Title: Microcrack Resistant Matrix Materials for Out-of-Autoclave Processing of Composite Cryogenic Tanks
Authors: Andrea E. Haight, Paul E. Fabian, Mark M. Haynes
Abstract: This program sought to develop and demonstrate critical technologies for lightweight composite cryotanks intended for heavy lift applications. The two primary challenges of the program included the development of novel, microcrack-resistant, polymer matrix composite materials that would enable the manufacture of 5 to 10-meter diameter composite tanks, and the development of out-of-autoclave (OoA) manufacturing methods suitable for this application. This paper will discuss the development and evaluation of CTD-133, a novel, toughened epoxy resin that was designed to meet these challenges. Suitable for Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) processes, CTD-133/carbon fiber laminates were fabricated using the AFP method in an OoA process and were demonstrated to meet all mechanical property requirements for cryotank applications. This includes excellent cryogenic mechanical properties, a minimum composite strain to failure of 0.75% transverse to the fiber direction, high resistance to microcracking, and low permeability, all at cryogenic temperatures. A subscale cryotank was also fabricated using OoA manufacturing methods.
References: 1. E Stokes, “Hydrogen Permeability of Polymer Based Composites under Bi-axial Strain and Cryogenic Temperatures”, presented at 45th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics & Materials Conference, 19 - 22 April 2004, Palm Springs, California, AIAA 2004-1858.
Conference: SAMPE NEXUS 2021
Publication Date: 2021/06/29
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