Engineering Materials

Manufacturing lightweight and cost-effective tanks for hydrogen vehicles

As automakers continue to refine cutting-edge hydrogen vehicle technology, designing safe and durable hydrogen fuel tanks is essential. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is used for numerous tank manufacturing applications, but is susceptible to blistering and requires higher wall thickness compared to polyamides (PA) to meet permeation standards. Standard PA6 materials are cost-effective and demonstrate high thermal resistance, but often become brittle at sub-zero temperatures. To get ahead of competing suppliers, manufacturers need to select a thermoplastic solution that effectively balances their design, performance and cost considerations.

Understand why choosing DSM in hydrogen tanks

DSM launched Akulon® Fuel Lock  to respond to rapidly increasing demand for sustainable materials for vehicles and outdoor equipment. The advanced PA6 is ideal for producing type IV pressure vessels that are 70% lighter than steel alternatives, and offer excellent mechanical strength, dimensional stability, and impact resistance throughout part lifetimes. Akulon Fuel Lock tank liners enhance vehicle safety and fuel efficiency by providing an excellent barrier that reduces permeation leakage of hydrogen from the pressure vessel. 

Due to its unique chemical structure, Akulon Fuel Lock provides superior properties compared to HDPE and PA11. The material achieves a higher safety margin than HDPE when heated to 85°C and exceeds widely-used thermal stability safety standards. Fast fill testing conducted in a -40°C environment verifies that Akulon Fuel Lock performs well in low temperature conditions.

Explore DSM grades for hydrogen tanks

Akulon® Fuel Lock FLE-LP NA99001

Akulon® is our family of high performance polyamide 6 and polyamide 66 materials, used by customers across the world in applications ranging from automotive, electronics & electrical, to furniture and packaging.

We offer Akulon® grades for injection molding, blow molding and extrusion (including barrier film, stock shapes, convoluted tubes, and mono and multi filament).

In molded parts the material offers an excellent balance of easy design and processing with outstanding mechanical properties over a wide temperature range and in diverse conditions. Meanwhile for extrusion the strength, resilience and easy processing of Akulon® sets the market standards.

  • Low fuel permeation PA6 suitable for use in injection molding/welding of small engine fuel tanks
  • Low fuel permeation

Akulon® Fuel Lock FLE40-HP

Akulon® is our family of high performance polyamide 6 and polyamide 66 materials, used by customers across the world in applications ranging from automotive, electronics & electrical, to furniture and packaging.

We offer Akulon® grades for injection molding, blow molding and extrusion (including barrier film, stock shapes, convoluted tubes, and mono and multi filament).

In molded parts the material offers an excellent balance of easy design and processing with outstanding mechanical properties over a wide temperature range and in diverse conditions. Meanwhile for extrusion the strength, resilience and easy processing of Akulon® sets the market standards.

  • Low fuel permeation PA6 suitable for use in blow molding

Browse hydrogen tanks applications

Hydrogen fuel tanks

Automotive | Engine Fuel System

70% lighter than conventional steel tanks ; Cost-effective solution due to excellent processability ;High impact resistance and high elongation down to -60°C (-76°F) ;Guaranteed to last for the lifetime of the product

Hydrogen fuel cells

Automotive | Drivetrain

Fuel cell systems need to use materials that are pure. If not, ion leaching will occur which will poison the catalyst & clog the membrane, lead to life time & efficiency drop of fuel cell system; Moreover, material with excellent hydrolytic and heat aging resistance is highly favorable to ensure its life time performance. Xytron™, our high-performance PPS compound, offers the high purity and superior mechanical performance needed to achieve the industry’s lowest ion leaching performance at temperatures up to 120°C, and highest hydrolytic and chemical resistance. This enables OEMs to develop long-lasting, highly efficient PEMFCs that lower the cost per kilometer and total cost of ownership for end users.

Contact us for more information

Direct and easy access to our broad portfolio of high-performance plastics: request a quote or order a sample. You can also simply ask our Hydrogen Tanks experts.

Gain more hydrogen tanks insights

  • Manufacturing lightweight and cost-effective tanks for hydrogen vehicles

    A long-standing barrier to increasing the adoption of hydrogen vehicles is the weight and cost of their pressurized fuel tanks – which are typically made of steel or aluminium and limit a vehicle’s range and load capacity. As a result, manufacturers are looking to replace metal hydrogen tank materials with engineering thermoplastics that enable them to simplify designs, reduce part weight and lower production costs.

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