Open-Cell Cryogenic Insulation
A reliable lightweight insulation system is required for re-usable liquid-hydrogen-fueled vehicles such as the space shuttle, which is being designed for 100 to 200 launch and entry flight cycles. A new open-cell insulation concept has been evaluated for use inside the propellant tank to prevent cryopumping, minimize boiloff during groundhold, and reduce propellant heating during launch. The insulation is completely open-celled. Small cells are bonded to the inner tank wall at one end and open to the liquid at the other end. The cells are sized so that surface tension keeps the liquid out of the insulation ; or the cells are oriented on the sides and top of the tank so that gas is trapped.
KeywordsEffective Thermal Conductivity Liquid Hydrogen Tank Wall Round Tube Rectangular Tank
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