Blow molding machinery maker Kautex Maschinenbau has turned out what it says is the biggest ever blow molded nylon liner for a hydrogen fuel cell tank.
The 320-liter tank is more than 2 meters long with a diameter of 500 millimeters. It is the first time a liner of that size has been made using blow molding.
Hydrogen tanks for fuel cells are complicated to make because hydrogen is so small it can escape most tanks. Specialized nylon has the best barrier property but is difficult to process in blow molding, Kautex said in a news release.
New nylon blends combined with Kautex’s extrusion blow process made the tank possible.
“Producing a liner of this size from [nylon] has been a major challenge. The work we are doing here is truly pioneering,” said Abdellah El Bouchfrati, head of Kautex’s composite business development, where the new hydrogen liner was developed.
A composite tank for hydrogen or compressed gas are made with a thermoplastic liner and a wound fiber exterior.
“The liner size we have now achieved is just the start. We are confident that, in future, we will also be able to use this method to produce considerably larger liners for hydrogen pressure vessels,” he said.