Titanium Foam for Hydrogen Storage Container

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Powdermet, Inc.
24112 Rockwell Dr Suite A
Euclid, OH 44117
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


To support the use of hydrogen in transportation applications, a light weight, robust hydrogen storage tank is necessary for use on board vehicles, at refueling stations, and on a hydrogen transport truck. The current fabrication process for hydrogen tanks ¿ winding fibers on a mandrel, followed by epoxy infiltration and curing ¿ is a time consuming, expensive process and is comprised of flaws. This project will develop a rapid hydrogen tank fabrication process, using low conductivity titanium foam in a hydrogen-comatible aluminum sandwich panel. The resulting titanium composite will provide lower conductivity and improved structural efficiency over current structural materials, without the limitations of alternate honeycomb-core sandwich structures. Phase I will demonstrate the fabrication of syntactic titanium foam using titanium-hydride-encapsulated ceramic micro-spheres. The sandwich panel will be constructed by using liquid interface diffusion to attach the hydrogen-compatible aluminum face sheet. The step-by-step rapid fabrication process for hydrogen tank construction will be demonstrated. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Aside from the hydrogen tank application, other applications for the light weight sandwich panels include airframes, spacecraft, sporting equipment, robotics, medical implants, filters, and noise suppression structures