Contract to improve fuel tanks

US-based Infinite Composites has signed a contract for a US$1.6 million to develop conformable hydrogen tanks for the US Army.

Plans are for the company to use the grant to improve the shape of its fuel storage containers.

Hydrogen is stored at high pressures, usually between 350-700 bar (5,000-10,000 psi) for vehicle applications. Compressing hydrogen to these pressures allows for more fuel to be stored.

Currently, hydrogen fuel tanks are cylindrical or spherical in design and shape to allow for the high pressure used to store the fuel to be evenly distributed. However, traditional form factors aren’t necessarily the best shape for many vehicle designs, Infinite said.

Changing their shape could allow tanks to be placed in more locations such as the wing of an aircraft, according to the company.

“These tanks will be manufactured using 90% additive manufacturing processes and are designed to be lightweight, using non-cylindrical geometries, making them easier to transport and use in a variety of different environments,” said Matt Villarreal, CEO. “They are made of advanced composite materials that leverage nano-scaled reinforcements, allowing for greater strength and durability while maintaining a lightweight design.”