Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/11681/8601
Title: High-performance plastic sled design for polar traversing
Authors: Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineering for Polar Operations, Logistics and Research Program (U.S.)
National Science Foundation (U.S.). Division of Polar Programs.
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Weale, Jason C.
Lever, J. H.
Trovillion, Jonathan C.
Keywords: Cold-testing HMW-PE
EPOLAR
High-performance plastic sleds
HMW-PE polar sleds
HMW-PE sled durability
NSF
Polar sled development
Polar traverses
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: ERDC TR ; 15-2.
Description: Technical Report
Abstract: Over-snow resupply traverses in Antarctica and Greenland tow high-efficiency fuel sleds that consist of flexible fuel bladders strapped to flexible sheets of high molecular weight polyethylene (HMW-PE). Despite low towing stresses, initial HMW-PE sheets were prone to cracking and failure within 1 to 2 years of service. This report describes the results of low-temperature, uniaxial tensile tests, following ASTM Standard D638, that we used to set specifications on HMW-PE sheets for polar sleds, aiming to increase service life. Tests of the original HMW-PE formulations showed significant reductions in ductility, as measured by percent elongation at break, at −40°C compared with 23°C. HMW-PE manufacturers subsequently cooperated to supply sheets with greater low-temperature ductility, and the rate of sled breakages decreased dramatically. Performance specifications for new HMW-PE sheets for polar traverses now include a requirement for greater than 60% elongation at break at −40°C, as measured using ASTM 638 uniaxial tensile tests.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11681/8601
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