While using the pipes for plumbing of the liquid propellants at pretty low temperature because of which ice form on the line if not insulated or poorly insulated, which can lead to liquid to gas conversion before reaching the combustion chamber.

What kind of insulation is used now a days, to prevent liquid to gas conversion before reaching the combustion chamber?


1 Answer 1


The NASA document "Liquid Rocket Lines, Bellows, Flexible Hoses, and Filters" contains an extensive discussion of propellant line insulation in Chapter Insulation.

Quick summary: Many types are used, but vacuum-jacketed hard lines with flexible joints were used extensively in the Saturn and Shuttle propulsion systems to maintain propellant quality. Insulation is also used on the exterior of the lines to prevent liquid air formation prior to launch, which can drip down on other components with deleterious effects.

This schematic shows the external insulation on the Space Shuttle Main Engine liquid hydrogen ducts.

enter image description here

(picture from Space Shuttle Main Engine Pocket Data Book RI/RD87-142)

  • $\begingroup$ What kind of insulation used now a days by SpaceX, Rocket labs, PLD space, etc. $\endgroup$
    – Amar
    Nov 4, 2018 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ If your question is asking about modern systems, please edit it to show that! $\endgroup$ Nov 4, 2018 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, so will you be editing the answer? BTW this is a good reference. $\endgroup$
    – Amar
    Nov 4, 2018 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ No, I know nothing about those vehicles. $\endgroup$ Nov 4, 2018 at 15:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ SpaceX and Rocket Labs don't publish about this kind of detail, so an answer about those two is unlikely. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Nov 4, 2018 at 15:55

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