R-TECH wins innovation award

Posted on 21 Nov 2017 and read 529 times
R-TECH wins innovation awardPort Talbot-based R-Tech Materials (www.r-techmaterials.com) has won an award for its work on a safety sensor for hydrogen fuel cell storage tanks in cars.

Working with TWI, Pancom and Arcola Energy, the company used its testing expertise to develop an early-warning system to alert drivers to any damage to the cell while in service.

R-Tech director Tony Franks said: “We are delighted to have won this award, which recognises our expertise in both testing and R&D.

Hydrogen is a very clean fuel, and it enables vehicles to run for long distances, but the public perceive it to be incredibly dangerous, thanks to the Hindenburg disaster in 1937.

"Our early-warning sensor system aims to redress the balance by reassuring drivers that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can be safe as well as clean.”

Using sensors and expertise provided by Pancom, R-TECH conducted a number of different static and dynamic mechanical tests in order to produce a characteristic acoustic-emissions ‘mother curve’ for the hydrogen fuel storage cylinder typically used in cars.

The failure modes and locations detected by acoustic emissions were then confirmed by X-Ray CT at TWI in Port Talbot.

A prototype of the early-warning system has now been produced; it is currently undergoing field trials.

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