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Keep on truckin' with natural gas

Project to develop safer, greener storage tanks for natural-gas fueled vehicles underway

An Ohio-based initiative to develop affordable, safer and recyclable compressed-gas fuel tanks for the trucking and automotive industry, led by the University of Dayton Research Institute, is underway with the kick-off of its first collaborative project. The project launch was announced Feb. 15 by the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, a national consortium of more than 100 members of academia, industry and government.

IACMI was launched in 2015 with a goal of increasing domestic production capacity and composites-manufacturing jobs across the U.S. by facilitating academic and industry partnerships to spur the development of better composite materials, processes and products for use within the automotive, wind turbine and compressed-gas storage industries.

In the first of the compressed-gas storage projects, collaborative partners DuPont Performance Materials, the University of Dayton Research Institute, the Composite Prototyping Center and Steelhead Composites will pursue the use of thermoplastic materials to develop the advanced-composite fuel tanks that will be lighter but stronger than steel.

While compressed-gas storage tanks made of advanced composites have been in use for about two decades, the materials are expensive, require large amounts of energy to manufacture and are difficult to recycle. The use of thermoplastics in tanks will not only reduce their cost, but also make them safer and recyclable.

Brian Rice, head of UDRI's Multi-Scale Composites & Polymers division, also serves as director of IACMI's compressed-gas storage initiative.

To learn more, visit IACMI news.

Feb. 15, 2017


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