The Markets: Pressure Vessels (2014)
January 1, 2014
The global shift to use of vehicles powered by fuels other than gasoline, like natural gas and hydrogen, has spurred substantial growth in the manufacture of pressure vessels.
An all-composite, linerless Type V tank has been the pressure vessel industry’s holy grail for years. Recently, one company, Composite Technology Development Inc. (CTD, Lafayette, Colo.), successfully designed, tested and built such a tank for argon gas storage on the FASTRAC 1 (Formation Autonomy Spacecraft with Thrust, Relnav, Attitude and Crosslink) satellite. The 1.9L tank, at 6 inches (152 mm) in diameter and 7 to 8 inches (178 to 203 mm) in length, weighed only 0.44 lb (0.2 kg). It was filament-wound with T700 carbon fiber supplied by Toray Carbon Fibers America Inc. (Flower Mound, Texas) wet out with CTD’s proprietary KIBOKO toughened epoxy resin. It had an operational pressure of 200 psi, a proof pressure of 1,000 psi, and a burst pressure between 2,000 and 2,500 psi.