CompositesWorld

DEC 2018

CompositesWorld

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TRENDS DECEMBER 2018 12 CompositesWorld Cimarron Composites (Huntsville, AL, US) has made a leap forward in all-composite cryogenic tank manufacturing: development of a carbon fiber-reinforced composite storage tank capable of 15,000 micro-strain performance while in a pressurized liquid nitrogen environment. Cimarron founder Tom DeLay, formerly with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, Washington, DC, US), says successful operation at such a high strain level allows the linerless composite tank structure, made with a combi- nation of textiles with continuous wound fibers and an in-house resin, to be much thinner than previously required in these types of tanks, without the cost and mass of the liner. According to DeLay, earlier composite tank programs were limited to 3,000 micro-strain due to materials and processing limitations, and this resulted in extra mass. Cimarron's material system is said to perform well at extremely low temperatures without developing the micro- cracks that create leak paths for fluids like liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen or liquid methane. The company's 44-inch diameter test article is representa- tive of the size required for the development of small rocket concepts used for nanosatellite (1-10 kg mass) deliveries. The same technology is also applicable for much larger upper stages in commercial launch programs, or for very small satellites and space probes. Says DeLay, "Cimarron is fortunate to have the materials expertise, manufacturing Cimarron advances micro-strain performance for cryogenic pressure tanks equipment and cryogenic testing facilities to develop and demonstrate such unique hardware. Cimarron Composites can currently filament wind structures up to 6 ft in diameter and 45 ft long. We also have extensive liquid nitrogen- based testing equipment for proof tests (up to 20,000 psi), cycle tests and burst tests as needed, which covers the low- temperature range of most cryogenic fuels and oxidizers, except liquid hydrogen." Cimarron just signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to have liquid hydrogen tank testing and liquid oxygen tests done at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, US. This testing capability at NASA will help further mature the composite tank technology for upcoming launch vehicle developments, says Cimarron. More information is available at cimarroncomposites.com. AEROSPACE Green Science Alliance Co. Ltd. (Kawanishi, Japan), a group company of Fuji Pigment Co. Ltd. (Kawanishi), reports that it has established a manufacturing process for mixing nano cellulose with various thermoplastic materials. Nano cellulose is derived from natural biomass resources such as trees, plants and waste woods, and is therefore recyclable and biodegrad- able. It has a low coe¬°cient of thermal expansion comparable to that of glass fiber. However, its elasticity modulus is higher than that of glass fiber, making it a hard, strong and robust mate- rial. The material shows potential for automotive, aerospace, architectural and other applications while enabling a positive environmental impact. Green Science Alliance Co. Ltd. has combined nano cellulose with various thermoplastics so far, namely, poly- ethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Green Science Alliance Co. Ltd. manufactures new nano cellulose composites Source | Cimarron Composites polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate (PC), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polyamide 6 (PA6) and polyvinyl butyral (PVB). In addi- tion, the company recently established a manufacturing process for mixing nano cellulose with various types of biodegradable plastics including poly- lactic acid (PLA), polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT), polybutylene succinate (PBS), polycaprolactone, starch-based plastic and biodegradable plastics produced by microorganisms such as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). In the near future, the company says it aims to use this biodegradable plas- tic/nano cellulose composite to make products such as food trays and boxes, straws, cups and cup lids. The company also is planning to apply supercritical foaming technology, in order to make biodegradable plastic mold products even lighter and stronger. Source | Green Science Alliance Co. Ltd.

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