Press Releases

Toray Advanced Composites to lead research consortium for development of liquid hydrogen composite tanks for civil aviation

14 December 2021

NIJVERDAL, The Netherlands, December 14, 2021 – Toray Advanced Composites, together with partners from industry and academia, has been awarded funding from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy’s Research and Development for Mobility scheme for the development of a long-life, fully composite liquid hydrogen tank for civil aviation.

Hydrogen has been identified by the European Commission (EC) as a key priority to achieve the European Green Deal for a sustainable economy. By converting the construction of the hydrogen tank from existing metallic solutions to composites, the liquid hydrogen (LH2) composite tank will achieve weight savings that enable the advancement of liquid hydrogen as a sustainable fuel source for civil aviation. This will lower the carbon footprint of air travel and increase and extend the flight range of aircraft fleet by reducing construction weight and cost.

The cross-sector research undertaken as part of this program aims to result in a lightweight composite tank that can withstand the incredibly low temperature of liquid hydrogen, minus 253°C. The project will focus on both composite tank construction, digital design strategies and production technologies.

The consortium comprises of 13 partners across academia and industry: Aircraft Development and Systems Engineering (ADSE), Airborne, Bold Findings, Cryoworld, GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business, IT’S Engineering, KVE, NLR, PhotonFirst Technologies, Somni Solutions, TANIQ, and Technical University Delft together with SAM|XL.

Frank Meurs, Managing Director, Toray Advanced Composites, “We are delighted to have been granted this funding. By joining together the best of Dutch industries and institutes in a unique consortium, we will contribute to the acceleration of hydrogen technology into aerospace as a sustainable fuel source for the future. This project underlines the commitment across the supply chain to drive forward sustainable propulsion technologies and is conducted in full alignment with the major aircraft and engine manufacturers.”

About Toray Advanced Composites

Toray Advanced Composites is a leader in the development and production of advanced thermoplastic and thermoset composite materials. The broad product portfolio is incorporated in high-performance products for aerospace, space, communications, automotive, consumer, and industrial applications. Toray Advanced Composites has a long heritage of combining state-of-the-art materials technology with world-class technical expertise to deliver a unique customer-centric business model. Production and operation facilities are in North America, Europe, and Asia. Toray Advanced Composites is a subsidiary of the Toray Group.

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Notes for Editors:

LH2 Composite Tanks partner information:

LH2 consortium project partner overview

Aircraft Development and Systems Engineering (ADSE)

ADSE Consulting and Engineering in Hoofddorp (NL) is the international expert on transportation systems of today and tomorrow in the markets of Aerospace, Defence, Rail and Maritime. With our engineering, certification and consultancy experience, we provide integrated design solutions and improve your organization. For more than 25 years, we make it work.


Airborne is a technology leader in advanced composites, based in the Netherlands and UK and with a global customer base. We are specialised in engineering, manufacturing and automation of strong and durable composites for Space, Aeronautics, Mobility and Marine industries. With our 25 years heritage in composites, we help our clients with improving the efficiency and flexibility of composite manufacturing, either by supplying automation and digitalisation solutions or by providing the service of manufacturing.

Airborne’s focus is on industrialisation of the manufacturing of high-end composite products, at high production rates and radically low conversion costs, by making manufacturing easy, flexible and fast.

Bold Findings

The objective of Bold Findings is to contribute to the acceleration of energy transition with innovations and applying extensive knowledge, insights, and networking capabilities to make things work.

The company is founded by Aad Bruggeman. A renowned inventor, innovator and founder of Bond3D. His knowledge of plastic processing technology originates in inventing and developing a patented processing technology of High-Performance plastics.


Cryoworld B.V. is a manufacturer of cryogenic, vacuum insulated equipment and is positioned at the forefront or specialized cryogenic hardware technologies. It is one of only few companies worldwide able to design and build high-tech systems for operation with the coldest liquefied gasses, such as liquid hydrogen and liquid helium. Customers are renowned international laboratories (e.g., CERN) and R&D departments within industry and research institutes. An integral aspect in our business profile is our leading position in high-tech design and manufacturing. Cryoworld is known worldwide for her creative and innovative way to develop new cryogenic technologies.

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GKN Aerospace

GKN Aerospace is the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. As a global company serving the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, GKN Aerospace develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies– for use in aircraft ranging from helicopters and business jets to the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world. Lightweight composites, additive manufacturing, innovative engine systems and smart transparencies help to reduce emissions and weight on the aircraft and enhance passenger comfort. GKN Aerospace is market leading in aerostructures, engine systems, transparencies and wiring systems and operates in 13 countries at 40 manufacturing locations employing approximately 15,000 people.

IT’S Engineering

IT’S Engineering stands for Innovative Technical Solutions. We offer our customers help on engineering level in order to design constructions in the space- and aerospace industry and/or we help certifying them. The main objective is to provide structural engineering support to other companies.

Kok & Van Engelen Composite Structures

Kok & Van Engelen Composite Structures (KVE) has a world-wide recognized position on inductive assembly of carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites, especially for aerospace applications. Well-known applications of their KVE Induct technology can be found in the welded assembly of the rudders and elevators of the Gulfstream G650 and the Dassault Falcon 6X (performed under license by Fokker Aerostructures) and of the fuel tank access panels for the Airbus A220 (performed under license by Aviacomp in France). All these KVE Induct applications make use of Toray materials. KVE has already validated their assembly method for cryogenic applications for a major oil & gas company. Thermoplastics have demonstrated a superior performance under these conditions due to their inherent toughness and resistance against microcracking, which is not reduced by the welding process.

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Photonfirst Technologies

PhotonFirst is expert in measuring the world with light. We use fiber optics sensors in combination with the most advanced and in-house developed interrogator systems based on Photonics Integrated Circuits using spectrometry and interferometry principles for improved resolution, minitiaturization, reduced energy consumption and cost.

PhotonFirst’s role in the project is to develop miniature, scalable device solutions, specifically for interrogating fiber optic sensors for health and condition monitoring of composite Liquid-Hydrogen tanks, including the digitization of health data and integration of the measurement system in the production process of the composite tanks.

Royal NLR – Netherlands Aerospace Centre

NLR offers innovative solutions and technical expertise, creating a strong competitive position for the aerospace sector. NLR operates as an objective and independent not-for-profit research centre with a mission to achieve sustainable, safe, efficient and effective aerospace operations. Both domestically and abroad, NLR plays a pivotal role between science, the commercial sector and governmental authorities, bridging the gap between fundamental research and practical applications. NLR established the Automated Composite Manufacturing Technology Centre in support of the composites industry in the Netherlands.

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Somni Solutions

Somni Solutions designs, develops, and manufactures high-end fiber optic sensors. Somni Sensors can be found in several high-profile applications, such as ITER, the nuclear fusion plant in the South of France and the constant monitoring of the new San Giorgio bridge in Genoa (Italy) which replaced the Morandi bridge after its disastrous collapse in 2018.

Fiber optic sensors are, due to their passive nature, intrinsically safe to use in an explosion hazardous environment and can operate in the harshest environments even at temperatures down to -253C. In the project several different types of fiber optic sensors will be developed by Somni to safeguard the envisioned Liquid Hydrogen tank.


TANIQ is a Technology Company specialized in software and robotic winding systems for i) reinforced rubber products and ii) composite products. TANIQ developed powerful (filament) winding software TANIQWind for design of composite pressure vessels and specialty products. A spin-off from the Aerospace Faculty of Delft University of Technology, TANIQ was one of the first companies worldwide who started with robotic winding of composites in 2007 and has become a global expert in the field of robotic winding of composites. With the composite engineering knowhow and in-house developed winding software and robotic systems, TANIQ assists Clients worldwide with design optimization and automation of their high-end composite applications in various demanding industries.

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SAM|XL and the faculty of Aerospace Engineering TU Delft

SAM|XL is the TU Delft factory of the future for sustainable autonomous manufacturing. As a leading research center, SAM|XL forms a unique liaison between TU Delft faculties and the industry. The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering is one of these faculties. It is one of the world’s most highly ranked and comprehensive academic research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. The faculty works together with partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry – aerospace and non-aerospace. In field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond, such as SAM|XL.

For more information regarding this press release please contact:

Jenny Hodgson, Marketing Manager EMEA

Toray Advanced Composites

t +44 7983 291 312


Laura Sordello, Marketing Manager US

Toray Advanced Composites

t +1 (408) 465 8602


Liquid Hydrogen Image copyright NLR.

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