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Review of Common Hydrogen Storage Tanks and Current Manufacturing Methods for Aluminium Tank Liners


With the growing concern about climate issues and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, hydrogen has attracted increasing attention as a clean and renewable vehicle energy source. However, the storage of flammable hydrogen gas is a major challenge, and it restricts the commercialisation of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). This paper provides a comprehensive review of common on-board hydrogen storage tanks, possible failure mechanisms and typical manufacturing methods as well as their future development trends. There are generally five types of hydrogen tanks according to different materials used, with only Type III (metallic liner wrapped with composite) and Type IV (polymeric liner wrapped with composite) tanks being used for vehicles. The metallic liner of Type III tank is generally made from aluminium alloys and the associated common manufacturing methods such as roll forming, deep drawing and ironing, and backward extrusion are reviewed and compared. In particular, backward extrusion is a method that can produce near net-shape cylindrical liners without the requirement of welding, and its tool designs and the microstructural evolution of aluminium alloys during the process are analysed. With the improvement and innovation on extrusion tool designs, the extrusion force, which is one of the most demanding issues in the process, can be reduced significantly. As a result, larger liners can be produced using currently available equipment at a lower cost.

Funding source: This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) [Grant number EP/R001715/1] on “Lightform: Embedding Materials Engineering in Manufacturing with Light Alloys”.
Countries: United Kingdom

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