GTL’s composites group specializes in developing advanced composite prototypes and technologies for aerospace and other applications, especially those for use in extreme environments (e.g. cryogenic). GTL incorporates many polymer composite manufacturing processes, including filament winding, hand layup, and fiber placement to produce composite components. While GTL focuses on graphite fiber composites, GTL has experience with a wide range of fiber types, including glass, polyimide, polyethylene and exotic fibers. Also, GTL has developed advanced metal matrix and ceramic matrix composite manufacturing techniques.
GTL specializes in developing high-performance prototypes and has extensive experience fabricating pressure vessels for a wide range of applications and operating conditions. GTL has developed multiple high-performance pressure vessels for high-pressure gas storage, including helium pressurant tankage and high-pressure, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) bottles. GTL has also developed multiple pressure vessels for liquid propellant storage, including propellant tankage for high-purity hydrogen peroxide, liquid oxygen, nitrous oxide, kerosene, and others.
BHL™ Cryotanks have been demonstrated to provide a 75% mass reduction compared to state of the art aerospace cryotanks (metal or composite). GTL has fabricated and tested multiple BHL Cryotanks at a range of scales, including an ultra-high performance 4 ft diameter by 8 ft long BHL composite liquid oxygen tank. BHL cryotanks have been demonstrated to be leak-tight even after repeated cryo-thermal pressure cycles. This technology has achieved TRL 6+ and is compatible with a variety of cryogenic propellants including liquid oxygen, liquid methane, and liquid hydrogen.
Structures & Materials
GTL has experience developing a wide variety of composite structures and advanced materials. In addition to conventional composite structures (graphite, fiberglass, etc.) for terrestrial applications, GTL has developed high-performance aerospace structures including ultralight space deployable booms, missile/rocket fins and nose cones, and truss structures. GTL’s structural nervous system technology integrates power and data networks into aerospace structures for control systems and health monitoring.
GTL’s materials research is developing materials for extreme environments, including cryogenic and high-temperature applications, along with high-radiation environments. This work is focused on incorporating new materials into manufacturing processes for polymer matrix, metal matrix, and ceramic matrix composite structures.