Lighter, Cheaper Thermoplastic CNG Tanks for Automotive & Commercial Vehicle Markets

About Polaris

About Polaris

There are currently 1.3 million Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles on Europe’s roads, expected to rise to 15 million by 2030. Customers such as Audi, Daimler and Volvo have set a target 10% weight and cost reduction for CNG tanks, to increase efficiency and reduce vehicle cost.

Most CNG tanks are made from a metal or polymer liner, over-wound with a carbon/epoxy composite, but:

  • Wet-winding of carbon/epoxy is slow, so limits cost-effective production
  • Their properties vary by up to 10%, so excess material is used to compensate

To meet the customer targets, Plastic Omnium has developed a new process for the fast, efficient production of CNG tanks, using 8-axis robotic tape placement cell from MF Tech, and high quality carbon/polyamide tape developed by Coventive Composites.

Together, these technologies can reduce CNG tank weight by 10% and cost by 20%.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 820567.

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Coventive Composites is a high-tech SME that develops new composite materials, based on innovative processes, including thermoplastics, thermosets, nano-composites and recycled fibres.