Quest's Wrapped-IMLI Nearly 4 Times Better Than Current Transfer Pipe Insulation
Quest has completed a NASA Phase I SBIR contract to design and develop a new concept for advanced thermal insulation for cold or hot transfer pipes. Wrapped-Integrated MultiLayer Insulation (W-IMLI) prototypes were built, installed on custom test calorimeters, and heat leak into the pipes was measured. Wrapped-IMLI had 3.6 times better thermal performance than conventional MLI pipe insulation.
The Wrapped IMLI concept, which uses Quest’s and partner Ball Aerospace’s innovative discrete spacer technology to control layer spacing and reduce heat leak, was successfully demonstrated feasible.
W-IMLI provides 3.6 times better thermal insulation for cryogenic piping per layer than current conventional cryo feed line insulation. Modeling indicates W-IMLI could be further developed in a Phase II program with custom, tooled discrete polymer spacers to obtain 3-fold lower heat leak.
Better insulated piping could provide more efficient cold or hot fluid transfers, useful in spacecraft, orbiting fuel depots, Ground Support Equipment for cryogen transfers to launch vehicles and in wide spread industrial hot or cold fluid transfer processes.