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New sandwich pressure-tank trailer concept for powder goods

News International-French

20 Apr 2011

Tank trailers are usually made from a formed aluminium sheet. Spitzer Eurovrac, a French company that specializes in the manufacture of tank trailers for powder goods, has designed a new trailer concept using a composite sandwich concept.

(Published on October 2008 – JEC Magazine #44)




The new product is made of carbon/vinylester skins laid up around a Nidafusion STF core from Structiso, a Nida- Core Corp. company.



Specifically designed for closed moulding, Nidafusion STO and STF cores are suitable for light RTM, infusion and vacuum bag processes. Both cores are manufactured by draping fibreglass over a lightweight foam core and tufting fibreglass through the core to form triangulations with specific angles and spacings. The products are produced in France and in the USA for use in the transportation, marine and civil construction sectors, among others.


Nidafusion STO and Nidafusion STF use two different types of foam. “STO” refers to rigid foams (such as PU, PIR, and phenolics for fire resistance), whereas “STF” refers to soft foams (PE, PP) that can be moulded into shape.



The smart core makes it possible to manufacture the tanks using a tape-winding process with lay-up of Nidafusion STF sheets and carbon tapes directly around the cylindrical mandrel.


New concept improvements

The new concept shows several improvements over the traditional design:



  • Weight saving: the composite tank is about 25% lighter than the aluminium one, considerably reducing gas consumption and, therefore, operating costs.
  • Stiffness: the sandwich construction used makes the composite trailer stiffer than the aluminium one, allowing the tank to be pressurized.
  • Thermal insulation: the Nidafusion STF core provides insulation that keeps the tank from sweating and the goods inside, dry.
  • Wider goods compatibility: due to its non-contaminated internal finish, this trailer tank is food compatible, meaning that it can be used to transport a wider range of products compared to aluminium tanks.
  • Easy cleaning: the internal gel-coat finish is easily washable with any liquid without risk of damaging the material.