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News

Thermoplastic hydrogen storage vessels for fuel cell vehicles

Element Materials Technology : 08 September, 2014  (Company News)
Element Materials Technology is undertaking a major research project from its Hitchin (formerly MERL) UK laboratory on thermoplastic high-pressure hydrogen storage vessels for fuel cell vehicles. The HOST (Hydrogen-Optimization of Storage and Transfer) project is part-funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board (UK TSB) and awarded to a consortium of industry experts for developing hydrogen barrier thermoplastics. Element’s involvement with the HOST project, which has a total project budget of £1million, will last two years.
HOST encompasses the design and development of an efficient automated filament winding and advanced fibre tape placement facility, as well as the development of innovative thermoplastic composite prepreg tapes manufactured to provide the optimum balance of technical performance and cost. The partners for the project are Element Hitchin, EPL Composite Solutions, Crompton Mouldings, JRE Precision (Presreg Valves) and Jonam Composites Ltd.
 
This is the second UK TSB project undertaken by Element Hitchin in this technical area, having been involved in its Durastor project consortium’s development of a monolithic hydrogen storage vessel that incorporates a thermoplastic liner with a filament wound outer layer.
 
During this project Element Hitchin performed high-pressure permeation tests using hydrogen for the roto-moulded liner samples, mechanical tests (quasi-static and fatigue) on all materials, accelerated ageing tests and rapid gas decompression (RGD) tests to assess the effects of rapid depressurisation on the liner materials. The low-cost, high-pressure (350-700 bar) gaseous hydrogen storage vessel was developed in collaboration with EPL Composite Solutions, Delta Motorsport, Crompton Mouldings, Celanese (formerly Ticona), CTG-UTC Aerospace Systems and Oxford Brookes University. It is intended for the automotive market, with improved fatigue performance and is fully recyclable at end of life.
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