Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory Cool. Fuel.

CRAFT

CRyogenic Accelerated Fatigue Testing (CRAFT)

The CRyogenic Accelerated Fatigue Tester (CRAFT), is the first fully electric load frame capable of fatigue testing polymeric materials in a liquefied hydrogen environment. Designed by Ph.D. student Mathew Hunt, CRAFT will give insight to the cryogenic material world.

Currently, data on material properties at cryogenic temperatures, below 123 K (−150 °C, −238 °F), is sparse. CRAFT will allow for the tensile, compressive, and fatigue testing of polymer composites in a liquid nitrogen (77 K),  liquid helium (4 K), or liquid hydrogen (20 K) bath. CRAFT is currently in the build phase and is expected to be operational in Summer of 2020. 

Once completed, the HYPER Lab plans to offer services for interested parties for a variety of materials. If you or your company are interested, please contact Dr. Jacob Leachman at jacob.leachman@wsu.edu.

CRAFT uses an MTS Acumen 12 load frame to achieve the  force and frequency seen in the table. To achieve vacuum, CRAFT uses a two-stage vacuum system. First an Agilent Varian IDP-07 Dry Scroll Vacuum Pump to drop the pressure to 2.5 Pa, and then uses an Agilent Turbo-V 81 M Turbomolecular Pump to bring the pressure down to ~10-5 Pa. For cooling, a Cryomech CP 1010 Helium Compressor combined with a PT415 Cryocooler are utilized.

CRAFT uses a steel body vacuum chamber to house the testing environment. The testing chamber can fill with up to .57 L of liquid. A custom bellows seal for translational movement is used to allow for the passage of the extension rod. CRAFT uses a thermal strap rather than a thermal busbar to move heat out of the system.

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

System and Test Specifications

 

Load Frame:

  • Static Force Range………………………………………………………………………Up to 8.5 kN (1910 lbf)
  • Dynamic Force Range…………………………………………………………………Up to 12 kN (2697 lbf)
  • Frequency Range………………………………………………………………………..Up to 100 Hz
  • Minimum Temperature (based on cryocooler capabilities)…………..4 K (-269 °C, -452 °F)
  • Minimum Pressure………………………………………………………………………~ 10^(-5) Pa
  • Fill Tank Volume…………………………………………………………………………..0.57 L

Test Cell Dimensions :

  • Radius…………………………………………………………………………………………1.125″
  • Height………………………………………………………………………………………….9″
  • Volume………………………………………………………………………………………..35.78″ (0.57 liters)

CRAFT is capable of accommodating a variety of specimen dimensions. At this time the HYPER Lab is interested in testing coupons of the following dimensions, adapted from ASTM D638 Type IV tensile specimens.

Coupon Dimensions (Note: Dimensions are in inches):

2018 – Present: Mathew Hunt and Designing CRAFT

About the Project:

Mathew is the Project Manager and Graduate Research Assistant in charge of CRAFT. Mathew’s main interest with CRAFT is in the investigation of the material properties for customized polymer nanocomposites used in cryogenic systems.

Mathew is a Puget Sound native who joined the HYPER lab in 2016 as an undergraduate to assist in the testing of 3D printed thermoplastics. He hopes to one day apply his research so that he may design new, and advanced spaceflight systems with better strength to weight ratios than current materials being used.

 

For more information on Mathew Hunt, follow this link here.

Research Highlights

Research Grant: US Army