Ultra Low Air and H2 Permeability Cryogenic Bladder Materials for Inflatable Habitats

Period of Performance: 06/17/2015 - 06/17/2016


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Array
Pembroke, VA 24136
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Colorado State University
337 Molecular and Radiological Biosciences Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
Institution POC


NanoSonic has recently developed a hydrogen (H2) dispenser hose to realize H2 as a safe, reliable, and cost competitive replacement for gasoline. NanoSonic's ultra-low glass transition temperature (Tg of -100 ?C) is expected to meet the service requirement of 25,550 fills/year (70 fills/day for 2 years) at a combined ultra-high pressure of 875-bar and very wide service temperature range of -50?C to +90?C. This state-of-the-art lightweight hose (0.99 g/cc) is based on a unique fiber reinforced, high performance, cryogenically flexible polymer designed to resist hydrogen embrittlement, survive the Joule-Thompson effect thermal cycles, and endure mechanical wear and fatigue at the pump. This system is offered herein as large area panels that may be seamed via RF welding with our space partner, ILC Dover, to form inflatable habitat bladders. This superior class of low Tg polymers exhibited ultra-low air and H2 permeance (0.31 cc/100in2?Atm?day - post triple cold flex) before and after being subjected to the harsh, triple fold (180?) cold flexure (-50 ?C) test. Here, this non-electrically conductive polymer shall be reinforced herein with an engineered fiber design to dissipate static electricity and provide multifunctional radiation shielding. Additional multifunctionality shall be built in via NanoSonic's self-healing microspheres, while meeting the goal of < 6 oz/yd2 for a triply redundant bladder. NanoSonic shall work with our STTR partner, Colorado State University (CSU), Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LM SSC), and ILC Dover to qualify the advanced bladder material for space habitats.