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Durability of foam insulation for LH2 fuel tanks of future subsonic transportsOrganic foams were tested to determine their suitability for insulating liquid hydrogen tanks of subsonic aircraft. The specimens, including nonreinforced foams and foams with chopped glass reinforcements, flame retardants, and vapor barriers, were scaled to simulate stress conditions in large tanks. The tests were conducted within aluminum tank compartments filled with liquid hydrogen and the boil-off rate was used as the criterion of thermal performance. It was found that while all insulations deteriorated with increased cycles, two nonreinforced polyurethane foams showed no structural deterioration after 4200 thermal cycles (equivalent to 15 years of airline service). It was also found that fiberglass reinforcement and flame retardants impaired thermal performance and reduced useful life of the foams. Vapor barriers enhanced structural integrity without any deterioration in thermal properties.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Proceedings
Sharpe, E. L.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, Va., United States)
Helenbrook, R. G.
(Bell Aerospace Textron Buffalo, N.Y., United States)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1979
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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