Next-Generation Pressure Vessels in Space

For Infinite Composites Technologies (ICT), Tulsa, Okla., it all began as students at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater, Okla. In 2008, ICT founders Matt Villarreal and Michael Tate become part of a collegiate race team at OSU that raced under the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE). The race team was in need of help. When the duo joined, there was $56 in the account to design and fabricate a quarter scale Formula-1 style race car and take it to competition in Fontana, Calif. Eventually, Villarreal and Tate pushed for converting a vehicle to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) to attract new investors from local natural gas players. By 2010, the team successfully converted a vehicle to CNG with the assistance of Tulsa Gas Technologies and other supporting sponsors. And later that year, the founders formed CleanNG LLC. In 2015, the company changed its name to Infinite Composites Technologies to diversify itself and embrace its abilities to provide broader storage options for a larger customer base. 

The company created a patented infinite composite pressure vessel or infiniteCPV (iCPV), which is a Type-5 (Type V), liner-less all-composite vessel. The infiniteCPV’s all-composite design allows for users to take advantage of the maximum fuel storage capacity while lowering the weight. Traditional liners take up valuable storage space and reportedly add unnecessary weight. The iCPV provides 10% more useable volume while reducing weight by 90% compared to traditional vessels. And while the company has a focus on developing next-generation fuel storage and delivery systems for natural gas vehicles and storage applications, it has recently been gaining traction in the adoption of a Type V tank technology to the space industry.

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