Stainless steel tank construction for alternative fuels

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  • Publicado : 13 de noviembre de 2010
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Klaus Beck, Álvaro de Cea-Naharro, Carlos Infanzón PORTINOX S.A., Ctra de Pulianas Km 6, Granada (Spain) Abstract Industry has to develop and obtain the necessary knowledge and technologies to meet the demands of a constantly changing market. Among the required aspects we are to find technical solutions towards the lack ofnatural resources and the need to preserve the environment. Based on a continuous research Portinox has developed alternative fuel tanks made of stainless steel, the leading structural material with excellent properties for optimum product designs. In the following we present the approach and development of a polymorphic stainless steel tank for automobiles. Portinox was founded in 1965 as afamily enterprise producing industrial sinks made of stainless steel. As from 1978, when the firm joined the Teka Group organization, the company has experienced a spectacular growth and to date has been consolidated as one of the pioneer enterprises in the transformation of stainless steel. The company’s activity comprises five product divisions: beer kegs, decorative cooker hoods, pressurecontainers (domestic LPG and automotive LPG). As manufacturers of components for the automobile industry, our developments and constructions of new products are aiming to meet the following targets: - To participate in energy saving within the whole vehicle stages: manufacturing, life cycle and elimination. - To contribute to the reduction of contaminating gas emissions through the vehicle. - To design andmanufacture for recycling and re-utilization. All these objectives have to combine for an overall interaction, without any negative influence of one objective on the others. From our commitment with the environment, and based on a leading material we have developed a stainless steel tank to contain LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), and we are working on the development of a tank series for CNG andHydrogen, for the automotive sector. Our tank developments, as generally is the case for all new products to substitute already existing ones, are based on the following questions: - Which aspects have to be changed with regard to existing products? - What are the expectations of our customers? - Which new and future laws, regulations and normative have to be complied? - Which technical progresscan be achieved with the new product?

Figure 1. The analysis of these questions directly leads us to the description of the new product: What is to be improved on presently existing products? The answers are automatically reflecting the negative aspects of existing products, as are among others: - High weight and therefore increased fuel consumption and pollution through gas emissions. - Highconsumption of manufacturing energy due to heat and surface treatments as well as of production energy of steel. - No corrosion resistance without special coatings. - Can be installed only inside the vehicle so that useful space is wasted for tank storage. - Limited re-utilization.

market development



- Utilization of new simulation software for deep drawing processes. - Improvementof finite element calculations thanks to more efficient processing. - Combination of stainless steel and carbon fibre.

Figure 2. What is the customer expecting from us? - Product safety. - Functional and space saving product. - Energy reducing product. - Economical product. - Ecological product. Which new and future laws, regulations and normative are to be complied with, and what problems areimplied? - R67.01 Directive for the construction of LPG equipment. - R 110 Directive for the construction of CNG equipment. - Directive 2000/53 EC regarding old vehicles. - Kyoto protocol. - PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Vehicles) Directive regarding emissions in California. - ISO 11439 . . . . . . . . . At present the use of stainless steel is forbidden in some standards, as e.g. R 110. The...
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