Car manufacturers worldwide try to lower their fleet consumption and to fulfill new challenging environmental regulations. Some of the most promising candidates to lower CO2 emissions are natural gas and fuel cell driven cars.
For these purposes compressed natural gas (CNG) and hydrogen are stored in filament wound high pressure vessels. One of the main driving forces in current pressure vessel research and development is cost reduction. Major cost factor of pressure vessels is the fiber material, because of the use of high performance carbon fibers and the required wall thicknesses due to high pressure needed to store sufficient amount of CNG or hydrogen.
So many researchers focus on new materials for filament winding of pressure vessels in order to lower manufacturing costs. During the last years basalt fibers came into focus of researchers and composite manufacturers as a cost competitive reinforcement material.
Combining those two trends, investigations on mechanical properties of basalt fibers and unidirectional basalt fiber reinforced epoxy composites were performed and compared with state of the art fibers and polymer composites. The research included tensile testing of impregnated roving test specimens, tensile evaluation of unidirectional filament wound flat specimens, 3-point-bending tests and short beam shear tests.
Unidirectional fiber composite specimens were manufactured by filament winding on a flat specimen winding tool with an epoxy matrix. Results show superior mechanical properties of basalt composites compared to E-glass-epoxy samples. Tensile strength and stiffness are between E-glass and S-glass-epoxy composites, but inferior compared to carbon-HT-composites. At present further investigations are conducted on tensile fatigue properties, Charpy impact properties and hoop tensile strength by split disk method for basalt fiber and hybrid-fiber polymers.
Goal is a complete mechanical characterization of basalt fibers and basalt fiber polymer composites in order to build cost competitive pressure vessels made of basalt fibers or a basalt/carbon fiber hybrid.
Eduard Kessler¹, Rainer Gadow², Patrick Weichand²
1 NuCellSys GmbH, Kirchheim u. Teck, Germany;
2 Institute for Manufacturing Technologies of Ceramic Components and Composites (IMTCCC), University of Stuttgart, Germany.
20th International Conference on Composite Materials
Copenhagen, 19-24th July 2015