Lincoln Composites a division of Advanced Technical Products, Inc. have successfully tested a TUFFSHELL™ hydrogen fuel tank with an operating pressure of 10,000-psi (700 bar) and a burst pressure of 25,000-psi (1750 bar). The 10,000-psi tank was displayed at the California Fuel Cell Vehicle Partnership meeting in Sacramento, CA. A 5,000-psi hydrogen fuel tank was also displayed at the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) World Congress in Detroit, MI.
Richard Rashilla, President of Lincoln Composites stated, “Designing and manufacturing a 10,000-psi hydrogen tank is not a big challenge for us. In fact, this achievement is the result of only a 4-week effort combined with almost 40 years of pressure vessel design and development experience. Our results speak louder than press releases when it comes to delivering what the market needs. We would like the fuel cell vehicle market to grow as quickly as this extension of our highly reliable TUFFSHELL™ fuel tanks. Our experience building high performance pressure vessels with metal or plastic liners enables us to address the Fuel Cell Vehicle market needs for affordable, high-pressure storage tanks with confidence. Our field service record of over 45,000 TUFFSHELLTM tanks in natural gas powered vehicles throughout the world demonstrates the tremendous reliability of Lincoln’s plastic lined products.”
To enhance the hydrogen storage efficiency for Fuel Cell Vehicles it will be necessary to store compressed hydrogen at much higher pressures than currently used for compressed natural gas. A 10,000-psi tank would significantly increase the driving range of a compressed hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Most automotive OEMs believe that the additional range is necessary to make fuel cell vehicles viable. Lincoln’s 10,000-psi tank has an all-carbon fiber structure with a protective fiberglass over-wrap. Lincoln Composites designed this cost-effective product to meet all requirements of the Draft ISO 15869 standard for hydrogen fuel tanks.
Bill Dick of Lincoln Composites added that “In 1992, the all-composite, plastic lined tank (Type IV tank) for natural gas vehicles was initially received with some doubt by the automotive industry. Ten years of proven performance with compressed natural gas have removed all doubts regarding the durability and performance of the TUFFSHELLTM fuel tanks. The demonstration of the all-composite tank operating at 10,000-psi offers further evidence of TUFFSHELLTM‘s outstanding performance.”
Lincoln Composites continues to apply its nearly four decades of aerospace and defense leading edge experience to provide advanced technology products for the alternative fuel vehicle industry. Over the last 39 years, Lincoln Composites has designed, manufactured, and delivered thousands of both Type 3 and Type 4 pressure vessels with operating pressures as high as 25,000-psi for the storage of hydrogen, nitrogen, xenon, compressed air, and helium. These pressure vessels provide the high pressure gas storage needs of aircraft, missiles, satellites, and launch vehicles. Lincoln has also delivered hydrogen tanks certified by German and Japanese regulatory authorities for use on transit bus and light duty sedan applications. The company also produces production quantities of hydrogen storage tanks for several military applications.