An isogrid is a structure which has a sheet of material (usually metal) with integral metal stiffeners in a triangular pattern on one side. Isogrids are fabricated by machining material away from a thick sheet or plate of metal, leaving a continuous flat surface on one side and a series of triangular pockets with thicker integral stiffeners between the pockets on the other.
The isogrid structure is effective as a self-stiffened structure where both overall stiffness and strength are important, such as in space
launch vehiclerocket structures where the bottom stages of a rocket have to support the full weight of upper stages and payloads.
The name "isogrid" is derived from
isotropic- where a material has equal properties measured in any direction, and grid, referring to the sheet and stiffeners structure. The triangular pattern used in isogrids gives a more even approximation of isotropic behavior than other simple shapes.
Some space launch vehicles which use isogrid structures include:
* Delta families
* Atlas-5 rocket
Space Shuttlelightweight and superlightweight external tanks utilize an integrally machined stringer system which is not a true isogrid, though it is somewhat similar. Since the structure is arranged at right angles it is considered an "orthogrid" rather than an isogrid with triangular stiffeners of an isogrid.
* [http://femci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Isogrid/ Isogrid Plate Modeling, Dr Wiliam Case, 1997]
* [http://femci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Isogrid/NASA-CR-124075_Isogrid_Design.pdf Isogrid Design Handbook, NASA CR-124075, McDonnell Douglas, 1973]
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