Hydrogen-Powered Heavy-Duty Vehicles
Hydrogen energy is increasingly being used in heavy-duty vehicles as a clean fuel. This is a logical step forward as the automotive industry aims to shift towards complete net-zero emissions in order to meet new government legislation.
Specifically, in the EU, heavy-duty vehicles are expected to have 15% reduced emissions by 2025 and a 30% reduction by 2030, as compared to 2020. This is projected to save around 54 million tonnes of CO2 in the 2020 to 2030 period and increase GPD through the creation of green energy jobs.
Hydrogen vehicles produce no harmful exhaust emissions, in addition to the same performance and torque of electric vehicles with a greater driving range and shorter refuelling times. Hydrogen-electric hybrids are also effective systems for heavy-duty vehicles. This makes hydrogen energy a great option for manufacturers aiming to reach reduced-emission goals. Different types of hydrogen energy also provide different levels of sustainability.
How is Hydrogen Used in Heavy-Duty Vehicles?
Hydrogen is a gas that can be stored in hydrogen pressure vessels. It can be used in heavy-duty vehicles through the use of hydrogen fuel cells specialised for automotive use. Hydrogen fuel cells burn hydrogen and oxygen as a source of energy, producing only steam as a byproduct.
Examples of existing hydrogen-powered trucks include the Nikola One and Two. The Nikola One is powered by hydrogen fuel cells, carries a total gross weight of 36,000 kg and can go up to 1200 miles on a full-range charge; proving the strong case for a hydrogen infrastructure to support wide rollout and adoption further down the line.
Solutions for Manufacturing Hydrogen-Powered Heavy-Duty Vehicles
Manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles worldwide are currently looking for solutions to enable optimised materials development, component integration, component and fuel cell durability and system analysis. Specifically, it’s crucial for manufacturers to reduce weight and improve the thermal management and durability of hydrogen fuel cells; ensuring the longevity, performance and safety of hydrogen systems.
Adhesives and sealants play a crucial role in achieving these targets and enabling the manufacturing of heavy-duty vehicles of the future.
Through the use of leading solutions, manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles can ensure:
- Lightweight vehicles – enabling the highest possible fuel efficiencies.
- Improved strength – through structural enhancements.
- Protection from weathering – possible through sealing.
- Reduced costs – through lower labour and application costs.
- Effective thermal management – required for the storage of hydrogen fuel cells.
Here we explore the best adhesive and sealing solutions for these purposes:
BETAMATE 2810 is a structural adhesive that can be used to bond carbon fibre structures, such as hydrogen fuel cells, within heavy-duty vehicles. It can be used in the early stages of production to make the vehicle crash-resistant, lightweight and stiffer. Additionally, it can be used to bond SMC side panels to aluminium side frames or bond electronic control unit cases.
BETAMATE 2090 is a crash-resistant structural adhesive that can be used for bonding battery pack frames. It provides excellent corrosion resistance and impact peel strength, enhancing the structural integrity of battery packs. This is an essential task in hydrogen-powered heavy-duty vehicles. Through its use, the safety and crash-resistance of the entire vehicle are increased.
Araldite CW 5742 / Aradur HY 5726
Araldite CW 5742 / Aradur HY 5726 is an encapsulation system that can be used to provide high thermal (UL-94), chemical and dimensional stability to motors, ignition coils, rotors and stators in vehicles. Thermal management is an essential aspect of hydrogen vehicles that manufacturers need to focus on. This encapsulation system provides superior flow and gap-filling capabilities, facilitating fast processing times.
DOWSIL -1965 is a conformal coating that can be used to protect printed circuit boards, wiring boards and other sensitive electronic components. It provides extra durability of components by protecting against stress by curing to a soft elastomer. It is transparent, suitable for automation and provides easy adhesion to many substrates.
DOWSIL 7091 is a silicone adhesive and sealant that can be used in battery assembly. It is suitable for use as a Formed-in-Place Gasket (FIPG) material and is stable from -55°C to +180°C. It cures to a tough, flexible rubber at room temperature (when exposed to air) and is easy to apply.
DOWSIL 3-6548 is a silicone RTV foam that can be used to prevent smoke or gas from penetrating through even complex shapes. It is designed specifically for penetrations containing pipes, cables or ductwork, such as those found in battery connectors. It’s resistant to extreme temperatures and UV radiation.