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Challenge NASA Challenge: Strain Measurement of Vectran and Kevlar Webbing
NASA Challenge: Strain Measurement of Vectran and Kevlar Webbing
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 348
Posted: Oct 25 2012
Challenge ID: 9933145
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NASA is looking for a new method to measure the strain on Kevlar and Vectran straps in the 25 to 125°C range. Measurement by traditional contact extensometers has caused damage and premature failure. Non-contact methods such as photogrammetry have worked well with certain samples and at room temperature, but some samples, where the fibers twist and bulge during the measurement at the elevated temperature range, cannot be measured. A technique is needed to accurately measure the strain in these samples, given the fiber movement. 

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.


Inflatable structures are being researched as a means for long-duration human habitation in space. The structural restraint layers of the current designs are made from straps that are stitched together to form webbing. NASA performs creep tests (strain) on webbing materials of woven Vectran and Kevlar straps. Currently, a photogrammetry technique is used to determine the elongation of the test specimen. A photogrammetry technique works well at room temperature for all the straps, but at elevated temperatures (up to 125?C), the technique only works for some of the straps. Twisting and bulging of the fibers on some samples causes the breakdown of the pattern used for photogrammetry, which results in the loss of the strain data.. A technique is needed to accurately measure the strain in these samples, given the fiber movement. 

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted.  The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker. 

To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution.  However, the Seeker will be willing to consider a licensingagreement for a partial award if exclusive IP cannot be transferred by the Solver. 

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An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-IP Transfer Challenge, meaning that Solvers must relinquish all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. By contrast, Theoretical-Licensing means that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. For these forms of a Theoretical Challenge, Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.

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