NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 O2.04-8904
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Tank Technology Development
PROPOSAL TITLE: Microcrack Resistant Matrix Materials for Out-of-Autoclave Processing of Composite Cryogenic Tanks

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Composite Technology Development, Inc.
2600 Campus Drive, Suite D
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 3359
(303) 664-0394

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kaushik Mallick
2600 Campus Drive, Suite D
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 3359
(303) 664-0394 Extension :114

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA is keen on advancing technologies for lightweight composite cryotanks for heavy lift vehicles for future NASA missions. Two primary challenges must be overcome to enable the use of composite tanks for these new classes of heavy launchers. One is to develop novel, microcrack-resistant, polymer matrix composite materials that will enable the manufacture of 5 to 10 meter diameter composite tanks, and the second is to develop out-of-autoclave manufacturing methods. In response, CTD is developing novel matrix materials based on toughened epoxy and benzoxazines to meet these goals and exceed the performance of current state of the art materials. The end goal of the Phase II program is to advance the material systems suitable for out-of-autoclave fabrication of very large cryotank (10 meter diameter) structures from TRL 3 to TRL 4. The proposed Phase II SBIR program will be a synergistic effort between analytical assessments of material performance requirements, material and process development, testing to assess material performance improvements and the ability to manufacture these novel materials into microcrack resistant composites laminates and cryotanks.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The linerless composite cryogenic tank technology that is proposed herein can provide enabling capabilities for several near-term and longer-term NASA mission goals including those intended for future heavy launch vehicles, planetary and asteroid decent and accent vehicles, in-orbit spacecraft re-fueling as well as for long term storage in deep space on one planetary surfaces such as the moon. Indeed, the development of lightweight, linerless composite tanks for these applications will help to reduce mass, which is a critical need for these systems. Lightweight composite tanks can also be used for storage of hydrogen in fuel cell driven high altitude long duration aircraft as well as other unmanned air vehicles with varying mission objectives. In addition to storage tanks, the manufacturing technology being developed here can be used for composite cryogenic piping and other aircraft parts.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The linerless composite cryogenic tank technology that is proposed herein, can provide enabling capabilities for a variety of other government, industrial, and commercial uses. For example we have initiated discussions with BMW, who is pursuing the use of pressurized, cryogenically cooled hydrogen gas as their hydrogen storage approach for fuel cell powered vehicles. Liquid hydrogen tanks can store more fuel in a given volume (i.e. higher energy density) when compared to their compressed gas counterparts. Cryogenic gaseous hydrogen has been identified as the fuel of choice for many hydrogen car and vehicle manufacturers, including public transportation vehicles, since they all share a common interest of extended range and greater hours of operation. If the cryotank technology proposed in this effort can result in a viable cryogen storage product any and all applications and uses where cryogens are stored and transported will be potential applications for this SBIR developed technology and the resulting products.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Processing Methods

Form Generated on 09-03-12 17:04