IACMI-The Composites Institute, a 100+ member, 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, announced its first technical collaboration project launched in the compressed gas storage focus area.

According to IACMI, 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.

“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.

IACMI says the goal is to provide unique advantages to the storage of compressed natural gas with the use of thermoplastic composite technologies to achieve better durability, weight reduction and recyclability.

“Collaborating with DuPont fosters the use of novel materials and processes that will allow technologies to significantly improve customizable fiber orientations—ultimately improving cycle time, lowering production costs by up to 20 percent and reducing waste,” said Bryan Dods, IACMI-The Composites Institute CEO.

IACMI adds that 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, 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 will provide a new polyamide resin having superior toughness increased damage resistance, and an additional degree of safety compared with the current epoxy-based systems.

The project proposal begins with the design of a prototype CGS tank based on measured mechanical properties of polyamide composite panels produced by AFP. Pending successful results from two initial phases, the project will conclude with the production of full size tanks.

“We are excited to be the first CGS project to launch within IACMI. This project has already created a high level of interest with the potential to blaze new innovative ways to meet the demand for energy storage solutions,” said Jan Sawgle, DuPont Performance Materials, Project Manager.

For more information, click here for IACMI’s press release and here for added coverage from Dayton Daily News.