Effect of insulation layer for thermal shock in cryogenic composite laminates Academic Article uri icon


  • The structural weight of a cryogenic propellant tank for reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) can be effectively reduced by the use of advanced composite materials. However, microscopic damage such as transverse matrix cracks (TMC) and delaminations are prone to develop in composites well below the load levels that would result in mechanical failure. This microscopic damage leads to a leakage path for the fuel. The leakage is influenced by many factors including connectivity of the cracks, residual and service-induced stresses, and composite stacking sequence. This article is concerned with the effect of thermal gradients due to sudden exposure to a cryogenic temperature with and without insulation layer. An investigation of the insulation layer for sudden exposure to cryogenic temperatures is conducted numerically. The exposure of the harsh environment could make the damages such as delaminations, TMC, and leakage path. The defects from manufacturing could be formed, and they are critical parts under sudden exposure to cryogenic temperature. Therefore, the qualitative analysis for insulation technique is needed. The results from this article are very important because the stress levels which cause damages can be predicted and also controlled using the insulating techniques. The insulation skill which can suppress the stress levels is newly introduced in this article for RLV cryogenic fuel tank. Moreover, the effect of lay-ups is also investigated in this article. The thermal gradient can be controlled by using different lay-ups. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers.

published proceedings

  • Polymer Composites

author list (cited authors)

  • Oh, B. T., Lagoudas, D. C., & Moon, S. C

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Oh, Bong Taek||Lagoudas, Dimitris C||Moon, Sung Cheal

publication date

  • April 2013