Claims ‘The Lightest Fuel System on the Market,
Offering a Similar Operating Experience to Diesel,’
Company Details Its Extensive Crash-Test Efforts
Worthington Industries has introduced its heavily tested rail mount compressed natural gas fuel system for trucks employing its Type III carbon fiber-on-aluminum CNG cylinders.
“With only five unique parts, the Type 3 Rail Mount is the lightest fuel system on the market, offering a similar operating experience to diesel trucks,” Worthington says. “It is designed to improve fuel economy and increase payload, reducing fleet total cost of ownership.”
The systems, which have been subject to extensive crash testing, are available with capacities of 25 to 49 DGE/diesel gallon equivalents.
Weight ‘Can Make or Break Profitability’
“Weight means something different for each fleet and for some, it can make or break profitability,” said Worthington alternative fuel systems business GM Wayne Powers says in a release.
“For others, it’s a fuel economy factor,” Powers said. “This system, built with input from truck OEMs, installers and fleet owners, achieves both objectives.”
Worthington uses truck OEM factory-installed brackets to hold the Type III cylinder, resulting in fit and finish equivalent to that of a diesel tank. OEM factory-installed steps provide standard driver ingress and egress. And, “at 27 inches width off of the frame rail,” Worthington says, “the fuel system provides a similar width profile to diesel trucks, reducing the likelihood of clipping objects on turns.”
Food Express, Inc. Is Launch Customer
The system, manufactured in Salt Lake City, debuts with seven units for Arcadia, Calif.-based Food Express, Inc.
“In making the switch to CNG, we looked at many system offerings and were impressed by Worthington’s new system,” Food Express VP Kevin Keeney says in the Worthington announcement. “It’s simple though robust, looks like a normal truck and delivers weight-savings while requiring less maintenance,” he said.
Worthington has contracted with Karco Engineering to perform crash testing on heavy duty trucks equipped with its frame rail-mounted CNG cylinders, says product group manager John Coursen.
‘A Test Matrix of Escalating Kinetic Energy’
“Unlike previous industry efforts, the crash test program comprises a test matrix of escalating kinetic energy where the collision parameters in each impact scenario are measured and video recorded for subsequent analysis.
“More specifically,” he told F&F, “the crash tests are being conducted with 4000- and 8000-pound hard-faced test sleds at increasing velocities and with pressurized and unpressurized cylinders.
After Crash-Test, Burst-Test Repeated
“As well,” Coursen continues, “the CNG cylinders are being directly impacted without any shielding, and their longitudinal axis is positioned above the bottom edge of the truck frame rail so as to simulate a worse case angle of attack where the cylinder is pinched into the rail. Most importantly, the CNG cylinders are being retrieved after crash testing for residual strength (burst) testing under the auspices of a USDOT approved third party inspection agency.
“These burst values are then compared to the burst pressure of an undamaged, exemplar cylinder taken from the same production lot. In this way persons can more readily quantify and evaluate the structural effect upon the cylinders.”
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Source: Worthington Industries with Fleets & Fuels follow-up