The National Composites Centre (NCC) has introduced an innovative cryostat device and testing method, designed to efficiently evaluate composite material performance at cryogenic temperatures.

The new development contributes to addressing the UK’s current scarcity in understanding material properties under such conditions, a crucial aspect in achieving the use of hydrogen-powered aircraft.

The novel device and corresponding test method are capable of assessing a broad range of materials in a swift and affordable manner. It pinpoints those most fitting for additional in-depth testing using traditional methods. This innovative solution anticipates aiding the UK achieve breakthroughs in cryogenic technology and enrich the available material data in low temperatures.

Key to this cutting-edge testimony is the cryostat’s optical access, permitting the viewing of material specimens throughout the test. It specifically examines the microcracks developing in the composite material. Utilizing cryogenically cooled nitrogen gas in a low thermal mass and volume design, the test boasts a cycle time of around half an hour for cooling and testing, facilitating an impressive throughput of test specimens.

Cementing its commitment to industry advancement, the NCC plans to provide access to the hardware in 2024 within its Hydrogen programme. This revolutionary innovation aspires to simplify and expedite cryogenic testing, thereby inciting considerable cost and time savings. As part of the validation process for the cryostat design and data repeatability, the NCC is collaborating with the National Physics Laboratory (NPL) to meet industry standards.

In the words of Principal Engineer at the National Composites Centre, Matt Kay, the cryostat concept will be transformative by affordably and swiftly identifying materials suitable for traditional cryogenic testing. The advancement will lower entry barriers and enhance the rate of cryogenic materials testing, thus enabling engineers to devise novel products for the budding liquid hydrogen industry. Companies interested in joining the NCC Hydrogen programme and opportunities to collaborate on the cryostat can reach out to the NCC directly.

Exit mobile version