Aerogel Insulation to Support Cryogenic Technologies
NASA is seeking a high performance thermal insulation material for cryogenic applications in space launch development. Many of the components in cryogenic distribution systems at the launch site can be complex and require an insulation that can be formed to irregular shapes to minimize heat leak. Aerogel beads are configurable to virtually any shape and offer a lightweight insulation solution with substantial improvements over conventional insulations. Success in the commercialization of high performance insulating aerogel beads has relied on the effectiveness of converting loose beads into functional insulation components. This type of insulation component requires reasonable mechanical strength and should be able to withstand a certain degree of compression, tensile, and flexural loads. Aspen Aerogels' solution entails the use of mechanically resistant aerogel beads and a binder that does not penetrate the surface of the beads. Preliminary investigation into composite development in the Phase I effort has resulted in a net shape insulation component having excellent thermal and mechanical properties. This type of insulation component is able to fill areas that are currently inaccessible with existing insulation products. A high-performance thermal insulation composite, such as that described in this proposal, will have a significant impact in insulation technology advancement.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
30 Forbes Road Northborough, MA 01532
Number of Employees: