designed to crush with applied load, while being very light-weight, reliable, and without significant rebound. For example the Apollo lunar module and the VIking '75 lander legs used tubecores of aluminum honeycomb as impact force absorbers.

The unit on the RR auction site looks to have absorbed a minor impact of a large circular or cylindrical object pressing into the comb structure. Perhaps a hold-down nut or similar restraint.

The shape of your item and the RR-auction item do have many similarities.

stsmithva
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Posts: 1636
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 08-14-2015 09:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's time for my bi-annual try for information on whatever the heck this is!

Lou Chinal
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Posts: 1202
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 08-16-2015 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve, I'll stick my neck out and say I think (notice I say think) it's part of an Apollo aft bulkhead. From the condition of I would say it's from a boilerplate. This is just a guess (an educated guess, but still a guess).

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3434
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-16-2015 06:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Incorrect thickness for CM application.

DG27
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Posts: 59
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 08-19-2015 11:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I remember correctly, something very similar was used in the bolt catchers for the explosive bolts used as the SRB hold down bolts for the shuttle.

The bolt or nut catchers were a metal box surrounding the separation bolt or nut and contained aluminum honeycomb. Impulse from the separating part (either bolt or nut) is attenuated by the part crushing the honeycomb material. The part wedges in the honeycomb to keep it from bouncing back and causing damage.

Bolt catchers of a different shape were also used between the SRB and the ET and are described here.

However, yours are a different shape. I remember someone saying the more square honeycomb blocks were used on the SRB bold down bolts for the launch pad.

I also remember seeing similar items that had been crushed by the separating bolts/nuts in the Charlie Bell auction years ago. I was told that the orange/red paint was to indicate scrap. Some of these may have been sold through the Superior or Aurora auctions a few years ago as well. So old auction catalogs may have some info.

You might want to check for technical info on the bolt or nut catchers for the SRB hold down explosive bolts to see if this is what your honeycomb material is.

Hope this helps.

DG27
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Posts: 59
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 08-19-2015 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also just noticed something. It may be a stretch but the part number on the tag on your part has the same format as the number stenciled on the bolt catchers in the NASA report I referenced in my earlier post.
  • Tag on your part: 10160-0162-101
  • NASA report photo: 10175-0020-102
While not the same part indenture, since the NASA number is for the completed unit and your tag is for the honeycomb filler, the part number format is the same.

If this correlation holds then I believe your part is something associated with the shuttle.

All times are CT (US)

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