Thermomechanical Simulation of an Aerogel/RTV Based Cryogenic Propellant Tank


Developing an effective solution for long duration storage of cryogenic liquids is crucial for future, manned space exploration missions. Current storage tanks are made of metals or composites. Although these materials have a relatively high mechanical strength, their high thermal conductivity is a disadvantage with regards to heat infiltration. The influx of heat causes vaporization, increasing the pressure in the tank. To reduce tank pressurization rates, novel materials with densities and thermal conductivities which are lower than metals, such as RTV-655 and aerogels, have been developed which may be feasible for space applications. Due to the complexity and costs of performing experiments, a thermomechanical computational model is desired to further study the feasibility of using these novel materials. A thermochemical finite element simulation is used to simulate the Cooldown and Pressurization phases of RTV-655 and RTV-655/Aerogel tank experiments and a comparison of the simulation and experiment results are presented.

Publication Title

AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022