Selective Fiber Placement and Discontinuous Reinforcing Fibers
Quantum Fuel Systems is talking up “an alternative new technology leap” for its lightweight carbon composite compressed natural gas and hydrogen fuel tanks. updated October 17
A combination of selective fiber placement and the use of discontinuous reinforcing fibers can result in a reduction of more than 20% in material utilization, Quantum says – making CNG tanks both lighter and cheaper.
“The underlying methodology for the design and analysis of discrete composite elements was developed by Quantum, and the manufacturing process involving discontinuous reinforcing fibers was further developed and demonstrated under collaboration with the Boeing Company and the Pacific Northwest National Labs,” Quantum says, citing U.S. DoE sponsorship.
‘Reduce the Use of Expensive Carbon Fiber’
“Quantum continues to innovate and enhance our industry-leading ultra-lightweight storage tank technology,” Quantum president and CEO Brian Olson said in a release.
“This exciting breakthrough will significantly reduce the use of expensive carbon fiber, which resulted from a multi-year development program in partnership with global leaders in utilizing lightweight materials,” he said.
Deliberate Path to Certification
Quantum is meanwhile continuing the verification tests that are part of the regulatory codes and industry standards governing CNG and hydrogen pressure vessels, says CTO Neel Sirosh. “These tests are expected to be completed in 2013,” he says.
“Once our manufacturing facility is upgraded with the new process elements, we will start the official regulatory qualification tests,” Sirosh told F&F.
“This is at least one year away.”
In late September Quantum reported a “record” production contract, worth $9.3 million, for Q-Lite brand CNG fuel cylinders for heavy duty rucks powered by the new ISX12 G engine from Cummins Westport.
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Source: Quantum release with Fleets & Fuels follow-up