By Dr. Cameron Chai
Dow Formulated Systems has introduced a new DOW VORAFORCE TW epoxy system series for the fabrication of composite liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) pressure vessels.
These new systems together with the DOW eCURE modeling suite enable process optimization, so that energy usage and waste can be reduced and cycle times are made quicker. The company will display these new systems at the JEC Europe 2012 Composites Exhibition in Paris, which is being held from 27 to 29 March.
This new DOW VORAFORCE TW systems allow the manufacturing of strong and light-weight composite cylinders, which have dynamic fatigue, enhanced impact resistance and low-temperature performance.
Dow Formulated Systems’ global business leader for composites, Marcel Loyson commented that there is an increasing demand for composite pressure vessels because the industry is looking for durable and light-weight metal cylinders. Composite cylinders have become a more attractive choice for consumers to contain LPG, as they are easy to handle and free from corrosion.
Composite pressure vessels are used for natural gas powered vehicles. They lessen the weight of the fuel tank and vehicle, and therefore give better mileage and decrease emissions.
Nikhil Verghese, Dow Formulated Systems business’ global technology leader for composites stated that this new epoxy system may enhance the properties of the composites, by means of its own toughening technology. He said that the DOW VORAFORCE TW systems can improve the viscosity, glass transition temperature and pot life. The potential of the DOW eCURE modeling suite can optimize the fabrication processes of the customers in order to decrease wastage of material and usage of energy, according to him.
Verghese added that the company’s yearly investment of $1.6 billion in research and development has included the current growth of new composites for the LPG and CNG market. He said that the company has a heritage of over 50 years in the polyurethane and epoxy industries and solid partnerships with composite fabricators, which enable the company to quickly react to rising demands of the industry with sophisticated materials technology.