High pressure cylinders for motor vehicles that use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for their propulsion can now benefit from lightweight, cost competitive, advanced composite materials.
Gastank Sweden AB, are now able to produce a cylinder that meets the stringent ECE R110 regulation governing the use of type IV high pressure cylinders containing CNG for motor vehicles, using HiPer-tex high performance glass fibre from 3B.
CNG has risen strongly in popularity over the last few years and more than 11 million vehicles worldwide use this fuel. Currently, high pressure tanks are made of steel which are extremely heavy, adding significantly to the weight of the vehicle. Lighter weight carbon fibre composites can be used, but component cost is usually an issue for most vehicles.
Professor Kurt Berglund – President for Gastank Sweden AB based in Piteå, Sweden stated; “HiPer-tex high performance fibres enable the gap between heavy weight steel and high cost, carbon fibre composites to be bridged due to its ability to deliver a comprehensive package of properties economically. This makes lighter weight, composite CNG tanks available to a much wider range of customers. This will consequently have an extremely positive impact on energy consumption and CO2 emissions as CNG continues to grow as a propulsion fuel.”
Hugues Jacquemin, CEO of 3B added: “Our unique HiPer-tex glass formulation, delivers a high level of performance in composite parts such as wind blades, ballistic armour and high pressure vessels or pipes while ensuring sustainable economics. We are very pleased at 3B to partner with Gastank Sweden AB to develop a CNG tank that can withstand immense impacts and has extremely long term durability thanks to the high mechanical, fatigue and corrosion resistant properties of HiPer-tex.”
CNG as fuel system is fitted to approximately 2 million cars per 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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