Flambeau Fluid Systems, a leading plastic tank manufacturer, announces the release of its Hyperier fuel tanks to expand its small off-road fuel tank product line. To comply with CARB (California Air Resource Board) and the EPA’s (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) extensive regulatory policy which requires changes in the design and material used in fuel systems of small off-road equipment, Flambeau’s processing of the Hyperier material is paving the way for more secure and unique solutions.
For nearly 50 years, the predominant fuel tank material has been HDPE. Flambeau’s first low emissions offering was to fluorinate HDPE tanks, which over the past six years have obtained 13 CARB and EPA certificates. Fluorination has proved to be a great solution for Flambeau and its customers, and the company will still continue selling the fluorinated tanks. The addition of the Hyperier tank line will expand the current offerings by giving customers even more flexibility in choosing a material that best suits their application. One benefit that Hyperier does offer is that it will reduce lead time on orders.
Hyperier is a nylon and Nano clay composite produced by LG Chemical which is blended and processed with HDPE at Flambeau. The material is very sensitive to handling and processing conditions. Over the past two years, Flambeau devoted extensive efforts to R&D to study Hyperier material processing.
“Before we could even consider implementing Hyperier on a production basis, we needed to learn and document the parameters required to make a good tank, and more importantly what conditions created a ‘bad’ tank,” says Dan Hilfiker, the Business Unit Manager for Flambeau’s Fluid Division.
Throughout Flambeau’s R&D efforts, it communicated closely with CARB and EPA as its goal was to create unique certifications for Flambeau. Though challenging, Flambeau was successful in earning CARB Executive Orders and EPA Certificates for producing Hyperier Fuel Tanks, making the brand unique as it is now the only tank manufacturer with certifications which tie in how it processes Hyperier. All other tank manufacturers use only the material certs.
Flambeau is also unique in that it is the only manufacturer to offer these Hyperier tanks as an off the shelf stock item, as well as offering customized stock and a completely custom product. This gives customers the flexibility in their application.
According to LG Chemical, “Flambeau now knows more about processing this material than others who have been in production for years.”
Through the work Flambeau has completed over the past several years and thanks to certifications, Flambeau is emerging as a leader in fuel tank manufacturing for small powered equipment. Today its R&D efforts continue as the CARB and EPA requirements are ratcheting down tighter in 2017 and 2020. Flambeau’s Madison, GA, facility, which conducted the most R&D, started production this past May on the company's 5, 6 and 7 gallon fuel tanks, and recently just shipped its first order of Hyperier tanks. Flambeau plans to start production of the new tanks at several of its North American locations.