Custom Heating System Designed for Cryogenic Methane System

aerospace industry heating process

The Challenge
An Ohio manufacturer of cryogenic systems for use in the aerospace industry had a critical need for a methane conversion system under design. The application required converting liquid methane from an extremely low temperature – 201° Rankine, or -269° F – to a gaseous state at 540° Rankine, or 80° F. In addition, the methane stored at 15 pounds per square inch absolute (psia) had to be converted with less than a 1.0 psi pressure drop across the system. System requirements necessitated design of a special pressure vessel and critical temperature control.

The Solution

Chromalox designed a special Grade 316 stainless steel low-temperature pressure vessel and heater bundle that provided gradual warming to convert the liquid to gas. A Specialized Controlled Rectifier (SCR) allows finite temperature settings on the heater to avoid wide variations. The system was initially tested on liquid nitrogen and operated perfectly on start-up to meet the owner’s start-up schedule.


  • Custom-critical design provided an exacting conversion system for liquid-to-gaseous application
  • Engineering and manufacturing expertise combined to meet customer deadline in cost-effective approach
  • Successful start-up eliminated the need to fine-tune, allowing immediate customer use