New technology achieves 15% reduction in mass for composite hydrogen tanks




Cevotec has partnered with a tank manufacturer, winding equipment provider Roth Composite Machinery, and the composite engineering service provider CIKONI to investigate and showcase the effect of dome reinforcements using Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology for composite tanks.


This approach reduces net fiber usage by approximately 15%, depending on the vessel characteristics, which translates into considerable weight and cost savings while maintaining equivalent mechanical properties. Due to the material reduction, the reinforced tanks can also feature more storage volume in the same build space and have an improved CO₂ footprint.


Underlining the strategic relevance of industrial dome reinforcements, Thorsten Groene, CEO and Co-Founder of Cevotec, says: “The expected fiber demand for H₂ tanks will outgrow available fiber supply in the next 5–10 years. Technologies like FPP that enable resource savings are strategically important for global competitiveness.”


To underpin Cevotec’s approach, an optimized full-scale demonstrator has been successfully developed in collaboration with the project partners. The primary goal was to optimize the fiber lay-up to reduce weight, cost, and production time. The project comprised all aspects from laminate design, simulation, and optimization driven by CIKONI, to the actual production and testing of the reinforced tanks. Additionally, the effectiveness of FPP dome reinforcements within an industrial production environment has been evaluated. With the successful completion of the third design iteration, the project partners have achieved the intended results.


“The 300 bar type IV tank has a thinner composite overwrap with a lower number of layers to be replaced by dome reinforcements, which is a challenging set-up compared to 700-bar-class vessels”, explains Dr. Florian Lenz, Technical Director of Cevotec. “To achieve the optimal material saving design, different laminate iterations were pursued. In a third iteration, we, together with the project partners, successfully achieved a burst safety factor of 108% and material savings of 15%.” Due to the material savings, the CO₂ footprint is significantly reduced and the storage efficiency of the test vessel can be increased to 6.1%, which represents an improvement of 17% compared to the reference vessel


Cevotec is currently assembling a dedicated FPP production system for dome reinforcements in their lab in Unterhaching near Munich. The SAMBA Pro PV Lab system will be available for commercial prototyping and development with customers in spring 2024.



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