The FW750 Filament Winder and High-Speed Servo Tensioner are designed to provide accurate, high-speed, and cost-effective filament winding for use in a broad range of industries, including Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). At winding speeds in excess of 135 in/sec and a performance accuracy of ±0.2 lbs, this winding system is designed to deliver winding performance at a moderate price point to accommodate high-volume CNG tank production.

“With the rapid growth of the global CNG market, there is a great deal of pressure to produce CNG tanks at high volumes while maintaining low costs,” said Bill Regan VP of Engineering & Technology at Zoltek Corporation. “The FW750 can achieve faster winding speeds than typically encountered with wet winding.”

During the live demonstrations, Entec will be winding CNG fuel tanks using Zoltek’s Panex® 35 TowPreg, a pre-impregnated carbon fibre tow.

When paired with Panex® 35 TowPreg, the FW750 is claimed to achieve greater fibre placement control due to the increased tack of material. This results in increased design freedom and more accurate burst pressure predictions, when compared to traditional wet winding. The elimination of resin bath limitations results in faster winding speeds, cleaner operations, and an overall higher production throughput.

The FW750 filament winder was designed to complement Entec’s ST1 Servo Tensioner which provides the consistent tow tensioning required for winding CNG tanks at high winding speeds.

The company believes that this optimised approach of dry-winding pre-impregnated tow and the increased winding speeds and tension control achieved with the FW750 and ST1 Servo Tensioner could set a new industry expectation for price, performance, and throughput for Compressed Natural Gas tank production.