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updated on March 24, 2017

A lightweight, portable LGP tank with a superior design and high resistance to corrosion!

Hokuriku STR Cooperative

Project name Development of all-plastic LPG tanks which allow remaining of levels LPG to be seen
Target downstream fields Automobile、Housing / Infrastructure、Industrial equipment
Response to the needs of downstream companies Mass reduction (size / weight reduction)
Environmental considerations (removal and detoxification of impurities / waste reduction / CO2 reduction)
Aesthetic value (design-related improvements)
Specific numerical values relating to the above needs 30% weight reduction in comparison with a 20-liter steel LPG tank.
Design can be changed freely.
Resistance to corrosion.
Project implementation period 2010~2012
Commercialization status Undergoing supplementary research (Project undergoing research toward completion)
Target materials Three layered tank
- Inside: Plastic
- Middle layer: Long fiber glass fiber-reinforced composite material
- Outside: Plastic

Project details

Project background
- Visual check of the liquid level enables easier and safer use of the LPG tank
- Improved workability as a result of direct confirmation of the liquid level in small, portable machines using the tanks.
- Using FRPs in the tanks allows easy transportation and storage.
- Using FRP improves designability and provides a sense of being for indoor use. Upon the above background, we came to recognize the possibility of the new business establishment.
Points of R&D
- Previously, the innermost layer in the three-layered structure, the function of which is to prevent content leak, was made of five-layered polyethylene. The new development has made it possible to produced the layer using a single PEN resin.
- Using glass knitting in the FRP layer means that, in the event that the tank is exposed to fire, any gas inside can be released through small pores formed in the tank barrel by the melting of the resin, thereby suppressing explosive growth of flames.
Specific R&D results
Compared to products manufactured overseas (FPR LPG tank are not yet distributed in Japan):
- Manufacturing the liner from PEN resin substantially increased transparency.
- Suppressed flame growth in the event of explosion.
Anticipated fields / products etc. to which this technology may be applied in the future
Easy transport and filling for users, just as for paraffin oil tanks. (Related to other technologies and regulations.)
Uses in home cooking and with large machines equipped with an engine such as camping cars and large-sized vacuum cleaners.

Work toward commercialization

Activities related to intellectual property and publicity Two patents
Future outlook We will begin commercialization, with the involvement of participating companies, trading companies and LPG vendors, around April 2014, when a solution to current issue of stable quality is in sight. Around a year after that, we will obtain approval for and begin sales.
Inquiries from downstream industries When we showed prototypes to LPG vendors companies and major trading companies, we received positive responses. Concrete discussions will commence once stable quality is in sight.

System of R&D

Organization managing the project Toyama New Industry Organization
Certified business operators Hokuriku STR Cooperative
Institutions conducting the research Hokuriku STR Cooperative, Sanko Gosei Ltd.
Advisers Ken Fujita (Itochu Corporation Hokuriku branch), Kazuo Kamiishi (Nihonkaigas Co., Ltd.)

Promotion comments

We established a development division for commodities / industrial materials in 2005. In this division, by applying knitting know-how cultivated over many years, our own engineers have modified a knitting machine for clothing and developed three-dimensional knitting which uses fiberglass and high-performance fiber. Furthermore, using resin with the three-dimensional knitting it has developed, the company is working on the development of reinforced FRP products.
The FRP product developed by our corporation is lightweight and durable. Three-dimensional knitting with FRP base materials can produce shapes to fit any model, and we believe that it has infinite potential.
We are currently considering developing a product using carbon fiber, and would like to offer products made using only organic materials which are light, non-rusting, and soft, on a global scale.

Corporate information

Company name Hokuriku STR Cooperative
(Corporate Number:4230005005637)
Address 355-1 Yasui-cho, Oyabe-shi, Toyama-ken, 923-0121, JAPAN
Phone number +81-766-61-4545
Number of employees 32(male  21,female  11)
Capital 121 million yen
Business category Textile industry
Business content Planning, production and sale of "commodities / industrial materials" and "fabric and products for ladies' undergarments"
URL http://www.str.or.jp/
Production facilities owned and specifications - 27 raschel knitting machines (13 plain singles, 8 pattern singles, 6 doubles for materials
- Approximately 300 industrial sewing machines, 1 CAM, 1 CAD, 1 automated spreading machine
Production base area Domestic location:Yasui-cho, Oyabe-shi, Toyama-ken; Tubono, Nanto-shi, Toyama-ken
Overseas location:Yingkou city, Liaoning, China; Panjin city, Liaoning, China
Overseas production response available  Available areas:China
Main clients Itochu Corporation, Marubeni Corporation
Department handling inquiries for this project Industrial Material Development Department
str@str.or.jp
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