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Polymer material may ease hydrogen flow for future service stations

 

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Dec. 27, 2006 — Fiber-reinforced polymer material to construct pipelines that will transport hydrogen to service stations of the future is being developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Oak Ridge's Tim Armstrong says a one-mile stretch of polymer piping could cost half the amount of conventional steel pipe.

"Essentially it is a polymer pipe reinforced with either a fiberglass or carbon fiber composite exterior which will provide the strength for the high pressure hydrogen as it moves down the pipe," Armstrong says.

Armstrong says the pipeline would contain sensors to monitor maintenance.

"You would have a mile of continuous pipeline between welds and there would be significantly fewer seals or seams and potentially fewer failure points for this pipeline," Armstrong adds.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.

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