With the support of the European Space Agency, the German aerospace company MT Aerospace has developed a unique design for a compact rocket fuel tank made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. The tank can hold liquid hydrogen and oxygen without leaking and without using a metal liner.
By excluding metal, the new fuel tank is much lighter. It also requires fewer parts for assembly and is a faster and cheaper alternative to other fuel tank designs, According to the European Space Agency. Any way to reduce weight on a spacecraft is a blessing, because more fuel is needed to launch heavier objects into orbit and beyond.
“This is a huge step forward. We have found a very specific carbon composite and processing method that allows us to consider new structures and function groups for upper rocket stages that cannot be used with metal,” said Kate Underhill, project manager at the Future Launchers Preparatory Program at the European Space Agency. He said in a news agency release.
The upper stages of rockets are important for high-altitude propulsion and into space; Converting the upper stage from aluminum to carbon composite can yI have an extra load capacity of 2 tonsAccording to Daniel Neuschwander, director of space transport for the European Space Agency.
The new design of the carbon fiber reinforced plastic has been put through cryogenic stress tests, to see how the tank can hold fuel cooled to -253°C (-423.4°F)” metal sealant. To re-create the same property using carbon composite requires intricate weaving of black carbon fibres. and a special resin.Underhill said the material withstood extremely cold temperatures, pressure cycles and reactive materials over a number of separate tests.
Ultimately, data from tests of the innovative design will be applied to the final appearance of the European Space Agency’s upper stage Phoebus rocket in order to: Ariane Launcher 6. Phoebus will have hydrogen and oxygen tanks approximately 12 feet wide Made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, the material will also be applied to the interface between the tanks and the outer layer of the upper stage. Phoebus will be tested with cryogenic liquids in 2023, according to which – which.
This team is not the only one trying to get out Unconventional materials for spacecraft. Engineers in VenlaAnd we have built and tested a Wooden Satellite The prototype that they say will be a file Proof of concept for future nanosatellites with little to the absence of metal components.