Huntsman epoxy assessed for cryogenic liquid hydrogen storage

Germany's University of Bayreuth is analyzing the effective use of carbon fiber composites for cryogenic liquid hydrogen storage, focusing on a Huntsman Advanced Materials resin transfer molding (RTM) epoxy.

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Huntsman Advanced Materials (Basel, Switzerland) reported on April 28 that one of its toughened epoxy resin systems  is being used by the University of Bayreuth’s (Bayreuth, Germany) Department of Polymer Engineering in an on-going research program analyzing the effective use of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) for cryogenic liquid hydrogen storage systems in aerospace applications.

Currently focused on investigating the influence of the composite surface structure on the peel strength of metallized CFRP epoxies, the vessels are being produced using XU 3508/Aradur 3486, a high-toughness resin system from Huntsman, processed via resin transfer molding (RTM).

Due to its high fracture toughness, the department has commented that Huntsman’s resin system is particularly well suited to cryogenic applications. Due to its chemical stability, it is also helping to optimize sandblasting pre-treatment processes on the composite surface.

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