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Multi-Physics Digital Model of an Aluminum 2219 Liquid Hydrogen Aircraft Tank


Future liquid hydrogen-powered aircraft requires the design and optimization of a large number of systems and subsystems, with cryogenic tanks being one of the largest and most critical. Considering previous space applications, these tanks are usually stiffened by internal members such as stringers, frames, and stiffeners resulting in a complex geometry that leads to an eventual reduction in weight. Cryogenic tanks experience a variety of mechanical and thermal loading conditions and are usually constructed out of several different materials. The complexity of the geometry and the loads highlights the necessity for a computational tool in order to conduct analysis. In this direction, the present work describes the development of a multi-physics finite element digital simulation, conducting heat transfer and structural analysis in a fully parametric manner in order to be able to support the investigation of different design concepts, materials, geometries, etc. The capabilities of the developed model are demonstrated by the design process of an independent-type aluminum 2219 cryogenic tank for commuter aircraft applications. The designed tank indicates a potential maximum take-off weight reduction of about 8% for the commuter category and demonstrates that aluminum alloys are serious candidate materials for future aircraft.

Funding source: The present work has been funded by the flight demonstration of a Liquid HYdrogen loadbearing tank in an unmanned cargo platform project (fLHYing tank). This project has received funding from the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program under grant agreement ID 101101946 (
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Greece

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