Air Liquide offers industrial and scientific customers the use of a test center that is unique in Europe, with the expertise of a dedicated team at their disposal. This 6-hectare site, located near Grenoble, was built in order to test, inspect, and qualify equipment for the needs of the space and aerospace industries.
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Our team has acquired a high level of expertise in all kinds of studies, from the characterization of materials, to thermal cycle analysis, cryogenic trials, and the simulation of thermal conditions on the ground, during take-off, and in space…
Air Liquide also conducts trials outside its test center, as was the case with the pulse tube cryocooler, which was inspected in an ultra-clean room. Sometimes experiments can even take place very far from Sassenage, like with Cryofenix trials, which were carried out within the polar circle, in Sweden.
Every generation of the Ariane launch vehicle's tanks were tested at Air Liquide's test center. The test center, which is one of a kind in Europe, was built for the specific requirements of space cryogenics and has progressed as the cryogenic stages’ have become more efficient. This secure zone has several testbeds, vacuum chambers, and containment systems, to help research institutes and industry to test the reliability of their own technological developments. The use of this infrastructure can lead to major advances. For example: we designed a 1:2 scale demonstrator of the Ariane tanks as part of the HX program, in order to develop new technologies for the launch vehicles of tomorrow. Tests on this HX demonstrator have led to the approval of 14 new technologies!
Did you know? Air Liquide can design bespoke testbeds for specific needs, like the TVT (Thermal Vacuum Test) testbed, a real mini-space simulation chamber.