Fuentek's Tech Transfer Blog

NASA Develops Composite Tank Designs Ideal for Cryogenic Liquids

Several new designs and fabrication methods developed by innovators at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center combine advances in performance with low-cost processes to enable economical production of strong, lightweight, adaptable, uniquely shaped, insulated, chemically resistant vessels and cryogenic tanks. Fuentek is helping NASA make this intellectual property available for licensing via its technology transfer program.

Several embodiments of this technology portfolio can be used to create ideal containers for cryogenic fluids–like liquid methane and liquid hydrogen. The methods call for two or more materials to provide protection against leakage caused by micro-cracking. This offers higher structural integrity than many currently available composite vessels that are easy to damage by impact and do not perform well in high temperature environments. This is very important for vessels that will carry natural gas—these vehicles must meet strict standards for impact and fire resistance. Marshall’s designs produce vessels that perform well under cryogenic conditions while meeting these strict standards and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pressure vessel tests.

Marshall’s designs produce both lined (metallic or non-metallic liners) and all-composite pressure tanks suitable for a growing field of commercial applications, like pressure-fed propulsion systems and storage/transportation for liquefied natural gas as well as other fuels and cryogenic fluids.

If you’re interested in learning more about this technology transfer opportunity or other technology commercialization opportunities for technology commercialization, contact us at or (919) 249-0327.

–By Karen Hiser