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Friday, June 3, 2011

Strut Ends

Cut-away view of early strut design.
The struts are used to suspend the pallet from the forward bulkhead of the Orion capsule.  To the left is one of the very early (aluminum!) conceptual models for the adjustable struts.  Pay special attention to the cutaway section showing the interior of the strut.

The figure below shows the schematic of one of the short vertical struts in its final design form.  Note how the ball joint rod end is welded into place after the threads have been drilled out an a lead screw has been inserted.  This is then welded to the round plate at the end of the strut.  Welded to the plate is a guide bushing to support the lead screw.  A hex nut is then welded to the guide bushing.  This design allows the length of the struts to be adjusted as needed.  The manufactured parts for these strut ends, made by Jim Mills, are shown directly below the schematic.

Dimensioned schematic of a vertical strut with manufacturing instructions included.
Ball joint, threaded rod, end plate, guide bushing, and lead screw hex nut used to form each end of the struts.

Positioning of the end plate on the welding workstation to allow the guide bushing and hex nut to be welded into place.

Close-up of the strut end, after welding has been completed.

Strut ends, arranged on the welding workstation.
The figure below shows the strut ends on two completed struts, laying on the pallet.  The next figure shows two completed struts, with the ball joint ends screwed completely in.  It is interesting to take note of their size in relation to the pallet.  The struts for different positions on the pallet are of different length, so not all struts will be this long.

Ends of two completed struts.

Two completed struts and some of the completed brackets.

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