MIM 316L stainless seeks applications in BMW Hydrogen 7 car

January 15, 2008

January 15, 2008

000456In September 2006 BMW introduced its new BMW Hydrogen 7 car as the world’s first automobile capable of industrialising hydrogen technologies for ‘regular’ production vehicles.

The BMW Hydrogen 7 car has been built in a limited series (around 100) in Europe based on the BMW 7 Series and they are currently being tested in different parts of the world – including by NASA scientists.

BMW states that the new car is equipped with a 260hp 12 cylinder IC engine capable of switching from using either hydrogen or petrol fuel at the switch of a button on the steering wheel. When driving in hydrogen mode, engine emissions are virtually nothing but water vapour.

The car features a high-tech vacuum super-insulated hydrogen tank in which liquid hydrogen can be stored for long periods if kept under pressure and at the extremely low temperature of -253oC. Gaseous hydrogen is said to have the highest energy content of any common fuel by weight, about 3 times more than petrol. In a liquid state at -253oC hydrogen also has excellent energy content by volume.

A research programme is currently underway in Austria called HYDRO-PIM to develop potential applications for complex shape metal injection moulded stainless steel components for use at the extreme low temperatures. Potential applications can be found in the hydrogen storage tank of the BMW Hydrogen 7 and also in the fuel supply to the engine.

The research has focused on testing DIN 1.4404 (316L stainless steel) materials produced by the metal injection molding process, and the results obtained so far were presented at the Euro PM2007 Congress in Toulouse and are published in the December 2007 issue of Powder Injection Moulding International.

ARC Seibersdorf Research GmbH, a research partner in the project, reported the surprising finding that MIM 316L stainless showed an almost threefold increase in tensile strength and with only modest loss of ductility at -253oC compared with room temperature properties, and that they would be excellent candidate materials for components used in the BMW Hydrogen 7 car. Other Austrian partners in the project include Magna Steyr, Ernst Wittner GmbH and Westcam Project Management GmbH.

January 15, 2008

In the latest issue of PM Review…

Download PDF

Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Phoenix Sintered Metals: A story of transformation, growth and community from America’s PM heartland
  • World PM2024 Yokohama: The stage is set for the PM industry to find a path to sustainable growth
  • The state of Europe’s hard magnets industry and the challenge of optimising the mass production of Nd2Fe14B permanent magnets

The latest news from the world of metal powders, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of PM Review, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

Discover our magazine archive…

The free-to-access PM Review magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of Powder Metallurgy from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading PM part manufacturers, metal powder manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


Browse the archive


Looking for PM production equipment, metal powders, R&D support and more?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our
advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PM Review magazine.

  • Powders & materials
  • Powder process, classification & analysis
  • PM products
  • Atomisers & powder production technology
  • Compaction presses, tooling & ancillaries
  • Sintering equipment & ancillaries
  • Post-processing
  • Consulting & toll sintering
View online
Share via
Copy link