Design of Fibre-Reinforced Plastic Pipelines for the Transport of Gaseous Hydrogen
Proceedings Publication Date
Niels Grigat
Niels Grigat, Tim Mölling, Madita Lenhard, Hans Röthel, Ben Vollbrecht, Fabian Jung, Thomas Gries
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This paper deals with design and manufacturing approaches for composite pipelines and its potential for hydrogen transport. As current solutions only fulfil a fraction of the necessary requirements, compromises between the various factors of cost, weight, performance and feasibility are made. By benchmarking thermoset and thermoplastic matrices in combination with glass, carbon and basalt fibres, the competitiveness of braided and coiled composite piping for hydrogen distribution is investigated. For matrices, epoxy resin (EP) is selected as thermoset and compared to thermoplastics (PA, HDPE). Based on the strength and stiffness differences between the material groups, suitable laminate architectures are derived and validated by simulation according to ISO 14692. For manufacturing, the two productive approaches, radial braiding and multi-filament winding (MFW), are investigated. For MFW, the processing of pre-impregnated reinforcing fibres (towpregs), is investigated. Since towpregs allow winding speeds of up to 5 m/s and reduce resin content variances to ±2 wt%, low-cost and high-strength composites can be wound. In addition, the MFW process allows both the simultaneous processing of up to 48 towpregs and winding of unidirectional layers. By radial braiding, 32 to 144 rovings can be processed simultaneously. Resin infusion is either carried out separately after braiding or hybrid materials are processed, which require subsequent consolidation. Based on the experimental results, simulations are carried out to be able to calculate different composite pipelines. The resulting data is utilized for designing composite pipelines according to required pressures and diffusion rates for different gases such as natural gas or hydrogen. Using this data, the material and process costs are examined and compared on the basis of the analyzed material combinations. Subsequently, promising designs for the production of a demonstrator each using radial braiding and MFW on a PA liner will be selected. Finally, recommendations for upscaling composite pipeline production are presented.

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