Motorcycle manufacturers must now comply with legislation from the EPA which has been phasing in a reduction of fuel permeation under the Clean Air Act since 2002, and also from the Californian Air Resources Board (CARB). These global fuel emission regulations have forced motorcycle manufacturers to adapt and convert their fuel tanks to new 'high fuel barrier' materials.
In partnership with global polymer suppliers, Total Petrochemicals and Arkema Inc., novel polymer tank constructions are being perfected in the Rotational moulding laboratory of the PPRC at Queen's. A week of industrial trials is scheduled for Japan in August and the team has recently completed trials in Italy and the USA.
Speaking about the ongoing work at the PPRC, Mark Kearns, Moulding Research Manager said "What the PPRC is doing is unique and very specialised and we manage to help support an international polymer industry.
"Most people are familiar with the green oil tank in their gardens. The majority of these tanks are made by rotational moulding. Variations of the materials used for those tanks are the same for the new fuel emission compliant tanks that the motorcycle industry is moving towards.
"At Queen's, we are proud to be part of a transformation in the global motorcycle industry that is helping the environment and enables us to continue to research and develop in order to support these changes".
Further information on the work of the PPRC at Queen's can be found at http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/PolymerProcessingResearchCentre/
Lisa Mitchell | alfa
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