Alternative fuel cylinders
When cylinder weight, safety and performance matters, choose Luxfer.
Luxfer Gas Cylinders specializes in the manufacture of lightweight, high-pressure Type 3 composite cylinders for storage and transportation of compressed natural gas (CNG), a clean-burning, environmentally friendly alternative fuel (AF). Luxfer AF cylinders are also ideal for storage of bio-methane.
Because Luxfer AF composite cylinders are 66% lighter than Type 1 steel cylinders, they offer greatly improved fuel economy, increased range and a significant reduction in vehicle maintenance costs because they lessen wear and tear on brakes, tires and suspension systems. In haulage businesses, reduced vehicle weight also permits higher payloads. Since lightweight composite cylinders can be manufactured in much larger diameters than would be practical with heavier all-metal cylinders, fewer composite cylinders are required to contain the same volume of CNG.
More that 4 million full-wrapped Luxfer composite cylinder in service worldwide in a variety of demanding applications have an exemplary record of safety and dependable performance.
Luxfer operates a state-of-the-art AF cylinder manufacturing facility in Riverside, California. At one location, Luxfer manufactures all its AF Type 3 liners, including precisely controlled heat treatment, and wraps liners with aerospace-grade carbon fiber wetted with high-strength epoxy resin (see additional details below under “Cylinder manufacturing”).
The company also operates its Luxfer European Alternative Fuel Centre (LEAFC) in Brescia, Italy, which stocks both cylinders and system components to enable timely, cost-effective manufacturing of AF truck and bus systems at LEAFC for quick delivery throughout Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. LEAFC is an approved ISO9001 and ECE R110-compliant assembly and leak-testing facility.
At its state-of-the-art composite cylinder facility in Riverside, California USA, Luxfer manufactures its own AF liners and wraps all its composite cylinders. The core of a Luxfer Type 3 cylinder is the aluminum liner, which forms an impermeable gas barrier that carries approximately 10% of the pressure load and (depending on design) transfers static and vibration into cylinder walls; the remainder of the pressure load is carried by the high-performance carbon fiber wrapping. The aluminum liner also provides threads into which a valve is fitted. Large-diameter aluminum liners for alternative fuel vehicles are typically manufactured from seamless aluminum tubes, while smaller-diameter liners are made from plate. In both cases, drawing and spinning are used to create required geometry. Liners then undergo heat treatment to optimize mechanical properties. Since heat treatment is an exacting process, Luxfer has made significant investments in a fully automated, in-house heat-treatment facility to ensure that temperatures, heating times and dwell times are precisely controlled.
On completion of heat treatment, liners are machined to create internal threads and outer neck configurations, then quality inspected and passed on to a climate-controlled winding facility. A proprietary, optimized winding pattern, developed though a mixture of finite element analysis and winding modeling programs, is entered into a CNC winding machine, and the liner is automatically wound with carbon fiber wetted with epoxy resin. The cylinder is then removed from the winding machine and placed in a low-temperature curing oven. Finally, each cylinder is hydrostatically tested to working pressure, dried and thoroughly inspected. Two cylinders are removed from each manufacturing lot to undergo rigorous cycle and burst testing.
New AF cylinder designs
Please contact Luxfer if you need a new AF cylinder design. Please note that before a new cylinder design can be produced, it must first be approved by an independent agency or notified body to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and standards (e.g., NGV 2 for North America, ECE R110 for Europe and ISO 11439 for other areas of the world).
Available in an extensive range of sizes, Luxfer Type 3 cylinders consist of a Luxfer-manufactured aluminum liner fully wrapped with epoxy-impregnated aerospace-grade carbon fiber. Thoroughly tested to meet all applicable standards and regulations around the world, these tough, lightweight cylinders are used in CNG-powered automobiles, lightweight trucks, medium-duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks, buses and coaches, as well as in gas transportation modules and tube trailers carried by trucks and rail.
Available in a range of sizes, Luxfer Type 2 cylinders consist of a Luxfer-manufactured aluminum liner hoop wrapped with epoxy-impregnated aerospace-grade carbon fiber. Thoroughly tested to meet all applicable standards and regulations around the world, these tough cylinders are used in CNG-powered automobiles, lightweight trucks, medium-duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks, buses and coaches.