Cryogenically Flexible, Low Permeability Thoraeus Rubber H2 Dispenser Hose

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-13ER90674
Agency Tracking Number: 76529
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: 06a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000801
Small Business Information
158 Wheatland Drive, Pembroke, VA, 24136-3645
DUNS: 008963758
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jennifer Lalli
 (540) 626-6266
Business Contact
 Melissa Campbell
Title: Ms.
Phone: (540) 626-6266
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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