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ABS Approves Use of Carbon Fiber Fuel Tanks Adopted from Space Tech
The project, backed by a USD 1.1 million funding by the European Union, makes use of technology that is lighter and cost effective, and will be put to use for high speed short sea shipping vessels.
FREMONT, CA: The conceptual design of carbon fiber LNG fuel tanks received an approval in principle (AIP) from the American Class Society ABS. The new model is inspired by standard techniques used in the space industry. The AIP marks a milestone in the SpaceTech4Sea project, which involves ABS, Ocean Finance, and Cimarron Composites joining forces to adapt composite technologies used in the space industry to LNG shipping.
The project, backed by a USD 1.1 million funding from the European Union, explores whether composite technologies offer a competitive alternative in LNG as marine fuel designs. The technology, which is lighter and more cost-effective, will be put to use for short sea shipping. The project will look to adopt a highly automated production line for the technology to ensure a competitive pricing level; replacing the existing made by had tanks.
"The potential of this technology to reduce barriers to the utilization of LNG as fuel for short sea shipping is significant. This composite technology has proven itself in other industries; we are committed to learning how to safely apply those lessons to benefit the maritime industries," said ABS vice president for global gas solutions, Patrick Janssens.
The joint team of ABS, Cimarron Composites, and Ocean finance aims to create tanks which will attract new buildings and LNG as a marine fuel retrofits by reducing costs and weights, and improving vessels' cargo capacity. "This is an exciting opportunity for us to apply our aerospace heritage to a marine application. Reducing the mass of components is very important to both aerospace and marine applications," said Cimarron Composites owner and chief executive Tom Delay.
Currently, the SpaceTech4Sea project focuses on high-speed vessels with small to medium tank capacities. The new technology not only offers up to eighty percent weight savings but is also corrosion free and introduces space technology safety standards to marine operations. "It is in our future plans to examine the commercial application and see how this game-changing product will benefit the maritime industry. LNG as a marine fuel has just won a strong ally," said Ocean Finance managing director, Dr. Panayotis Zacharioudakis.
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