Zero Permeation Lightweight Composite CNG Cylinders Feature 3B Hiper-Tex Glass Fibre

28 March 2012

Thanks to the combination of an inner liner made with Akulon Fuel Lock from DSM and the mechanical characteristics of HiPer-tex glass fibre from 3B, GASTANK Sweden, is now able to produce zero permeation cylinders that meet the very stringent ECE R110 regulation governing the use of Type IV high pressure CNG cylinders for motor vehicles.

Professor Kurt Berglund, President GASTANK Sweden stated “The combination of both Akulon Fuel Lock and HiPer-tex glass fibre enables optimising the cost-benefit ratio of Type IV cylinders. HiPer-tex high performance fibres bridge the gap between heavy weight steel and high cost carbon fibre composites due to its ability to deliver a comprehensive range of properties economically whereas the newly developed cost effective Akulon Fuel Lock considerably reduces loss of gas through permeation.”

Berglund goes on to say “Well recognised independent consulting Powertech Labs did not detect any loss of gas via permeation in our newly developed Gastank 32, CNG tank with 32 litre capacity. This unprecedented result makes our lightweight, zero permeation composite CNG tanks a benchmark within the composite cylinder manufacturing industry.”

Eric Debondue, Business Development Leader at 3B added “3B’s unique HiPer-tex glass formulation delivers a high level of performance in composite parts such as windblades, ballistic armour and high pressure vessels or pipes while ensuring sustainable economics. We are very proud at 3B to partner with GASTANK Sweden and DSM to develop an extremely reliable and durable CNG tank thanks to the high mechanical, fatigue and corrosion resistant properties of HiPer-tex fibre as well as the unique high barrier properties of Akulon Fuel Lock.”

Tim Vorage, Application Development Manager at DSM, adds “Our newly developed cost effective Akulon Fuel Lock not only shows a permeation factor at least 150 times lower than high density polyethelyne (HDPE), it also significantly limits creep under extreme temperatures at the cylinder’s neck thanks to a 50°C higher temperature resistance than HDPE. In addition, the ability to withstand higher temperatures allows a faster curing time of the composite material.”

According to 3B, CNG fuel systems equip approximately 2 million cars every year with as many as 4 tanks installed per vehicle. Some OEM’s offer CNG as an option, however many vehicles are retro-fitted and the use of CNG is expected to grow at 18% per year.

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