Composite Tank Reinforcements

Improving storage efficiency of hydrogen type 4 tanks with Fiber Patch Placement.

Composite tanks

Lighter type 4 hydrogen tanks

 

Composite Tank

Hydrogen-powered electric vehicles are on the rise. Electrification of powertrains, along with current limitations in battery technology, give rise to hydrogen-powered, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), in particular for long-haul transport like trucks, buses and trains. 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. The carbon fibers of a high-pressure vessel typically represented more than 50% of the total cost of such storage system.

To support manufacturers of pressure vessels, we at Cevotec have developed an industrial solution to improve the storage efficiency and reduce the amount of carbon fibers by up to 15% while maintaining equivalent mechanical properties.

Our solution

Industrial equipment for an automated reinforcement of composite tanks

Cevotec’s solution are FPP systems dedicated to apply carbon fiber patches in the dome areas, and thereby replace the high-angle helical (HAHL) layers in a typical filament winding pattern. As the patches cover exactly the dome area and – unlike typical HAHL layers – do not span across the cylindrical part of the vessel, material and weight of the tank is reduced, as well as the manufacturing time needed on the filament winding line. Because of the significant portion of carbon fibers in the total vessel cost, the achievable material reductions present a very attractive business case for manufacturers, with a full payback for the necessary investment already in the first or second year of series production.

H2 tank reinforcement production gripper

Advantages

Your benefits with FPP

15% Material savings

20% Reduced cycle time

19% Storage efficiency improvement

15% Reduced weight

15% – 20% Cost savings

10 – 20 Months payback time

Values for illustration. The exact savings potential depends on the specific pressure tank.

How it works

After Cevotec’s SAMBA FPP system places the reinforcing fiber patches at the dome area directly on the liner they are passed over to the filament winding process. This approach subsequently uses less material and production time for wrapping the material around the vessel.

Step 1

Automated dome reinforcement

Step 2

Filament winding

Result

Lighter composite tank

Automated dome reinforcement

  • Standard liners are reinforced with Cevotec’s SAMBA production system – directly on the liner, fully automated, quality controlled
  • Easy to integrate in industrial line set-up; no additional post-processing; automated liner handling available

Filament winding

  • The reinforced liner is transferred to the filament winding process (wet or tow)
  • The winding process is adjusted to leave out the high-angle helical layers, therefore consumes less material and is faster
  • The faster winding process increases your overall line capacity for tanks, which further improves ROI and production economics

Lighter composite tank

Reinforcing a tank’s dome area with Fiber Patch Placement results in significant material, weight and cost savings while achieving equivalent mechanical properties. Manufacturers need less material in the subsequent filament winding process, which continues to be the key production process for those tanks.

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Our hardware & software

The dedicated production system SAMBA Pro PV, optimized for the manufacturing of dome reinforcements, comes with the FPP-specific CAD-CAM software ARTIST STUDIO facilitating efficient as well as automated laminate and machine data creation.

System

SAMBA Pro PV

Software

ARTIST STUDIO

SAMBA Pro PV

Cevotec has conceptualized an FPP production system adjusted to the specific requirements of reinforcing composite tanks. Its flexible set-up fits a broad variety of tank sizes, and two robots apply patches simultaneously to both dome areas of a tank liner.

  • 2x 6-axis robot, length variation possible
  • Sensor-controlled manufacturing process
  • Compatible with a variety of fiber materials
  • Flexible, automated offline programming with ARTIST STUDIO software
  • Manufacturing trials & demonstrator production on Cevotec lab system available
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ARTIST STUDIO

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, based on the designed laminate and a digital twin of the production system.

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Composite Tank Reinforcements

Test your ideas & realize your vision!

Cevotec operates an FPP Competence Center near Munich for developing automated lay-up processes for composite structures. Besides the concept and design of pressure vessel reinforcements, we offer FE analysis of tank structures and the material procurement and confection if necessary. In our facilities, we can realize the layup of liner reinforcements for prototypes and test samples. This enables manufacturers to trial and validate their application in a risk-free project setting.

Furthermore, we offer business case calculations for your application and support you in the configuration of production systems customized to your special requirements.

Get in touch

“Fiber Patch Placement technology has the potential to revolutionize the composites industry and immediately caught our attention. We are glad to have partnered up with a dynamic technology leader as Cevotec. Their unique Fiber Patch Placement systems are bringing new automation options to Japanese industrials. In particular Cevotec’s approach to optimize the design of hydrogen pressure vessels is getting a lot of attention from our customers.”

Yuichiro Sasaki

Managing Director at Fuji Industries Co., Ltd.

Downloads and more information

dome reinforcements for composites tanks

Short intro: Composite tank reinforcements

Pioneering a novel approach for H2 tank production

h2 reinforcement

Whitepaper: Improving storage efficiency of composite tanks

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  • We ask for your contact data because we offer high quality content on this website in the form of a case study and a presentation, which you can download free of charge after registering with your personal data. Data protection is a priority at Cevotec and your email address is safe with us. Please refer to our own Privacy Policy for details on how we process and protect your data. If you request the Whitepaper, you accept our Privacy Policy and will receive an immediate email with the download link.
    You don’t want to miss out on future whitepapers? That’s why we’d like to send you our newsletter, currently 4x per year. You’ll receive a second email from us where we ask for your consent to receive our newsletter – so that you are informed first about latest developments in FPP technology!
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More information?

Contact us to explore the benefits of Fiber Patch Placement for your specific component and production process. We offer a cost-free evaluation and economic analysis for your application with FPP. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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