Basalt composites continue to gain momentum. A good plus of basalt roving is the ability to adapt to the specific needs of a customer.
For example, the use of this material for the manufacture of compressed gas cylinders (CNG) helps to optimize the technological process and significantly increases strength characteristics of the industrial tanks.
Russian Basalt (trademark Meltrock®) in cooperation with a key partner has started developing a technology for manufacturing CNG cylinders based on the modified continuous basalt fiber (CBF). Within a short period, the figures of product strength were increased highly and the labor cost was reduced significantly.
Tenacity, and hence the strength, has increased by more than twice. At the same time, the technology excludes the additional CBF treatment, and the need to introduce auxiliary components in the resin, the impregnation speed has significantly increased.
Currently, the partners are preparing to test the products produced using a modified CBF which was developed specifically for this purpose.
The prospects for the use of basalt composites in the CNG cylinders manufacturing process
Filament winding makes it possible to manufacture CBF hollow vessels, which meet the geometry, strength and operating conditions requirements.
In the filament winding process, continuous strands of resin-impregnated reinforcement are wound under tension onto the mandrel in precise geometric patterns to build up the part. Once the part is cured, the mandrel is removed or can be left inside to become an integral part of the component. Automated production of tanks, cylinders, pipes and other cylinder-shaped products are a natural fit for the filament winding process.
Basalt roving has outstanding physical, mechanical and chemical properties. It is not subjected to corrosive changes, resistant to the aggressive environments (acids, alkalis, salt solutions, gasses, etc.), it is not magnetized (which is especially important when the products are used on transport), has dielectric properties and does not conduct stray currents.
In addition, CBF provides strength and durability to the structures exposed to extreme temperatures (from -260 ° C to + 700 ° C), to vibration and other mechanical impacts. The properties of basalt roving much surpass glass fiber, and are comparable with carbon fiber performance, but its cost is much cheaper, thus it is effectively applied to manufacture composite materials.
The technology offers much promise towards the low-temperature storage and compressed gas transportation, which the leading manufacturers and end-users of composites worldwide have appreciated.
The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) has awarded $300,000 to develop a technological process for CNG cylinders manufacture. Since 2013 Infinite Composites Technologies which is engaged in the development of cryogenic composite storage tanks has raised more than $2 million in investments and research grants.
A leading global automotive supplier Magna ordered a fully automated winding line for composite CNG tanks from Mikrosam. This production cell has already been installed in its plant in the city of Graz (Austria). Composite gas tanks for compressed natural gas (CNG ) produced by this line can reduce vehicle weight by up to 50% and fuel expenses by up to 40%.
Netherland-located Tankwell started to manufacture composite tank containers in 2015. A special aspect of this development is that the tank container is manufactured in one filament winding step and can have different dimensions. Manufactured according to this technology tank is safe to use for a 15 to 20 years working life with minimal maintenance and repair and allows reducing freight cost per trip by 5 to 10 %.
We hope to obtain a competitive domestic composite product line of CNG cylinders based on high-quality basalt roving Meltrock®, widely requested in the domestic and global markets. The official dealer of the Meltrock® trademark is the Trading House “Russian Basalt”.
Technologies: Filament Winding