Common Cryogenic Materials

Published on April 20, 2023

In physics, cryogenics is the study of the production and behavior of substances at extremely low temperatures. Cryogenic materials are those that can keep their physical and mechanical properties even at very low temperatures. Mostly, these temperatures are below -150°C, and sometimes they reach absolute zero. Cryogenic applications use these materials to store, move, or process materials at these extremely low temperatures.

Cryogenic materials include metals, plastics, ceramics, and composites, among others. Some common examples of cryogenic materials include G10, niobium-titanium, fiberglass, zirconia, alumina, stainless steel, and aluminum alloys. With the increasing growth of the global cryogenic equipment market, the demand for cryogenic materials like G10 is also on the rise. The international market for cryogenic equipment was worth $21.0 billion in 2021, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2022 to 2030.

Read on to explore more about the properties of G10 material and why it is one of the popular choices for cryogenic applications.

What is G10?

G10, a fiberglass laminate, is manufactured under high pressure. G10 is made by integrating numerous layers of glass fabric that have been soaked in polyepoxide or epoxy resins. Layers of this pre-impregnated material are then pressed into sheets, or wound around steel mandrels to form tubes, and cured in an oven to form a hard substrate.

The G10 material is widely used in electronics, automotive, aerospace, marine, and cryogenic applications. Because of its greater strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion-resistant properties, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and thermal insulating properties, it is often used as an alternative to metal or plastic where extreme cold temperatures are found.

G10 and Cryogenic Applications

G10 materials have excellent strength, good thermal insulation properties, and a low thermal expansion coefficient. This unique combination of properties makes them ideal for cryogenic applications such as structural supports, electrical insulators, and thermal insulators.

Excellent strength: When exposed to cryogenic temperatures (temperatures below -150°C), chances are higher that materials will lose strength and break. G10, on the other hand, has the ability to retain its strength and stiffness even at extremely low temperatures.

Low thermal expansion coefficient: G10 possesses a low thermal expansion coefficient. This means that when exposed to extremely high or low temperatures, the material expands very little. This property is crucial in cryogenic applications because a material with a low thermal expansion coefficient retains its shape and does not break or deform under extreme temperature variations.

These unique properties make G10 materials good electrical and thermal insulators in cryogenic applications. They are also a reliable and cost-effective choice for a wide range of liquid nitrogen and liquid helium applications, especially in refueling and storage applications.

Spaulding Composites: A Global Leader of Specialty Composite Materials

Spaulding Composites, Inc. has more than 30 years of experience designing and manufacturing composite materials for cryogenic applications. Our vertically integrated manufacturing process has placed us at the forefront of the cryogenic market. Spaulding is also a key manufacturer of cryogenic grades of glass epoxy materials and customized cryotubes.

Contact us to learn more about our capabilities and how our engineered composites and materials can meet your specific requirements.