Our Projects

Development of Type IV and Type V Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer Tanks

Project description and overview:

Omni Tanker, and partner organisations Lockheed Martin and UNSW, are developing two types of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) tanks for storing and transporting cryogenic liquid propellants.

These will include a Type IV CFRP tank, incorporating a seamless thermoplastic fluoropolymer liner, and a Type V CFRP Linerless tank. The Type IV tank offers extremely broad chemical resistance, improved thermal insulation and low gas permeation. The Type V tank will offer the lightest tank weight with good thermal insulation properties.

The suite of Type IV and Type V CFRP tanks will provide the following benefits to hydrogen and space transport applications:

  • Reduced tank mass
  • Seamless thermoplastic liner, eliminating breakdown points seen at welded joints
  • Extended tank life
  • Elimination of relining, resulting in significantly reduced maintenance costs and downtime
  • Versatility, as the tanks can two-way load with incompatible liquids
  • Structural connection between ‘un-bondable’ thermoplastic liner and CFRP structure
  • Reduced permeation through thermoplastic liner
  • Improved heat transfer characteristics

For each type of tank, the project tasks include structural design; characterisation of commercially available materials (mechanical, thermal and permeability characteristics); production of small-scale tanks for testing at room temperature and at -196°C in liquid nitrogen; and production and room temperature testing of an operational scale demonstrator. An assessment of commercialisation potential across many sectors will be undertaken for each type of tank.

EXPECTED IMPACT

  • Increased spending on R&D
  • Increased number of staff with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills
  • Increased levels of automation
  • Increased capital intensity and newer equipment
  • Higher product value density (by weight)
  • Higher trade intensity
  • Larger geographical reach

EXPECTED GROWTH

Omni Tanker estimated revenue:

  • 2022 $2.25M
  • 2023 $3M
  • 2024 $4M
  • 2025 $5M
  • 2026 $7M

EXPECTED JOBS

This project is projected to create additional employment as follows:

  • Two additional engineers
  • Two additional technicians with STEM skills
Contributions:

Government Funds: $700,000 | Industry: $700,000 | In-Kind: $194,000

Project Participants