USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Reliability Prediction Model for Large, Reusable Propellant Tanks

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
VEXTEC Corporation
PO Box 2287 Bldg. 2, Suite 270 Brentwood, TN 37024-
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: Reliability Prediction Model for Large, Reusable Propellant Tanks
Agency: NASA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $70,000.00


NASA has defined goals for development of future reusable launch vehicles (RLV). Systems must be reliable with less than 1 flight failure in 10,000 missions with mission cost of 1000 dollars per pound per payload (or less). X-33 propellant tank incidents indicate need for improving state-of-the-art design and/or manufacture of composite storage tanks. Bond integrity has been an issue during development of X-33 prototype tanks and the associated reliability issues could become even more of a concern during fabrication of full-scale RLV tanks. This project will assess the variability influencing factors associated with manufacture of composite sandwich bonds and evaluate the feasibility for development of a prediction tool for assessing manufacturing bond reliability for full-scale configurations. The proposed research will develop a probabilistic analysis framework incorporating composite sandwich design methodologies to predict the reliability of the bonds between the face sheet and the core. Models will be developed that relate overall stress, strain, loading and displacement to bond strength integrity. These models will account for such microstructural parameters as adhesive strength, bondline thickness, and face sheet core interaction.

Principal Investigator:

Robert Tryon
Sr. Development Engineer

Business Contact:

Loren Nasser
Vice President
Small Business Information at Submission:

VEXTEC Corporation
5123 Virginia Way, Suite C-21 Brentwood, TN 37027

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No