USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Cryogenically Flexible, Low Permeability Thoraeus Rubber H2 Dispenser Hose

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Nanosonic, Inc.
VA Pembroke, VA 24136-3645
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Cryogenically Flexible, Low Permeability Thoraeus Rubber H2 Dispenser Hose
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-13ER90674
Award Amount: $150,000.00


NanoSonic has recently developed high strength-to-weight ratio Thoraeus Rubber composites that maintain radiation resistance and EMI shielding upon severe and repeated mechanicals strains. This state-of-the-art, flexible shielding material was designed as a bladder for space-based enclosures that required ultra-low air permeability, radiation tolerance, resistance to hydrogen (H2) embrittlement and creep over an ultra-wide service temperature range of -100C to 450C. NanoSonic specializes in the production of low glass transition (Tg) polymer matrix resins that also afford side-chain moieties capable of bonding with a wide range of fillers, tough textiles, and carbon or glass composite scrims. Typical low Tg polymers are non-polar and do not form durable interfaces with reinforcing agents, which ultimately leads to disbanding and unreliable performance. In support of the DOEs Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fuel Cell Technology and Hydrogen Delivery goals to realize hydrogen as a safe, reliable, and cost effective replacement for gasoline, NanoSonic offers Thoraeus Rubber as a flexible, tough, low-permeability H2 dispenser hose. Thoraeus Rubber has been demonstrated to maintain low air permeability ( & lt;1.58cc/100in2/day/atm) upon the triple fold cold flex test conducted at -50 C. Herein, an innovative reinforced version would be developed to optimize ultra-low hydrogen permeability and embrittlement. NanoSonic has produced related Shape Memory-Metal Rubber flexible hoses with inner diameters ranging from to 1.5 and Thoraeus Rubber tapes up to 100 in length. For this program, hose specimens would be produced with inner diameters similar to those currently used to dispense gasoline to meet the service requirement of 25,550 fills per year at a cost of $2-4 gallon of gas equivalent (gge) H2 by 2020. The outer diameter would be optimized as a function of flexibility and toughness to survive both the Joule-Thompson effect thermal cycles and a maximum working pressure of at least 860 bar. Feasibility exists as NanoSonics morphing hose performs in freezing seawater to repeatedly change its shape to maintain a continual optimal hydrodynamic form without rupture. For safety considerations, the multifunctional Thoraeus Rubber films are comprised of low Tg, copolymer matrix resins modified with alternating layers of nanoparticles with high and low atomic numbers (Z) for radiation resistance, or in this case, electrostatic discharge (ESD). Feasibility exists for ESD protection as NanoSonics unique molecular level deposition technique yields pinhole-free nanocomposites with ultra-thin (10 100 nm), uniform layers of particles that maintain EMI shielding (up to -100 dB over 4 18 GHz) upon mechanical strains up to 50 % elongation. NanoSonics partner, ILC Dover, is the leading manufacturer of flexible pharmaceutical containment systems as well as radiation tolerant space suits. NanoSonics proposed hose materials would be qualified with assistance from ILC and be considered for dual-use commercialization to further reduce production costs. During Phase I, life cycle constraints including permeability, durability, and cost shall be considered to increase the current TRL from 4 to 5. During Phase II, ILC Dover shall validate a Thoraeus Rubber H2 transport dispenser workable prototype in a variety of environmental setting and handling conditions to increase the TRL from 5 to 7.

Principal Investigator:

Jennifer Lalli

Business Contact:

Melissa P. Campbell
Small Business Information at Submission:

NanoSonic, Inc.
VA Pembroke, VA 24136-3645

EIN/Tax ID: 541877635
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No