TI Automotive demonstrates new plastic fuel tank for green hybrids

Green cars are very popular on the market today with fuel prices soaring and the hefty rebates the government is offering on electric and hybrid vehicles. One of the keys to getting hybrids that have better fuel economy is to reduce the weight of the vehicle as much as possible. The less weight the vehicle has to cart around, the less fuel it needs.

TI Automotive has announced a new integrated slosh and pressurized plastic fuel tank for the hybrid market. The new tank is designed to replace the current heavier steel tanks with a quiet and light plastic offering. The tank is made using what TI calls Tank Advanced Process Technology. The construction process is based on traditional blow molding but has several enhancements.

TI Automotive says that the new process uses air pressure to shape the plastic as it enters the mold, but the mold isn't forcefully closed. The finished tank is cut out along the parting line. After the plastic tank is formed, a robot system inserts the key fuel tank components like structural ribs, slosh baffles, and other hardware. TI Automotive doesn't specify how much lighter the plastic tanks are than current metal tanks.