Sydney based Australian company Omni Tanker launched its innovative light weight tankers in the USA with an event on the 1st October 1 at one of the its first US customers in New Jersey.
Omni Tanker has been around in Australia since 2006, developing and manufacturing a unique, internationally patented carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CRFP) exterior tank bonded to a seamless thermoplastic interior.
The company says the result is a very light, robust and safe tanker suitable for the transport of highly corrosive chemicals, like hydrochloric acid and sodium hypochlorite.
Omni Tanker says the tanker is safer because the CRFP outer shell is six times stronger than steel, while being significantly lighter than a traditional steel tank or fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) tankers.
The company says its tanks can deliver around an eight to 10 per cent 8-10 per cent increase in payload.
Omni Tanker says that steel or FRP tankers need a rubber lining between the tank and the corrosive liquid, which slowly degrades and eventually needs replacement, however there’s no lining required in the Omni, which also makes it easier to clean.
Omni Tanker has started exporting its tanks to the US thanks to a partnership with MAC LTT in Ohio, where it attaches fixes the Omni tanks to its own trailers and customises the tanks to local operators requirements.
An innovation award Omni Tanker received at the 2016 JEC Americas composites expo in Atlanta led to the US deal with MAC. Omni was exporting intermodal UN portable tanks to Europe prior to this.
Omni Tanker CEO and founder, Daniel Rogers, and CTO, Luke Djukic, while in the US to collect their prize also visited the US Department of Transport to see if it might be interested in certifying their product for use in the US.
“There was a very positive response from them and so that was when we started mobilising ourselves to make that step,” says Mr Djukic.
“It’s a really nice example of an Australian technology product integrating with a large industry player in the United States.”
The key to the innovation is the process Omni developed to stick Teflon and to bond the exterior tank to the interior tank a difficult task given the slippery nature of thermoplastics.
“We developed a way to stick to Teflon, and that enables us to get the best properties of the thermoplastic materials and the properties of the high-strength reinforced carbon structure so we can create tanks with exceptional light weight, durability, and chemical resistance,” said Daniel Rogers.
Rogers was reticent to quote figures on the cost premium or pricing difference of the Omni Tanker over traditional steel or FRP tankers but says that given payload advantages, reduced maintenance and other cost savings the Omni tankers would be more than competitive across the life of the units.
“The value proposition of our equipment based on the chemical resistance, the durability, the light weight, ends up with an attractive cost calculation and return on investment,” said Mr Rogers.
“By removing maintenance burdens and relining costs and the associated time off the road, and building in the advantages of two-way loading versatility and increased asset utilisation, you end up with a premium-priced product but with a really strong value proposition that justifies the purchase,” he said