Microcracking issues have significantly limited the reusability of state-of-the-art (SOA) composite cryotanks. While developers have made some progress addressing this reusability issue, there are also significant reliability issues with the SOA cryotanks due to their inconsistent structural performance. GTL has identified the root cause of this reliability issue and proposes to confirm this diagnosis. This will be accomplished by testing two sets of laminate samples; one set fabricated with typical SOA cryotank techniques, and a second set fabricated with intentional laminate flaws. The results of this testing are expected to show a correlation between the identified flaws and the observed inconsistent performance. With this confirmation, GTL will examine several techniques that could be used to detect these flaws in production composite tanks. Additionally, GTL will show how the breakthrough BHLTM
cryotank technology inhibits the introduction of these flaws and produced consistently high structural performance. This effort builds upon earlier research that confirmed the potential of the BHL technology to eliminate the microcracking issue. With BHL technology, it is possible to build high-performance, reusable and reliable cryotanks. At the conclusion of the Phase I effort, GTL will fabricate a subscale BHL cryotank and deliver it to NASA for independent evaluation.