Seamless Flexible Fuel Tanks- 65% TOC Reduction

Period of Performance: 09/30/2016 - 09/29/2018

$1.49MM

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Response Technologies, LLC
292 Charles St Array
Providence, RI 02904
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Abstract

The DoD uses flexible fuel bladders in multiple air, ground, and sea vehicles because they: 1) easily fit into almost any space, 2) are corrosion resistant, and can often be self-sealing and explosion resistant, 3) allow for customized placement of fittings and connection points, and 4) these flexible tanks can collapse as they empty, thereby reducing the need for venting and minimizing sloshing and its associated noise. Despite these advantages over rigid tanks, flexible fuel bladders are not without their flaws. Specifically, owing to how they are designed and manufactured, flexible fuel bladders are: 1) innately prone to seam failures, 2) have reduced longevity, 3) are stiffer and heavier than they need to be, and 5) are limited in the range of fuels any one product can safely contain. Response Technologies (RT) is attempting to determine, the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of creating flexible fuel bladders that are: without seams, are lighter in weight, are more durable and longer lasting, and result in reduced total cost of ownership of 65%. Through novel additive manufacturing processes, RT expects to achieve higher functionality at lower cost, shorter lead times, and with low minimum order sizes for discrete parts.