As a light-weight solution for storing hydrogen, pressure vessels made of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) are among the key technologies deployed in electromobility sector. The advantages of thermoplastic FRP include dynamic strength, media resistance and the option of recycling. High costs, low process speed and a lack of valid design and production processes have previously hampered efforts to establish thermoplastic composite pressure vessels on the market. As part of the “DaQoTa” project, the Fraunhofer IPT is collaborating with partners to develop efficient, quality-assured manufacture of pressure vessels made of thermoplastic FRP. The aim is to contribute to the breakthrough of fuel cell technology into the transport sector.
In the “DaQoTa” project, the Fraunhofer IPT and its partners in the consortium are developing a complete process chain to reinforce pressure vessels made of thermoplastic fiber composite. This encompasses both the software involved in product and process design and an efficient manufacturing process with integrated quality monitoring and process data evaluation in order to derive a digital image of the product. Consequently, the quality achieved in industrial manufacture of composite pressure vessels can be raised, scrap reduced and material consumption lowered. In the medium term, additional knock-down or safety factors in component design will decrease.
The aim of the project is to explore and optimize process and system technology for the digitalized manufacture of composite pressure vessels in laser-assisted tape winding operations. Parametric design and process software as well as an inline quality monitoring system also feature in the development work in the project. The Fraunhofer IPT will integrate the project outcomes on-site in a fully functional production system. As a result, an efficient process for the production of thermoplastic composite pressure vessels will be available to industry for the first time.