MFTech's automated winding process was utilised to reinforce a PA6 thermoplastic tank liner with the Evopreg® PA thermoplastic tape to manufacture a compressed natural gas pressure vessel.
With the sale of new diesel vehicles being banned in the UK and the EU from 2030, there is a requirement to develop alternative fuel vehicles such as compressed natural gas (CNG) and hydrogen. In this context, a key role will be played by pressure vessels and on-board storage tanks manufactured from composite materials.
MF Tech, a world leader in innovative filament winding machines and associated technologies, has manufactured CNG pressure vessel storage tanks using Evopreg® PA for development and testing as part of the EU-funded POLARIS project.
An automated winding process was utilised to reinforce a 52 litre PA6 thermoplastic tank liner with Evopreg® PA thermoplastic tape, chosen for maximum compatibility since they both use the same polymer.
Evopreg® PA is a range of thermoplastic tapes and for this application utilised a polyamide-6 (PA6) polymer with unidirectional carbon fibre to produce a continuous thermoplastic tape. Evopreg® thermoplastic tapes are suitable for automated tape laying, winding and compression moulding into high-performance, lightweight components.
The tanks manufactured by MF Tech, using Evopreg® PA, were tested by Plastic Omnium under the conditions specified by ISO 11439. This standard relates to “High pressure cylinders for the on-board storage of natural gas as a fuel for automotive vehicles” and specifies minimum requirements for light-weight refillable gas cylinders. Plastic Omnium reports that all the key performance tests were passed and that the burst pressure for this tank exceeded 500 bar – over 2.5 times the tank’s working pressure.
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