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Title: Next Generation Hydrogen Storage Vessels Enabled by Carbon Fiber Infusion with a Low Viscosity, High Toughness System

Abstract

Onboard hydrogen storage for fuel cell vehicles holds considerable commercial promise which could be accelerated by lower cost storage vessels. In past years, the use of lower cost reinforcing fiber had been studied as an intuitive avenue to reduce vessel costs. Although the matrix resin does not play a large role in bearing stress loads in many areas of a filament wound pressure vessel, the matrix is relied upon for stress transfer between fibers and appears to play an important role in certain regions of the vessel construction such as the “tangent region” where the cylinder section transitions to the dome. Also, the matrix resin can play a role in the damage tolerance of vessels after impact events. Furthermore, the effect of dry spots or voids in the laminate can affect stress transfer between fibers in a manner that is challenging to quantify. Therefore, excess fiber must be used to account for this variability in performance. Unfortunately, in the case hydrogen pressure vessels the cost of the vessel is strongly dependent on the amount of carbon-fiber used in the design and manufacturing. An extensive investigation on the use of non-traditional fabrication processes enabled by an ultra-low viscosity thermoset resin (<10more » cP) with high fracture toughness was conducted to determine the opportunity to reduce carbon-fiber usage and the associated high cost. The hypothesis was based on enabling a lower variation in vessel performance from a reduction in void defects (often found with traditional wet-winding) and a more defect-tolerant vessel resulting from use of a matrix resin with high fracture toughness. These two features were anticipated to justify a more aggressive design approach to the vessel winding pattern. From the work in this project, the potential use of the vacuum infusion approach to produce high quality vessels was validated. However, the team recognized the need to re-optimize the design, the dry-process, and the vacuum infusion process at each scale-up stage. During the planning phase, the critical need to re-optimize at this frequency was under-estimated. Also, the team identified the lack of industry testing standards on subscale parts for providing predictive value of vessel performance. Therefore, significant effort is needed to produce statistically significant numbers of vessels. To produce such numbers of vessels the project needed in retrospect to partner closely with a series vessel manufactures to develop a proof of concept production line to make the vessels. However, without the appropriate data, a manufacturing partner was challenging to fully engage during this timeline. New technologies relying on changing raw materials and manufacturing processes carry inherent risks. This project did not reach its ultimate objectives of demonstrated a vessel with lower carbon-fiber. But some companies expressed interest in learning from the partial successes of this project for future challenges in pressure vessel applications.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Materia, Inc., Pasadena, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Materia, Inc., Pasadena, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
OSTI Identifier:
1460287
Report Number(s):
DOE-MATERIA-06625
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0006625
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 08 HYDROGEN; composite pressure vessel; hydrogen storage; filament winding; vacuum infusion; low-viscosity resin; fracture toughness

Citation Formats

Edgecombe, Brian. Next Generation Hydrogen Storage Vessels Enabled by Carbon Fiber Infusion with a Low Viscosity, High Toughness System. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1460287.
Edgecombe, Brian. Next Generation Hydrogen Storage Vessels Enabled by Carbon Fiber Infusion with a Low Viscosity, High Toughness System. United States. doi:10.2172/1460287.
Edgecombe, Brian. Mon . "Next Generation Hydrogen Storage Vessels Enabled by Carbon Fiber Infusion with a Low Viscosity, High Toughness System". United States. doi:10.2172/1460287. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1460287.
@article{osti_1460287,
title = {Next Generation Hydrogen Storage Vessels Enabled by Carbon Fiber Infusion with a Low Viscosity, High Toughness System},
author = {Edgecombe, Brian},
abstractNote = {Onboard hydrogen storage for fuel cell vehicles holds considerable commercial promise which could be accelerated by lower cost storage vessels. In past years, the use of lower cost reinforcing fiber had been studied as an intuitive avenue to reduce vessel costs. Although the matrix resin does not play a large role in bearing stress loads in many areas of a filament wound pressure vessel, the matrix is relied upon for stress transfer between fibers and appears to play an important role in certain regions of the vessel construction such as the “tangent region” where the cylinder section transitions to the dome. Also, the matrix resin can play a role in the damage tolerance of vessels after impact events. Furthermore, the effect of dry spots or voids in the laminate can affect stress transfer between fibers in a manner that is challenging to quantify. Therefore, excess fiber must be used to account for this variability in performance. Unfortunately, in the case hydrogen pressure vessels the cost of the vessel is strongly dependent on the amount of carbon-fiber used in the design and manufacturing. An extensive investigation on the use of non-traditional fabrication processes enabled by an ultra-low viscosity thermoset resin (<10 cP) with high fracture toughness was conducted to determine the opportunity to reduce carbon-fiber usage and the associated high cost. The hypothesis was based on enabling a lower variation in vessel performance from a reduction in void defects (often found with traditional wet-winding) and a more defect-tolerant vessel resulting from use of a matrix resin with high fracture toughness. These two features were anticipated to justify a more aggressive design approach to the vessel winding pattern. From the work in this project, the potential use of the vacuum infusion approach to produce high quality vessels was validated. However, the team recognized the need to re-optimize the design, the dry-process, and the vacuum infusion process at each scale-up stage. During the planning phase, the critical need to re-optimize at this frequency was under-estimated. Also, the team identified the lack of industry testing standards on subscale parts for providing predictive value of vessel performance. Therefore, significant effort is needed to produce statistically significant numbers of vessels. To produce such numbers of vessels the project needed in retrospect to partner closely with a series vessel manufactures to develop a proof of concept production line to make the vessels. However, without the appropriate data, a manufacturing partner was challenging to fully engage during this timeline. New technologies relying on changing raw materials and manufacturing processes carry inherent risks. This project did not reach its ultimate objectives of demonstrated a vessel with lower carbon-fiber. But some companies expressed interest in learning from the partial successes of this project for future challenges in pressure vessel applications.},
doi = {10.2172/1460287},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}