Researchers Testing Epoxy Systems with Liquid Hydrogen Storage Tanks

A toughened epoxy resin system from Huntsman is being used by the University of Bayreuth to analyse the effective use of carbon fibre-reinforced polymers in the use of cryogenic liquid hydrogen storage systems within the aerospace industry.

Currently focused on investigating the influence of the composite surface structure on the peel strength of metalled CFRP epoxies, the vessels are being produced using a high toughness resin system processed via Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM).

Due to its high fracture toughness, an epoxy resin system is well suited to cryogenic applications. Due to its chemical stability, it is also helping to optimise sandblasting pre-treatment processes on the composite surface.

The use of CFRP for cryogenic liquid hydrogen storage systems is gaining increasing attention from industrial and academic parties alike. As an energy carrier, liquid hydrogen offers much higher gravimetric energy density compared to gaseous and solid stored hydrogen, as well as conventional fuel systems.

Findings in the university’s recently published article shows that thanks to improvements in the adhesion of metalled coatings on composite surfaces, cryogenic storage systems traditionally made from stainless steel can effectively be produced using CFRP which has a metallic layer for permeation barrier purposes, leading to a weight reduction of approximately 60%.