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MCS, the provider of gas vessels and pressure cylinders, is using an Araldite hot curing epoxy system for the production of high strength, composite fuel tanks for performance and endurance vehicles.
The MCS technology is based on a unique carbon fibre epoxy matrix system. Composite fuel tanks are typically more than 55% lighter than steel compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel tanks, providing a more favourable weight to volume ratio than their steel counterparts and giving benefits to the overall performance of endurance of the vehicles.
MCS chose Araldite LY 564 low viscosity epoxy resin, Aradur 917 anhydride hardener and 960-1 Accelerator. The decision was based on the Araldite system’s mechanical properties, fibre impregnation properties and handling behaviour in the filament winding.
Commenting on the choice of hot curing epoxy system, Heinz Kubitza, director of engineering at MCS, said: “As well as offering attractive operational features such as low viscosity, a long pot life and short cure times, we were most impressed with the Araldite system’s supreme resistance to the pressure load that enables this new generation of composite cylinders to hold far greater volumes of fuel.”
One eco-friendly land vehicle, a CNG powered Volkswagen Caddy EcoFuel, has been travelling the world with help from CNG composite pressure fuel tanks developed by MCS and the Araldite hot curing epoxy system. The selection of the higher capacity composite gas tanks by Rainer Zietlow, the driver of the VW Caddy, is central to his quest to drive the planet’s longest highways using locally fuelled natural gas, whilst maximising the time spent on the road.
According to figures published in March 2010, Zietlow’s VW Caddy EcoFuel, powered by CNG has travelled almost emissions of some 20,000 miles on its current journey with savings on its CO 20% compared to a standard 1.6 litre petrol engine.
In the VW Caddy, Zietlow has so far set a world distance record for natural gas powered cars. Its journeys include some of the most exotic road trips known to man, for example the 15,500 mile route from Tierra Del Fuego to Alaska.
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