To evaluate the feasibility of our approach, we trialled the new assessment methodology on two pressure vessel use-cases.
Metallic pressure vessels (Type I) have been in use for around 150 years. This makes them an ideal test case as considerable data is available on their structure and performance, matched with decades of engineering experience. This presents new opportunities to optimise current certification processes by using simulation and analysis to enhance the use of physical testing.
Equally, demand for pressure vessels will grow significantly as hydrogen becomes a go-to greener energy resource, particularly for transport. Compared with metallic alternatives, composite pressure vessels (Type IV and V) for hydrogen are relatively new, being in development for around 30 years, so there is an opportunity for analytical and simulation-based certification to be advanced simultaneously with the design and engineering processes.
The outcomes of the pressure vessel use cases were used to inform a more wide-reaching roadmap for composite pressure vessels.
To explore how manufacturers can both engineer a product, and simultaneously approve it while making it, the team staged workshops and meetings with pressure vessel manufacturers, certification and standards bodies, as well as end-users from the transport, nuclear and aerospace industries, plus liquid and gas suppliers.
Participants discussed design for certification by analysis, performance and manufacturing, using the new assessment methodology and the pressure vessels use cases, identifying barriers to progress and potential solutions.
For the Type I pressure vessel, the trial identified new opportunities to explore how analysis techniques could be used to reduce cost and waste in the certification process, as the level of available engineering data builds trust in the digital processes. Two digital testing methods were identified as being viable certification by analysis approaches, based on cost and capability.
For the Type IV and V pressure vessels, two possible digital testing methods were identified and the market ambition for certification by analysis for composite pressure vessels was characterised. This knowledge then informed the development of a more wide-reaching roadmap for accelerating certification in the UK – a pathway that could be adapted to fit other pressure vessel applications.
The roadmap highlights the engineering skills, systems and processes needed to accelerate use of certification by analysis for composite pressure vessels for hydrogen.
The roadmap timeline shows a range of delivery dates and the investment required to accelerate development of skills, processes and verification techniques, the goal being to halve the time to market for certification by analysis.
The positive response and engagement from industry, in particular, vehicle manufacturers and certification bodies, has shown the ambition for the UK supply chain to lead innovation in composite pressure vessel certification, with the roadmap setting out the pathway to accelerate action.
To access the roadmap and to find out more about the pressure vessel use case outcomes, please contact with the project team.