Expect Further Detail at Transportation Summit in Michigan
3M is “on schedule” to launch its lower-cost lightweight Type IV compressed natural gas fuel cylinder, and is expected to release further detail at the 3M Transportation Summit at the 3M Automotive Market Center in Livonia, Mich. on October 2.
Alternative Energy heads the list of Summit topics, followed by Weight Reduction, Safety and Security, Sustainability, Passenger Comfort and Personalization, Productivity, and Aesthetics.
An afternoon seminar on compressed natural gas affords an opportunity to learn more about 3M’s projected January launch of its economical Type IV all-composite CNG fuel cylinder.
The new tank will be manufactured by 3M using a proprietary, nanoparticulate matrix resin said to better translate the strength properties of expensive carbon fiber – allowing for less fiber and reduced manufacturing cost (F&F, March 28, 2011).
3M has teamed with Chesapeake Energy to speed commercialization of the new Type IVs, pledging to bring product to market by year-end (F&F, February 27). They have been talking with big-name potential fleet users, OEMs, and various natural gas vehicle specialists, says Rick Maveus, global business manager for 3M advanced composites.
Certification to NGV2 standards is well underway, and the formal launch is slated for January.
“We’re on schedule,” Maveus says. The initial product will be a CNG cylinder 21.5 inches in diameter and 60 inches long. “We’ve got other geometries underway,” he told F&F.
World Presence Sought
3M’s new CNG tanks will be available for both 3,600-psi/250 bar North America and 3,000-psi/bar 200 world service pressures. “3M’s entering this market with the full-on intent to be a global player,” Maveus says.
He’s planning a series of announcements, with the first disclosing 3M’s U.S. production site for the new cylinders, in the coming weeks and months. 3M expects to exhibit at the world natural gas vehicles in Mexico City in early November, at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis in March, and at ACT Expo in Washington, D.C. in June, Maveus says.
No fewer than 13 3M divisions will be represented at the October 2 Summit, says Ed Gies, business development manager for 3M’s automotive division in Livonia. Among the vehicles to be displayed are a Roush Mustang and a Ford F-250 CNG conversion by Venchurs.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels reportage