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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Advanced Granular System Modeling, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Advanced Granular System Modeling, Phase I
Spaceports of the future will utilize new granular materials in unique applications including insulation for cryogenic tanks and Lunar regolith processing for usable resources. New granular insulation materials such as microspheres provide the opportunity to construct and operate safe and energy-efficient cryogenic storage tanks in the future. These materials have been demonstrated in small-scale tanks; however, no basis for reliable extrapolation to larger scales currently exists. Technology Applications, Inc. and the Colorado School of Mines propose to develop Advanced Granular Systems Modeling (AGSM) software to provide for reliable predictions of detailed mechanical behavior in these applications. AGSM is an innovative approach in modeling the behavior of granular materials through modified distinct element modeling (DEM) combined with a unique experimental validation technique leading to predictions in larger (macroscale) systems currently unattainable. The Phase 1 work plan will focus on the case of microsphere-based cryogenic insulation and is expected to result in a clear correlation in predicted stress concentration trends with respect to system scale and experimental results. In Phase 2, AGSM will be developed to provide predictions of granular material behavior for other materials, containment geometries, and scales to meet the needs of NASA as well as other industrial applications. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.