Ormosil Beads for Insulation of Ground Cryogenic Storage Tanks

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$599,630.00
Award Year:
2005
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNK05OA02C
Award Id:
69106
Agency Tracking Number:
035065
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
184 Cedar Hill St., Marlborough, MA, 01532
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
012924069
Principal Investigator:
Roxana Trifu
(508) 481-5058
rtrifu@aerogel.com
Business Contact:
Patrick Piper
CFO
(508) 691-1150
contracts@aerogel.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Organically modified silica (Ormosil) aerogel beads developed at Aspen Aerogels, Inc. offer several advantages for retrofitting perlite insulation in NASA's ground tanks storing liquid hydrogen and oxygen. Through both Phase I and internal R&D efforts, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and glutaraldehyde-crosslinked chitosan (GAC) hybrid silica aerogels were developed and evaluated. The hydrophobic aerogel beads have excellent compression strength, resisting thermal cycling and mechanical loads without breaking or settling. Investigations of the thermal performance of hybrid aerogel beads by nitrogen boil-off tests and the mechanical strength by compression tests have shown that carbon-opacified PMMA beads of diameter below 1 mm outperform perlite to the greatest extent. The Phase II work will continue with PMMA systems to optimize the formula and to determine the processing conditions required for controlling bead size distribution and achieving the desired thermal and mechanical performance characteristics. A scale-up of the process is planned to achieve pilot volumes (30-50 liters/hour). We will also demonstrate reproducibility in final bead performance through study of raw material variability (lot-to-lot) and process settings (batch-to-batch).

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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