Fabian Duarte Martinez with his winning poster

H2-ICE Research Poster Competition Winner


We are delighted that our partnered researcher from Cranfield University, Fabian Duarte Martinez has won 1st prize in the category “Expected Impact for the User Industry” with his poster “Development of Al2O3-based hydrogen permeation barrier coatings for hydrogen-fuelled diesel combustion engines (H2-ICE)” at the Materials Research Exchange 2022 (London, UK), on a project sponsored by Zircotec Ltd.  

What is the APC 18 Brunel Project? 

Currently, the EU is responsible for 15% of the CO2 emitted globally, as part of the APC 18 Brunel project, Zircotec is contributing towards net-zero emissions research in the automotive industry. The goal of developing new hydrogen engines aided with suitable coatings is to enhance power density and improve thermal efficiency whilst minimising the risk of failure by incorporating Hydrogen in these extreme working environments. 

Zircotec’s Involvement  

Zircotec Group is developing a range of coatings to facilitate the development and operation of Hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines to substitute existing ICE engines to reduce CO2 emissions, the new working environment of the engine components arises various challenges. To overcome potential issues such as hydrogen embrittlement and accelerated corrosion rates, research was carried out for a suitable surface material which can minimise the risk of failure in such forms. Through different coating development strategy: sol gel, anodising, gold brush plating and hydrothermal oxidation, we have obtained promising results so far that can potentially work as hydrogen permeation barrier coatings.  

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We’re excited to see the results of further testing of these methods, to continually accelerate the development of H2-ICE. This award strengthens our belief in designing coatings and materials for the hydrogen economy, to facilitate industry decarbonisation.   

If you are working on any projects that you think could benefit from thermal management coating development expertise, feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements further