Schneider, Judy

Committee Member

Daniewicz, Steven R.

Committee Member

Patton, Richard

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Carbon fiber composite cryogenic fuel tanks are very attractive to the aerospace industry. More information is needed on micro-cracking and how different composite formulations perform at cryogenic temperatures. In this study a cryogenic bulge test fixture was developed to rapidly screen small scale composite samples that are easily formulated in the laboratory. The design goal was to develop a simple fixture that induced thermal and mechanical strains in the same fixture. The pressure decay rate of helium gas through the composite sample after cryogenic operation gives a measure of the amount of micro-cracking induced. Uncertainty analysis techniques were employed to determine the resolution of the pressure decay determined from the bulge test.