Quantum develops technology for lighter pressure vessels

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide has developed an alternative technology for lightweight carbon fiber composite pressure vessels that uses selective fiber placement and reduces material use by 20 percent.

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Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. (Lake Forest, Calif., USA), a manufacturer of natural gas, alternative fuel systems and clean propulsion vehicle technologies, announced on June 3 that it has developed an alternative new technology for lightweight carbon fiber composite compressed natural gas and hydrogen fuel tanks using selective fiber placement that leads to significant reduction in weight and cost – demonstrating more than 20 percent reduction in material utilization.

The underlying methodology for the design and analysis of discrete composite elements was developed by Quantum, and the manufacturing process involving discontinuous reinforcing fibers was further developed and demonstrated under collaboration with Boeing (Chicago, Ill., USA) and the Pacific Northwest National Labs, under sponsorship by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy. Past Department of Energy programs at Quantum have led to technology advancements that have been successfully implemented in production tanks.

"Quantum continues to innovate and enhance our industry­leading ultra­lightweight storage tank technology," says Brian Olson, president and CEO of Quantum. "We are pleased that this exciting breakthrough will significantly reduce the use of expensive carbon fiber, which resulted from a multi­year development program in partnership with global leaders in utilizing lightweight materials."

Quantum currently produces one of the lightest and highest capacity natural gas and hydrogen on­board storage systems in the world. Developed at Quantum's technology campus in Lake Forest, Quantum's advanced natural gas storage systems provide dramatic weight reduction, increased fuel storage capacity and the capability to quickly integrate these systems. Quantum combines nearly 20 years of system integration experience with strong expertise in software, calibration, fuel system integration, emission and durability testing, validation, and manufacturing capabilities.
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