Composites World article : Hydrogen is poised to fuel composites growth, Part 2

By November 2, 2021 No Comments

Enabling safe, connected and intelligent composites pressure vessels

From Composites World article : Hydrogen is poised to fuel composites growth, Part 2

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“Com&Sens presented how embedded fiber Bragg grating (FBG) fiber optic sensors can be used to optimize composite tank production and in-situ health monitoring during CW’s H2 Tech Days. The FBG fiber optic line can be co-wound from a spool as the H2 tank laminate is being filament wound. Each fiber optic can range from 1-100 meters long and have up to 20 sensing points with a minimum of 1 centimeter spacing.

“Each sensing point is positioned within the optical fiber to measure at any discrete location within hoop or helical layers of the composite laminate,” says Com&Sens co-founder Eli Voet. “These points are interrogated during winding using a rotating joint, or during operations using a patented point connection technology that enables mass usage of ‘smart’ tanks.” He explains that the FBG embedded in the laminate senses the redistribution of strain inside the material. “These sensors can be used for production process optimization, allowing the understanding and digitizing of process parameters that could not be measured before,” Voet adds. “Capturing system-wide stress, strain and temperature measurements during curing, fatigue cycling and bursts tests will help designers to validate FE models and optimize, for example, material usage in future designs. But perhaps the most promising application is for lifecycle and structural integrity monitoring during tank operations, increasing acceptance and confidence in hydrogen technologies.” As an example, Voet presented the ability to produce tanks with a “digital thumbprint,” and then recertify the tank against that thumbprint for potentially extended service life.

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