Huntsville, Ala.-based Cimarron Composites, which produces carbon fiber pressure vessels, including those for compressed natural gas applications, says it has received a special permit from the U.S. Department of Transportation and ADR approval for a large, Type 4 composite tube.
According to Cimarron Composites, the 2,276-liter, 250-bar Jupiter tube is approved to contain natural gas and hydrogen, among other gases, and can function as a stand-alone product, in a tube trailer or in a multi-element gas container.
The company says that the product was developed under the guidelines of UN ISO 11515 and has passed the required tests, including the vacuum test, the 1200-joule blunt impact test, 50-caliber bullet test and the bonfire test without a pressure relief device.
The tube, measuring 30 inches in diameter and 18 feet and 6 inches long, packs well in containers and has the ability to unload 100% of its contents. According to Cimarron, the lightweight composite cylinder allows more gas to be transported by fewer containers when compared to traditional steel tubes and other Type 4 tubes.
Cimarron Composites says it can produce this tube in custom sizes, up to 50 feet long and 6 feet in diameter, with minimal re-testing. The tube can be re-designed to function at higher pressures as needed.
As reported, the initial product release is a 20-foot multi-element gas container that holds nine of the composite tubes. This baseline container will transport 230,000 cubic feet of natural gas and weigh only 18,000 pounds. The company notes that a 53-foot long container can be produced to hold 622,000 cubic feet of natural gas and still be within legal weight limits.