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Composites Institute Launches CNG Storage Collaboration Project


The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, a University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Department of Energy driven consortium committed to increasing domestic production capacity and manufacturing jobs across the U.S. composites industry, has launched its first technical collaboration project in the area of CNG storage. The project will combine partnership efforts from DuPont Performance Materials (DuPont), the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), Composite Prototyping Center (CPC), and Steelhead Composites.  The target objective of the project is to provide unique advantages to the storage of CNG with the use of thermoplastic composite technologies to achieve better durability, weight reduction, and recyclability.

“Our project team members include the complete supply chain, from material suppliers to tank manufacturers.  By leveraging the strength of all partners, we have the opportunity to develop a disruptive manufacturing route resulting in higher performing, lower cost methods of compressed gas storage,” said Jan Sawgle, DuPont Performance Materials, Project Manager.

The project plan will take advantage of several unique technologies combined with the expertise of each partner. DuPont will provide material science and pultrusion expertise; Composite Prototyping Center will leverage its world-class Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) capabilities; as the leader for IACMI’s CGS Technology Area, UDRI will contribute material evaluation and mechanical testing; and Steelhead will bring market-leading CGS design and testing. In addition to the innovation in manufacturing process, DuPont is providing a novel polyamide resin having superior toughness increased damage resistance, and an additional degree of safety compared with the current epoxy-based systems.