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Thermoplastic Hydrogen tanks Optimised and Recyclable

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - THOR (Thermoplastic Hydrogen tanks Optimised and Recyclable)

Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-12-31

THOR aims at developing a cost-effective thermoplastic composite pressure vessel for hydrogen storage both for
vehicle and for transportation applications. Thermoplastics appear as a promising solution to the challenges faced by
conventional tanks in terms of compatibility with hydrogen service and with mass automotive market requirements.
The use of thermoplastic materials, advanced numerical modeling techniques and innovative manufacturing
processes will boost the performance, improve safety, enable optimized tank geometry and weight (reduction
of 10%) and reduce the cost for mass production (400€/kg of H2 stored for 30 000 tanks/year). A series of tests
extracted from demanding automotive standards will validate all the requirements and demonstrate that thermoplastic
tanks outperform thermoset ones. The consortium is representative of the hydrogen supply chain, from technology
developer to manufacturer and end-user enhancing market uptake: a disruptive technology provider with successful
commercial experience of thermoplastic tanks (COVESS), an ambitious Tier One supplier targeting a wide market
introduction towards all OEMs (FAURECIA), an industrial gas expert with a long history related to hydrogen and
a complementary end-user of tanks for hydrogen supply and refueling station operations (AIR LIQUIDE). This
core industrial team is limited in purpose to avoid possible future commercial conflicts of interests and backed up
with top research expertise to address all the identified challenges: an innovation center for material research with
important tank scale testing capacity (CSM), a technology center in the fields of composite materials, manufacturing,
automation, and testing (SIRRIS), academic teams with strong experience of composite materials and non-destructive
testing (NTNU) and of thermo-mechanical materials behavior under fire aggression (CNRS) and a technical center
with an innovative recycling technology for thermoplastic composites (CETIM-CERMAT).
The objective of THOR is to develop a consolidation process to manufacture high pressure monolithic structure vessels with tape. Accordingly, the research activities of the THOR project focus on the following five main objectives that perfectly respond to the call FCH-01-3-2018 titled “Strengthening of the European supply chain for compressed storage systems for transport applications”.
• Objective 1: Materials selection and development of an improved consolidation process for high pressure Hydrogen tank.
• Objective 2: Numerical tools.
• Objective 3: Tank performance.
• Objective 4: Increased safety and operational capacity.
• Objective 5: Mass production and market introduction.
• Objective 1: Materials selection and development of an improved consolidation process for high pressure Hydrogen tank.
Selection of Thermoplastic regarding the expected performances (burst pressure, costs, durability, temperature range, productivity)
• Objective 2: Numerical tools.
Correlation of the modeling & the tests results to adapt modelisation software so that to optimize the pressure vessel design
• Objective 3: Tank performance.
10 % weight reduction with the same performances, extended temperature in usage (goal of -60 °C and + 100 °C), avoid the liner collapse.
• Objective 4: Increased safety and operational capacity.
Integration of sensors in the tank skin so that we could identify weakness & fire. Leak before burst design.
• Objective 5: Mass production and market introduction.
Decrease the production time so that the costs of the tank 400 €/kg of H2.