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.
Thanks to the unique development of HiPer-tex™ high performance glass fibre from 3B, GASTANK Sweden AB, are now able to produce a cylinder that meets the very stringent ECE R110 regulation governing the use of type IV high pressure cylinders containing CNG for motor vehicles.
CNG has risen strongly in popularity over the last few years and more than 11 million vehicles worldwide benefit from this abundant and environmentally beneficial fuel. Currently, high pressure tanks are made of steel which are extremely heavy, adding significantly to the weight of the vehicle. Alternatively, lighter weight carbon fibre composites can be used however, component cost is often prohibitive for most vehicles.
Professor Kurt Berglund – President for GASTANK Sweden AB based in Piteå, Sweden was keen to state; “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 Windblades, Ballistic Armor 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.
HiPer-tex™ high performance fibres are ideally suited to automotive applications, as well as many other industry segments, due to an increasing demand for weight reduction combined with higher performance that is economically viable for high capacity production.
About 3B-the fibreglass company
3B is a leading developer and supplier of fibreglass products and technologies for the reinforcement of thermoplastics and thermosets. This young and dynamic company has two state-of-the-art fibreglass manufacturing facilities in Battice, Belgium and Birkeland, Norway formerly owned by Owens Corning. 3B has its own manufacturing, sales, marketing and R&D organization and is committed to technological innovation and excellence with an emphasis on environmental responsibility. The company has two unique glass technologies – Advantex® an eco-responsible ECR glass and HiPer-tex™ a high performance glass fibre – both used in a wide range of industrial applications such as automotive, defence, infrastructure, to mass transit and renewable wind and marine energy generation.
3B is owned by Platinum Equity, a global firm specializing in the merger, acquisition and operation of companies that provide services and solutions to customers in a broad range of business markets.
About GASTANK Sweden AB
Gastank Sweden AB was quite recently founded, initially with Kurt Berglund’s Company HFC Sweden AB as sole owner. Later on a Korean company also invested in partnership. The idea of Gastank Sweden AB is to produce and sell volume optimized gas tanks and systems for CNG and compressed biogas for cars. For more information, visit http://www.gastank.se