Composite Tank Design to Limit Fatigue-Induced Microcracking

Period of Performance: 09/10/2003 - 06/07/2004


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Composite Technology Development, Inc.
2600 Campus Drive Suite D
Lafayette, CO 80026
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

North Dakota State University
1735 NDSU Research Park Drive
Fargo, ND 58105
Institution POC

Research Topics


In this Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, Composite Technology Development, Inc. (CTD) and our Research Institution partner North Dakota State University (NDSU) propose to implement a integrated systematic approach to designing reusable composite tanks for ABL applications. The primary goals of the Phase I program include understanding the mechanism of microcrack growth in a composite material subjected to cyclic thermo-mechanical load and developing a roadmap for designing fatigue resistant composite materials that are compatible with chemicals of high interest to MDA, such as iodine and basic hydrogen peroxide used in the ABL laser. This proposed effort should enable the production of lightweight, robust, and economical composite tanks for both MDA and commercial applications. Concerns with leakage resulting from microcracking of the composite and chemical compatibility have prevented acceptance of composite tanks in many applications. The proposed activity will enable microcrack resistant, chemically compatible composite tanks. Reliable and cost-effective composite tanks will have applicability to a wide range of future MDA, DoD, NASA, and commercial applications.