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Thickness of materials in space?

  1. Mar 21, 2015 #1
    How thick would a 4'x8' aluminum plate need to be to hold 1 atmosphere in space?

    What about a 4'x8' sheet of glass?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2015 #2


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    Science Advisor

    What have you tried so far? Googling 'plate theory' would be a good start.
  4. Mar 21, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    It needs to be a lot thicker and heavier when it is a flat piece of material. That's why you don't see many flat surfaces on pressurized vessels... :smile:
  5. Mar 21, 2015 #4
    Yeah, that's why I'm having a tough time finding any information on the subject. I've found online calculators for cylinders, domes, elliptical arcs, pretty much anything that isn't flat - but I'm wondering if you were to build a massive structure with 4'x8' panels as a relatively small portion of it (not that they would be a complete wall, but that they would comprise maybe 3 degrees of a larger arced surface (or some other arbitarily massive structure for space).
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