Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

All composite tank manufacturing (wet filament winding) with embedding of fibre optic sensors

Today, the method to control and re-qualify CNG cylinders in service is a hydrostatic test at 1.5 working pressure, which means hydraulic test at 300 bar. An alternative method "visual inspection" is used today to avoid dismantling the cylinders from the vehicle.

Both methods, hydraulic test and visual inspection do not give any information about the behaviour of the pressure vessel. We just learn that the cylinder withstand the test pressure! The use of optic fibre sensors embedded on the cylinder provides a permanent information, either at each refuelling or at inspection that the cylinder has no deformation capable to reach to a failure.

During the first hydraulic test, just after manufacturing, the cylinder's deformation is registered and compared to the nominal deformation. Then a threshold deformation is determined; below the cylinder is considered as safe; above the cylinder must be re-inspected.

During the ZEM program, any overpressure, artificial damages as cuts, flaws, shocks, impacts, delamination have been detected by optic sensor. This method to monitoring high-pressure cylinders will be a reliable system for controlling of future 700 bar hydrogen tanks.

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