The European THOR project, intended to produce thermoplastic composite tanks for hydrogen vehicles, has made significant progress towards the mass production of such components.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles require hydrogen tanks!
In addition to technical requirements associated with safety and expected performance, these components must also be compatible with mass production and be environmentally friendly. This is the goal of the THOR (Thermoplastic Hydrogen tanks Optimised and Recyclable) project, which has just been completed.
This European project was initiated to address environmental challenges in the transportation industry. Its aim was to develop a thermoplastic composite pressure tank that could be mass-produced for hydrogen storage, both for vehicles and for transportation applications, and which could also be recycled. It was an ambitious undertaking since only a few suitable thermoplastic materials were available on the market when it was launched in 2019!
The project partners (Faurecia, Air Liquide, RINA – CSM, SIRRIS, CNRS Prime and Cetim) have brought on board the entire hydrogen storage supply chain, from the technology developer through to the industrial manufacturer in addition to the end user.
Cetim contributed its technical skills to the project, especially in relation to the material aspects (development of the material / product / process chain, characterisation of tapes, implementation of specific tools, etc.), design, manufacture and recyclability of the tanks.
This project received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (now Clean Hydrogen Partnership) under grant agreement number No. 826262 of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Between 2019 and 2022, 15 thermoplastic tanks were produced in cooperation with AFPT, including 2 reference tanks that withstood burst pressures of approximately 1,500 bar. Following these first conclusive tests in THOR, Cetim invested in a new machine optimised for the manufacture of thermoplastic tanks. It will be delivered in early 2023 to Cetim.
The various members of the consortium met for the closing of the project in September 2022. An opportunity to take a look back on some of the defining moments.
To learn more about Cetim’s work on hydrogen tanks, meet with our experts at JEC World from April 25th to 27th in Paris, booth (L50 Hall 6).