Additive manufacturing of lightweight structures for hydrogen-powered vehicles

February 23rd, 2023

R&D Focus Areas:
Advanced manufacturing, Mobility

Lead Organisation:
Swinburne University of Technology

Not Applicable


Start date:
September 2022

Completion date:
September 2026 (estimated)

Key contacts:
Gordon Chakaodza – Director, Victorian Hydrogen Hub:
Victorian Hydrogen Hub (VH2):
Dong Ruan – Project Primary Supervisor:
Zizhao Peng – Project Key Researcher:

Victorian Government – Victorian Hydrogen Hub

Project total cost:

Project summary description:
With the continuous efforts in Additive Manufacturing (AM), this new technology has transformed the way things are produced, which has great potential and benefits in various industrial sectors such as automotives. Hydrogen-powered vehicles are receiving more interest in the automobile industry with its advantages in environment and efficiency. However, the increase of weight by installing hydrogen tanks, fuel cell stacks and batteries is becoming a concern in terms of mobility and energy consumption.

This aim of this project is to investigate lightweight parts fabricated by AM for hydrogen-powered vehicles with high mechanical performance and energy absorption capacity, such parts including hydrogen storage tanks and supporting structures for fuel cell stacks.

This project is mainly laboratory-based, where optimal fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites (FRCs) will be investigated for various hydrogen-powered vehicle applications. Mechanical tests including tensile, compressive, and flexural tests have been conducted at Swinburne University of Technology. Current results show that, adding fibres (e.g., carbon, glass, and Kevlar fibres) can greatly improve the mechanical performance of AM-produced structures. In the future, more material and printing parameters such as fibre volume fraction and stacking sequence will be investigated to achieve optimal performances of printed parts. In addition, scanning electron microscope (SEM) is utilised for fractured surface observations and failure mechanism analysis.

Related publications and key links:
Not Applicable.

Higher degree studies supported:
One PhD by research student at Swinburne University of Technology is supported by this project.


Reviewed: April 2024