Breaking the Mold, ICT Introduces First Ever All-Composite CryoSphere
A Spherical Carbon-Fiber Composite Storage Tank
TULSA, OK - Infinite Composites Technologies introduces the first ever, spherical all-composite carbon-fiber pressure vessel for storing cryogenic propellants for launch vehicles and spacecraft such as lunar landers.
Lightweight all-composite cryogenic storage tanks are considered a key enabling technology for long-term exploration and survival in space. Interestingly, most new lunar lander designs use a spherical tank design, however, until now, there have only been metallic spheres and spherical metallic composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs). The breakthrough innovation is the elimination of metallic materials, significantly reducing the weight of the tanks. This reduces the cost of launching the vehicle or increases the payload capacity of the launch.
Mass is a significant driver of cost. Even the most efficient space launches charge more than $5,000 per kilogram of cargo. ICT products are an ideal solution to resolving these issues. As mass is the primary factor influencing cost, ICT has focused on developing tanks with the industry’s lowest mass and greatest pressure vessel mass efficiency.
ICT’s CryoSphere uses a filament winding process and standard oven cure, which significantly lowers manufacturing costs through simple equipment and processes. “The core technology is in the materials,” said Efren Luevano, ICT’s Engineering Manager. “Insulating the cryogenic fuel and fighting micro-cracking are the key challenges being solved.” In addition to the cryogenics compatibility, Mr. Luevano added that the spherical design was a challenge in itself.
“Our team is expanding the limits of what is possible with all-composite gas tanks,” says ICT Founder and CEO Matt Villarreal, “this technology has the potential to revolutionize space exploration and sustainable transportation, which have been previously held back by suboptimal designs for storing high pressure and cryogenic fluids.”
By providing the lowest mass and most cost-effective option to store fuel, ICT’s CryoSphere would affect the in-space capabilities of future missions, reduce the cost of launch vehicles to transport cargo to space, and increase the amount of payload to planetary surfaces.
Infinite Composites credits the success of the technology to its team, its research partner the Next Generation Materials Lab at Oklahoma State University Tulsa Campus, funding from the Oklahoma Center for Advancement in Science and Technology (OCAST), NASA Langley Advanced Research Center, and, Kennedy Space Center, as well as testing support from NASA Johnson Space Center.
Infinite Composites Technologies (ICT)
Founded in 2010, Infinite Composites Technologies is the only linerless, composite pressure vessel manufacturer that is AS9100D & ISO 9001:2015 certified to design, develop and manufacture advanced gas storage systems. The company’s simplified all-composite design provides an optimal solution for storing compressed and cryogenic fluids by reducing mass, cost, and lead time versus traditional spacecraft pressure vessels. For more information visit https://infinitecomposites.com or call 918-409-0384.