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Uniaxial tensile mechanical tests of Kapton foil at high-low temperature conditions

Yan Liu (School of Civil Engineering, Chang'an University, China)
Yanzhen Liu (School of Civil Engineering, Chang'an University, China)
Guochang Lin (National Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Advanced Composites in Special Environments, Harbin Institute of Technology, China)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 26 July 2021

Issue publication date: 12 August 2021




This study aims to investigate the basic mechanical properties of inflatable antenna reflector material under high-low temperatures.


Uniaxial tensile tests of Kapton (polyimide) foils were conducted in this paper. Kapton foils with a thickness of 25 µm were used and the strip specimens were manufactured according to the machine direction and the transverse direction of the foils.


The stress–strain curves of the foils were obtained under ten temperature conditions (−70°C, −40°C, −10°C, 0°C, 20°C, 50°C, 80°C, 110°C, 140°C, 170°C) after uniaxial tensile tests. Generally speaking, such stress–strain curves are highly nonlinear, and Kapton can be classified into some kind of ductile material without obvious yielding point.

Practical implications

The tests results provide a basis for partial coefficients of Kapton foils strength design value, and meanwhile provide basic material data for the extreme temperature field test in orbit for the inflatable antenna structure in the future.


Based on the curve itself and strain energy theory, for the first time the equivalent yielding point was determined and the mechanism of constitutive curve changing with temperature was explained. Based on curves above, tensile strength, elongation at break, equivalent yielding stress, yielding strain and elastic modulus were analyzed and calculated. By analyzing the mechanical parameters above, the fitting formulas with temperature as the variable were given.



This project is financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 51908043); Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province of China (no. 2019JM-499); Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, CHD (no. 300102280201).


Liu, Y., Liu, Y. and Lin, G. (2021), "Uniaxial tensile mechanical tests of Kapton foil at high-low temperature conditions", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 93 No. 6, pp. 1043-1051.



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