Are hydrogen fuel cells the future of aerospace composites?
Whether it’s to protect the environment from emissions or to be less dependent on limited resources, many automotive and aerospace manufacturers are exploring alternatives to oil for powering engines.
Both electric and hybrid engines are already experiencing some popularity in consumer culture. However, hybrid engines still consume fossil fuels and electric engines have a long way to go until they’re efficient for everyone and in demanding applications. Recently, though, developers have been exploring the opportunities available with hydrogen fuel cells.
What are hydrogen fuel cells?
A hydrogen fuel cell is essentially a battery that converts hydrogen into energy. Hydrogen fuel cells produce no waste except heat and water vapor. This makes them ideal for the environment and reducing dependency on limited fossil fuels. However, applications for hydrogen fuel cells have been limited until the more recent years.
Now, hydrogen fuel cells are beginning to be used in cars, with opportunities for exploration in other industries as well.
What do hydrogen fuel cells have to do with aerospace composites?
Hydrogen fuel cells are produced with composite materials because they are tough, durable, lightweight and easy to mold. These are important qualities in the aerospace industry that demands nothing less for safe and efficient flights.
Hydrogen fuel cells have been used in space exploration for a while. Now, they are making more of a breakthrough into aviation, with many aircraft manufacturers looking for alternatives to fossil fuels.
Currently, many aircraft use hydrogen fuel cells in some capacity, but none fly exclusively on hydrogen fuel cells. However, as more efficient hydrogen fuel cells are being developed due to the public outcry for better fuel sources, you can expect to see them have a bigger role in aerospace in the near future.
Composites One is the leading composites distributor in the U.S. and Canada
If your business produces aerospace materials, you know how important it is to have access to quality composite materials. Whether in hydrogen fuel cells or in aircraft structure, composites help keep aircraft in the sky.
At Composites One, we supply manufacturers in North America with thousands of composite materials. We distribute composites from 41 different distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada to ensure manufacturers across the continent can get what they need quickly. Contact us today to learn more about composites.
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