A company called Element Materials Technology is developing a high pressure thermoplastic hydrogen storage tank to be used inside of fuel cell vehicles. The resulting storage vessel is expected to be strong, light-weight and leak-free.
According to Element, “During this project Element Hitchin performed high-pressure permeation tests using hydrogen for the roto-molded 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 depressurization 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.”
The materials used to build hydrogen tanks directly affect both the range of the vehicle, and the cost, too. So, if these thermoplastic tanks live up to expectations, future hydrogen car owners may experience more miles and fewer dollars paid for the vehicles.