OSU partnership signs $1.6M contract with U.S. Army
Friday, September 22, 2023
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A partnership between Oklahoma State University-Tulsa’s Next Generation Materials Lab and Infinite Composites Inc. has signed a $1.6 million contract with the U.S. Army to develop conformable tanks for future hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The small business innovative research direct to Phase II contract tasks the partnership with developing a conformable hydrogen tank that meets strict requirements set forth by the U.S. Army. The conformable tanks would allow for more efficient storage and usage capabilities in hydrogen powered vehicles.
“At present, cylindrical or spherical metallic tanks are the most commonly used storage containers for hydrogen,” said Dr. Ranji Vaidyanathan, head of the Next Generation Materials Lab at OSU-Tulsa. “However, those types of tanks are not as efficient in their use of space and also tend to be very heavy, which is not ideal for use in vehicles like aircraft.”
The team has worked previously on conformable tanks for compressed natural gas applications. They developed an octagonal tank that was lightweight, durable and able to be stacked on top of one another. These CNG tanks will serve as the starting point for the project, but must be further refined to solve the challenges of storing hydrogen, namely the immense pressure the hydrogen will be stored under. Also, the team has been tasked with making the production method scalable and be able to say with certainty that the tanks will serve an agreed upon lifespan.
“These tanks will be manufactured using 90% additive manufacturing processes and are designed to be lightweight, using non-cylindrical geometries, making them easier to transport and use in a variety of different environments,” said Matt Villarreal, CEO and cofounder of Infinite Composites. “They are made of advanced composite materials that leverage nano-scaled reinforcements, allowing for greater strength and durability while maintaining a lightweight design.”
The use of hydrogen as a replacement for fossil fuel is rapidly growing, and could, given the success of this project, see the state of Oklahoma placed among the leaders in this next-generation fuel industry.
“This contract is a one of the first of its kind to be awarded to a group based solely in Oklahoma,” Vaidyanathan said. “This is an amazing opportunity for OSU, Infinite Composites and for the state of Oklahoma.”
About Infinite Composites
Infinite Composites, Inc. is an Oklahoma-based small business focused on providing next-generation gas storage solutions for space exploration and sustainable transportation. The company provides products and services for aerospace/defense, transportation, and industrial gas applications. Its primary products are linerless, composite pressure vessels. For more information visit www.infinitecomposites.com or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.