GASTANK Sweden unveils zero permeation composite CNG cylinders

The cylinders meet the ECE R110 regulation governing the use of Type IV high-pressure CNG cylinders for motor vehicles.

“The combination of both Akulon Fuel Lock and HiPer-tex glass fibre enables optimising the cost-benefit ratio of Type IV cylinders," reports Professor Kurt Berglund, President GASTANK Sweden AB.

"HiPer-tex high performance fibre bridges 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 report that independent consultant Powertech Labs Inc Canada did not detect any loss of gas via permeation in the new 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,” he claims.

Material success

"We are very proud at 3B to partner with GASTANK Sweden AB 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,” says Eric Debondue, Business Development Leader at 3B.

According to Tim Vorage, Application Development Manager at DSM, Akulon Fuel Lock polyamide (PA) has a permeation factor at least 150 times lower than high density polyethelyne (HDPE). It also 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.

CNG growth

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