Tailored dome reinforcements for hydrogen tanks

Hydrogen-powered electric vehicles are on the rise. Electrification of powertrains, along with limitations in battery technology, give rise to hydrogen-powered, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). However, one of the challenges for FCEV is to efficiently and safely store hydrogen (H2) in the vehicle.

Hydrogen for FCEV is typically stored in type IV composite pressure vessels. The high operating pressure requires a significant amount of carbon fiber for the vessel. With up to 700 bar nominal pressure, one tank consumes up to 10 kg of carbon fiber for every 1 kg of hydrogen stored. With a typical tank size of 4-6 kg of hydrogen for passenger cars, a tank weights up to 40-60 kg. For larger tanks, the material economics only improve slightly.

We at Cevotec have developed a solution for this challenge. Read on to learn more!

H2 tank in a car

20% material, cost, and production time reduction

Reinforcing a tank’s dome area with Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) yields up to 20% in material and cost savings – and shortens total manufacturing time by 20%. By using FPP dome reinforcements, manufacturers need less material in the subsequent filament winding process, which continues to be the key production process for those tanks. “Wrapping endless fibers around the liner is best for the cylindrical part”, says Felix Michl, CTO of Cevotec. “But filament winding at the domes means redundant material on the cylindrical part – which translates into excess weight and high cost of the final product.”

Cevotec’s solution is to apply carbon fiber patches in the dome areas. The patches are designed to exactly cover the areas causing problems in filament winding. In a first step, Cevotec’s SAMBA FPP systems place the reinforcing fiber patches around the dome area directly on the liner. Then the patched liners are passed over to the filament winding process, which subsequently needs less material and production time for the dome areas.

Typically, the investment in FPP dome reinforcements starts paying off from the first day of production and amortized in less than 24 months of series production.

 

Benefits

Typical savings for a passenger car H2 pressure vessel through FPP dome reinforcements

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    20% reduction in material
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    18% savings in total production cost
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    20% reduction in production time
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    20% production capacity increase

How it works

Liner + reinforcement patches

  • Plastic liners are reinforced with Cevotec’s SAMBA production system – directly on the liner, fully automated, quality controlled
  • One SAMBA production system can supply several filament winding stations

Reinforced liner + filament winding

  • The reinforced liner is transferred to the filament winding process
  • The winding process is adjusted to use less material in the dome areas, therefore saving material and production time
  • Aditionally, your capacity for tanks increases, improving your ROI and production economics
H2 tank FPP and Filament winding process

SAMBA production systems

By consequently applying Fiber Patch Placement technology to today’s composite manufacturing challenges, Cevotec supports the advancement of composites for a green mobility revolution. Applications areas for FPP also include many components in aerospace and urban air mobility / UAV. The Munich-based FPP specialist has conceptualized a range of production cell configurations to match the manufacturing process to the different applications. Material efficiency and cost savings of 20% – 60% are typical benefits for manufacturers that improve their production process with Fiber Patch Placement.

ARTIST STUDIO software

ARTIST STUDIO is the dedicated software suite for Fiber Patch Placement technology. It enables a full digital thread and supports engineers in the creation of patch laminates through technology-specific lay-up features. The integrated CAM module programs the SAMBA system robots fully automated.

PATCH ARTIST (FPP-CAD)
PATCH ARTIST (FPP-CAD)
MOTION ARTIST (FPP-CAM)
MOTION ARTIST (FPP-CAM)

How to get started with FPP

Includes manufacturability assessment, unit cost and time analysis, benefits and ROI estimation. This service is complimentary for you.

>> How much does your application benefit from FPP?

Includes virtual studies, application and demonstrator development, equipment customization, and more.

>> How do you best develop & test your FPP application?

Includes SAMBA lay-up systems, ARTIST STUDIO software, customized patch grippers, quality control systems, and more.

>> Which system configuration is best for your application?

More information!

    I am interested in H2 tank reinforcements with Fiber Patch Placement. Please contact me!

    FPP at a glance

    Test your ideas & realize your vision

    Cevotec operates an FPP Competence Center near Munich for developing automated lay-up processes for composite structures with sizes of up to 2 m x 3 m. Composite producers are invited to get in touch and learn how FPP can save 20% – 60% in production cost & time when switching to FPP. Schedule your personal consultation to discuss those applications that are relevant to you. Learn about available project set-ups to develop demonstrator parts. We offer a suitability and unit-cost analysis upfront at no cost. Take the opportunity to explore new options for your future composites production!

    Downloads and more information

    Cevotec intro presentation

    Cevotec brochure

    Cevotec video

    Partners & references

    Automation & digital innovation

    Munich-based automation specialist Cevotec enables manufacturers to build complex high-performance composites in high volume and quality. With Fiber Patch Placement based SAMBA systems, Cevotec offers customized, fully automated fiber layup systems with integrated process control for manufacturing complex 3D geometries and multi-material laminates. ARTIST STUDIO is the technology-specific CAD-CAM software for generating patch-based fiber laminates and automated robot programming. Cost and time reductions of 20-60% can be realized when switching from manual layup to Cevotec’s SAMBA systems. Composite manufacturers also benefit from a comprehensive service portfolio, including application-specific customizations and FE-based component development.

    Join the growth

    We have moved to new headquarters and increased our lab space. Now we are looking to grow our team with experienced automation heroes, software wizards, technical sales masters and HR talents. Join the team!

    More information!

      I am interested in H2 tank reinforcements with Fiber Patch Placement. Please contact me!